Ayton signs with Puma

Deandre Ayton in front of one of Puma's storefronts.

Potential No.1 pick in the upcoming National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft Deandre Ayton yesterday signed a deal with Puma.

According to the 7’1” centre, the brand’s popularity in The Bahamas, coupled with the chance to be hands-on in regards to design, factored heavily into his decision.

“I’ve always seen the brand growing up,” Ayton said.

“[Bolt] is one of the first people I saw with the brand. It’s important to me that someone I identify with and admire as an athlete, is with the same brand.

“As I’ve been in the States, I’ve seen what they do with entertainers and always liked that. I see someone like Rihanna recently, who is a lot like me. We have similar backgrounds and she’s putting her stamp on the brand. That’s something that appeals to me from a creative side.

“I’ve told Puma I have some ideas about my basketball shoe already, in regards to both fit and style. I want to be a part of bringing this new style of Puma to my people.”

As the brand begins to focus its marketing campaigns this week around the NBA draft, Ayton will also look to be a featured athlete in lifestyle campaigns.

Ayton joins Marvin Bagley and Zhaire Smith as the first athletes to sign with Puma in its renewed emphasis on basketball.