Puma, as reported by the Financial Times, will end its sponsorship of Israel’s national football team. The German company stated in an internal note, seen by the Financial Times, that this decision was made a year ago and was not connected to consumer boycott appeals during Israel’s conflict in Gaza.
Starting in 2024, the sportswear major will no longer be providing the kit to the team after deciding not to renew the contract with the Israel Football Association (IFA), the note said.
Puma’s decision to drop Israel’s national football team from its sponsorship portfolio was made for financial reasons, people familiar with the internal discussions told the Financial Times.
The decision was reportedly part of a broader “fewer-bigger-better” strategy to become more selective in sports marketing.
According to the note, Puma will soon be announcing a new partnership with a high-profile team.
The partnership between the world’s third-biggest sports brand and the Israeli team had sparked international outrage and calls for a complete boycott of all Puma products.
Activists have accused Puma of supporting Israeli settlements in the West Bank – considered illegal by most of the international community – given that the IFA includes clubs based in such settlements.
The company, though, has repeatedly rejected the claims, saying it was only sponsoring the national team and was not involved in club-level activities.
In recent weeks, several brands, such as Puma and Spanish fashion brand Zara, have seen pro-Palestinian demonstrations take place outside their stores around the world for their alleged pro-Israel stance.