In an ever-shifting digital landscape where brands tread cautiously through the unpredictable waves of cryptocurrency trends, Puma emerges as a bold advocate for the web3 revolution. While others retreated during the crypto winter of 2023, Puma’s Head of Emerging Technology, Ivan Dashkov, spoke with TechCrunch, affirming the brand’s unwavering commitment to the transformative potential of web3 technologies.

Puma’s expedition into the web3 realm began two years ago, fueled by a strategic vision to avoid missing out on the next big shift in internet usage. Dashkov candidly admitted that Puma had “missed the boat” on previous e-commerce and social media waves, prompting the brand to position itself as an early adopter in the web3 space.

In a noteworthy move in February 2022, Puma boldly registered its Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domain, Puma.eth. ENS domains, favored among Ethereum enthusiasts, offer more user-friendly addresses than the usual strings of alphanumeric characters. This early step showcased Puma’s commitment to embracing the evolving nature of online interactions.

By June 2023, Puma had unveiled Black Station and Black Station 2, described as an “experimental 3D spatial playground,” essentially a metaverse. While the metaverse concept faces challenges – some users found it slow and confusing – Puma aims to provide consumers with an alternative way to engage with the brand, underscoring its willingness to explore new frontiers in digital interaction.

Puma’s venture into the NFT market, despite prevailing challenges, emphasizes its commitment to staying culturally relevant. Dashkov proudly stated that Puma’s NFT collections, PUMA Pass and Super PUMA, both sold out within an hour of release, demonstrating the brand’s ability to tap into the zeitgeist of NFT culture. The collaboration with Meta’s virtual avatar store has proven to be a revenue driver for Puma, establishing a successful partnership that extends into the metaverse.

Puma’s strategic focus on digital products, NFTs, Meta’s avatar store, console titles, and mobile games aligns with the evolving preferences of a tech-savvy consumer base. Despite modest revenues from web3 initiatives, Dashkov emphasized that Puma’s primary goal is not immediate financial gains. Instead, the company aspires to have consumers proudly wear Puma gear in virtual spaces, cultivating brand loyalty that could translate into increased revenue in the long term.

Traditionally not perceived as innovative, Puma’s deep dive into web3 is challenging that perception, according to Dashkov. Puma’s mantra in the web3 space is clear – to continually test and learn. As Puma embraces this dynamic digital landscape, it remains an intriguing case study in how legacy brands can successfully navigate and thrive in the ever-evolving world of web3.

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