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PUMA Brazil president Fabio Espejo and Palmeiras president Marcelo Gagliotti officialising partnership (photo credit: Fábio Menotti/Ag.Palmeiras)

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As you learnt from here a little over a month ago, PUMA will be Palmeiras’ provider of sporting equipment as of 2019. The contract runs over three years and was officially announced today. Between fixed and royalty-based revenues, Palmeiras expect to receive an approximate R$ 25 million (US$ 7,5 million) yearly from the deal, which is a 25% increase compared to the current Adidas partnership.

In addition to increased revenues, a few other aspects of the PUMA partnership stand out, such as:

# Kits ready available during the Brazilian pre-season (not as now, only at the start of the Brazilian championship in mid-April);
# Palmeiras the only Brazilian club sponsored by PUMA during the length of the contract;
# A “Team Palmeiras” set up at PUMA, attending exclusively to the club’s needs;
# Palmeiras gear available at PUMA stores worldwide.

A big, hearty welcome to PUMA. Rest assured you will never encounter a more faithful consumer than the Palmeiras supporter. Treat us right, and you’re in for quite a ride!

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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It was a closer call than one would perhaps imagine, Topper in it until the very end, but PUMA stepped up their offer and, as expected, are Palmeiras’ new provider of kits as of 2019. The deal was sealed yesterday night and is valid for a so far undisclosed number of seasons. With this, in December, Palmeiras’ twelve-year-long partnership with Adidas comes to an end.

In regard to the current arrangement with Adidas, the PUMA deal entails a 20% raise in fixed revenues, from roughly R$ 10 million to R$ 12 million (US$ 3,1 million to US$ 3,7 million), in addition to royalties based on sales and performance bonuses. In Brazil, PUMA will exclusively sponsor S.E. Palmeiras. All dealings regarding the partnership, from development to distribution, has PUMA Brazil as counterpart, with the company HQ in Germany’s approval.

PUMA came close in 2014, but Palmeiras opted to renew with Adidas, in spite of the partnership showing clear signals of fatigue. Today’s breaking news are certain to excite most Palmeiras supporters, while simultaneously installing a bit of performance anxiety: after all, PUMA are known for their tight fits. Heading to the gym in 3… 2… 1…
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Adidas has been Palmeiras’ provider for twelve years, but the continuation of the relationship seems to be hanging by a thread. The reasons are multiple. Several of more recent models put out by the German giant have not been particularly well received by supporters. The poor international visibility, and a business model whereby Palmeiras receive a fixed annual sum and not a percentage according to sales (mind you Palmeiras are Adidas’ fifth highest selling football club brand in the world) are other factors.
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Rumours regarding a swap have been frequent for some years, but this time it seems more plausible than ever. Two other offers are on the table: Brazilian brand Topper – with teams like Botafogo and Atlético Mineiro in their portfolio – and PUMA.

Reportedly, Topper has presented the financially most lucrative bid of the three. PUMA is somewhere in the middle, with compatriot Adidas trailing behind. Now, of course, there is much more than numbers to consider when assessing these offers: marketing strategy, distribution channels and logistics, and consumer awareness are just a few of the variables.

PUMA have two things going for them in particular. They offer an exclusivity clause, meaning they would not sponsor any other Brazilian football team for as long as they are partnering with Palmeiras. They also promise (although this should be treated with a healthy dose of reality check) they will give Palmeiras their “global brand” status, levelling with the likes of AC Milan and Olympique de Marseille in 2019.

PUMA are also, indisputably, the brand of choice among Palmeiras supporters.

My sources are particularly vague on this one, not much is leaking from inside the club, which is good. That being said: I’d put my money on the feline.

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As of today, Palmeiras’ 2016-2017 first kit is available in stores. The new jersey features five vertical stripes in shades of green, and the characteristic three Adidas stripes have been moved from the shoulders to the side of the uniform. On the collar, an Alviverde Imponente inscription, a direct reference to the club anthem. On the sleeves, discrete details in white and red in tribute of Palmeiras’ Italian origins.

Our players will wear the new uniform on 14 May, in the first round of the Brazilian championship, at the Allianz Parque against Atlético Paranaense.
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No, it wasn’t the start of the Brazilian Championship we were dreaming off, drawing with Atlético’s rotation squad at the Allianz Parque. But Palmeiras were not in their full splendour either:  forwards Leandro Pereira and Cristaldo injured, midfielders Arouca and Cleiton Xavier likewise. Nothing serious in any of the cases, but the impact was nevertheless  felt as coach Oswaldo failed to provide solutions: in the absence of Arouca, Gabriel was overburdened; Robinho – pulled back – disappeared; Gabriel Jesus was of little use with his back constantly against the goal. Palmeiras frittered passes like we haven’t seen so far in 2015, while Atlético Mineiro seemed much more focused. In the end, the draw – Palmeiras finding the equalizer in the very last seconds of the came – could be considered a fair result. And a bit of a relief.
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Yesterday was the first time Gabriel Jesus played the full 90 minutes. Expectations are still high regarding the future of the kid, but perhaps more realistic: he’s had his opportunities but not yet scored and the adaption from the U20 to the major league is taking time. Coach Oswaldo has been devoting special attention to Jesus, often having him stay a bit longer after regular training to work on positioning and finishing touches.

Yesterday also marked the debut of left-defender Egídio. The long-awaited paperwork finally arrived from Ukraine on Friday, just in time for Palmeiras to have him registered and in playing condition ahead of Saturday’s game. Egídio came on in the second half and looked good: I expect him to enter the starting eleven already coming week, either displacing Zé Roberto toward the middle or, more likely, alternating the bench with the veteran.

Speaking of veterans: Palmeiras this week finally reached an agreement to end the contract with centre-back Lúcio, who ever since the end of 2014 has been receiving his wages, although not anymore part of the working squad. The former World Champion has been negotiating with clubs from China and Australia, but without reaching a conclusion. After 47 games and two games for the Verdão, the club and athlete now part ways.

While some depart, others arrive. Palmeiras on Thursday announced having reached an agreement with 29-year-old attacking midfielder Fellype Gabriel, who started his career at Flamengo. The player has previously worked with coach Oswaldo both at Botafogo and Japanese club Kashima Antlers. Fellype’s arrival is one more indication that Palmeiras are preparing for a post-Valdivia experience.

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For months, Palmeiras and Adidas have been negotiating a new agreement, Palmeiras always making clear they are open to new proposals from competitors. And proposals have indeed arrived – the most interesting one from Puma – forcing Adidas to step up its game. Paulo Nobre has recently expressed optimism a new agreement will be reached with Adidas, and leaked photos of a supposedly new Palmeiras jersey, made by Adidas, reinforce the impression. I wouldn’t be surprised if a new agreement is announced within a week or two, where the former R$ 10 million/year (US$ 3.3 million) agreement has been substantially boosted, perhaps reaching R$ 15 million or more. After all, only a handful of teams in the world sell more Adidas jerseys than Palmeiras.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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Leading sporting goods supplier Adidas, responsible for all of Palmeiras’ match and training gear, has invited Palmeiras to participate in an exchange: coach Kleina was asked which other Adidas-sponsored team, in Europe, he would like to visit. He picked Bayern Munich, current champions of the European Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup. Kleina is keen to learn more about the working methods adopted by Pep Guardiola, as well as the philosophy and overall approach that has boosted German football as a whole in the last few years. In exchange, Kleina will offer insights on the current trends in South American and Brazilian football, as well as working methods at Palmeiras.

Today Gilson Kleina spoke about the offer for the first time, expressing his excitement regarding the opportunity to see the work of the Spaniard up close, even though dates are yet to be decided upon.

“Adidas came to me, said they liked the work being developed here [at Palmeiras]. It will be an exchange of information. I chose Bayern due to German football currently developing different strategies.” the coach explained to a radio station.

Is this happening now because of the centenary, as a little treat? Perhaps. Or it might have been in Adidas’ mind for some time, only now materialising. Or it might be another example of how the Nobre administration, in just one year, has managed to “upgrade” Palmeiras in the eyes of the World. Your pick.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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With the clock approaching stoppage time, Palmeiras yesterday seemed to head for the first draw in 2014. XV de Piracicaba hadn’t dominated the game, but certainly cornered Palmeiras on numerous occasions, making keeper Prass deserve his pay check. With Kardec opening up the scorecard and XV equalising already in the first half, the second half continued with a certain advantage towards the home team, until they started to feel the fatigue. That’s when Palmeiras’ stronger bench made all the difference: Mendieta, Diogo and França were determining factors, with the unlikely hero of the night being the defensive midfielder, receiving a pass from Mendieta, tricking the defence and masterfully scoring the winner. Make sure to watch the highlights below.

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The Palmeiras squad keep on growing, as the ninth and tenth players were presented this week:

Paulo Henrique is a left-back, who can double as a centre-back. He was brought up at Santos but out of action most of 2013 due to a serious knee injury. With a one-year contract, he was thrown in as a joker upon the conclusion of the Bruno César signing, their careers being handled by the same player manager.

josimarDefensive midfielder Josimar has left Internacional of Porto Alegre to sign a one-year loan contract with Palmeiras. He has worked with Gilson Kleina before and comes with the coach’s full blessing. In early 2013, Palmeiras tried to sign him but his salary demands were unrealistic. Now, Palmeiras offered him the same amount as in 2013 but with inclusion of productivity clauses, as with all newly arriving athletes at the club. Deal closed.

Only a year of new management, new attitudes, new concepts, new procedures. Only a year, and perceptions regarding Palmeiras have changed considerable. Palmeiras are respected. Palmeiras are the place to be. Players with multiple offers opt for the Verdão. Bruno César, expected to debut against Corinthians on 16 February, even gave up on receiving US$ 800.000 – a debt Al Ahli wanted to pass on to Palmeiras – in order to speed up the transfer process. Yes, things have changed. And this is only the beginning. 

AllianzParqueFevNot only Palmeiras are growing, but so is the Allianz Parque. Our new home stands 82% concluded, and now in February grass will be planted. Escalators are working. Various tests are being carried out, like during the recent visit by a group of physically disabled who perambulated the stadium in search of bottlenecks.

New Adidas training jerseys were introduced last weekend at Palmeiras. They pay homage to the first truly great Argentine football club – the Racing Club de Avellaneda – who were Argentine champions no less than seven times between 1913 and 1919, earning the nickname “La Academia”. In the 60ies, Racing again stood out from the rest with an incredible squad, while in Brazil, Palmeiras were the team to beat. That generation of players at the Verdão inevitably also became known as “A Academia”. The jersey is a beautiful example of honouring and recognising history.
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Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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