Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma has signed a multiyear extension of his footwear and apparel endorsement partnership with the GOAT app as he continues to expand his personal brand on and off the court.
Short for "Greatest Of All Time," the app was founded in 2015 and is now the world's largest digital sneaker marketplace, with over 20 million users and 1 million listings across 164 countries.
Kuzma first partnered with GOAT at the beginning of last season while still under contract with Nike, allowing him access to limited edition and rare, hard-to-find sneakers. At the time, the unique framework of the deal, a procurement shoe deal atop his existing shoe deal, was heavily discussed and commended by his peers.
"The shock around the league was very good," Kuzma said, with a smile. "A lot of guys hit me and said I was thinking outside the box."
Kuzma will also showcase GOAT's newly launched apparel and streetwear selections through his pregame arena entry outfits. The GOAT app will feature a selection of more than 50 streetwear and luxury brands during its pilot apparel offering.
"I'm really excited to continue my partnership with GOAT," said Kuzma. "It's been great working together and getting to show off a bit of my style through my favorite shoes and gear."
Though he began his NBA career with Nike, Kuzma is now a headlining endorser of Puma and plans to wear Puma sneakers to bring awareness for the brand to the marketplace app landscape. After relaunching its presence in the NBA at the start of the 2018 season, Puma has looked to sign expressive and versatile personalities like Kuzma that bring a crossover appeal to the space.
Kuzma will also have access to sneakers from a variety of high-fashion brands currently available on GOAT under the Kering Group's stable of companies, including Gucci, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga.
Kuzma is expected to be seen wearing several of the Kering Group's luxury brand sneakers for his arena entries, and will also plan to debut and highlight pieces from Puma's upcoming designer fashion capsule collections.
"Not only does GOAT have the sneakers I can't get anywhere else, but their expansion into apparel and accessories lets me evolve my style even more," he said. "This is a big year for me and I look forward to continuing my partnership with GOAT."
As the GOAT app looks to continue partnering with additional athletes, it also launched its first team sponsorship earlier this season, placing logo signage throughout the tunnel entryway of the Barclays Center, conveniently visible as players arrive for games in their highly photographed outfits. Kuzma's contract extension was finalized just before the Lakers' road win against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night.
"Sneakers aren't just a basketball shoe anymore; it's a lifestyle thing. What we've seen is that sneakers transcend basketball," said Eddy Lu, GOAT Group CEO and co-founder. "It's also [become about] the off-the-court entrance and telling a story."