Just a few months after ditching Nike for Puma, global football superstar Neymar has signed onto yet another long-term partnership.
The move comes as the U.K. branded clothing company plans to amplify its sustainable messaging in 2021. Superdry has pledged to become a 100 percent organic cotton brand by 2030 and is already supporting 400 farmers in India transition to organic farming as a part of its Grow Future Thinking initiative, it said.
“Obviously, when we talk about clothes, whatever their type, the first thing we want is comfort,” Neymar said in a statement. “It’s not different with underwear and sleepwear. But when you add [sustainability] to both first conditions, Superdry is, unquestionably, the best one I’ve found. I’m very happy with the development and potential of this partnership.”
Superdry has pledged an annual donation to support the Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr. A non-profit civil association based out of Praia Grande near where the Brazilian soccer icon grew up, it works to expand opportunities for children, adolescents and their families who live in a situation of social vulnerability through education, culture, sport and health. It currently has more than 2,000 children registered.
Puma released its first collection with Neymar this October, a little over a month after it first announced their long-term partnership. Centered around a black-and-white rendition of the Puma King Platinum football boot, it also included a tee, track jacket and track pant. On Dec. 9, Puma launched “a special teaser edition” of the upcoming Future Z 1.1 football boot, as well as a clothing collection featuring the Neymar jersey, shorts and off-pitch apparel.
Superdry accelerates ‘strategic reset’
The Neymar partnership arrives just a day after Superdry announced numerous upper management changes as it works to accelerate “the strategic reset of the brand.”
Most notably, the company named Julian Dunkerton permanent CEO. The company co-founder had previously stepped down as CEO in 2014, only to then come back as interim CEO last yeae. Dunkerton’s return, widely resisted by Superdry’s board and top management at the time, resulted in the resignation of much of the company’s leadership. In October of last year, the board voted to name Dunkerton CEO, with a contract set to expire in April 2021. Wednesday’s announcement extends this appointment “on a permanent basis.”
Superdry also named Silvana Bonello chief operating officer, effective March 1. Bonello has an extensive background at footwear companies, including Nike, where she spent 18 years, and Vans EMEA, where she most recently served as vice president of operations.
“I am delighted and excited to continue as the CEO of Superdry on a permanent basis, Silvana’s appointment as COO is an important next step for the business,” Dunkerton said in a statement. “With Silvana joining the executive team, we now have the right operational leadership to steer the business through these most uncertain times and drive the brand reset as we seek to inspire our customers with design-led, sustainable product and engage with them through our digital channels.
Meanwhile, Peter Williams will step down as chairman next year, once a successor is appointed. Williams joined in April last year, supporting Dunkerton’s return to Superdry. A process to appoint a new chair is currently underway, the company said.