Puma SE will end its sponsorship of Israel's football federation after 2024 as the German company focuses on fewer and higher-profile partnerships.
The decision is unrelated to the war in Gaza that began in October and was made late last year as part of Puma's new "fewer-bigger-better" strategy, the company said in an emailed statement.
As part of the new approach, Puma is also letting its contract with Serbia's football team expire next year and will introduce two newly signed sponsorships - including a "statement team"- later this year and in early 2024, it said.
Chief Executive Officer Arne Freundt took over leadership of Puma in November 2022 after his predecessor, Bjorn Gulden, became CEO of crosstown rival Adidas AG.
Freundt, who joined Puma in 2011, helped to develop the company's strategy under Gulden. Since taking the top job, he has moved to reposition Puma as a higher-end brand, focusing on the US market. That includes introducing higher-priced soccer, basketball and running sportswear and phasing out cheaper products.
As part of its new strategy, Puma reviewed its roster of national football programs, considering metrics including sales and participation in major international tournaments. Israel hasn't qualified for the sport's World Cup competition in more than 50 years.
The timing of the decision is standard when it comes to designing and developing new team jerseys, Puma said.
The stock rose as much as 2.4 per cent. The shares are down 3.6 per cent this year.