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Consulting for PUMA Hoops

June 12, 2023

Students and alumni at PUMA headquarters

Lasell University School of Fashion students spent the spring 2023 semester consulting for PUMA, the Boston-based international footwear and apparel giant. In May, they presented their findings and business recommendations at US headquarters to PUMA staff, including more than 10 Lasell alumni currently employed there.  

PUMA Women’s Hoops (PWH) challenged the Lasell cohort to research an enhanced brand ethos, ask tough questions about women and female athletes, create brand assets and expand awareness through narratives and promotions, develop a line of 15+ pieces to show how fashion connects the women’s basketball consumer, make the branded store experience more exciting, and create content for social media that allows consumers to “play” with the brand. PUMA Women’s Hoops Senior Product Line Manager Katie Stopera ’17, a Lasell alum and assistant women’s basketball coach, acted as liaison between the students and brand throughout the consulting project.

“The viewpoints from Lasell students were invaluable to our business,” says Stopera. “Their in-depth research and critical thinking tackled a very complicated business. From their expertise, we’ve gained a new outlook on women’s basketball, which includes new product suggestions, marketing slogans, and even more relatable branding.”

Lasell student suggestions have already been incorporated into planning for PUMA Hoops’ Spring/Summer 2025 range, says Stopera. She and her team walked away from the final presentation “feeling inspired on the future of women’s basketball and its limitless potential.”

The fashion media and merchandising majors coordinated their capstone project under the leadership of Caleigh Bain ’23 and Abbey Juknavorian ’23. The executive team oversaw the project’s objectives and deliverables, which included an IRB-approved survey, competitive analysis, and consumer personas. The results informed work done by each of the project’s additional teams: branding (Sophia Mazzone, Reagan Cola, Faith Costa, Jacqueline Minasian, and Emily Ohlson), product (James Smith, Katelyn Esposito, Cameron Goodwin, Erica Lops, Eva McElroy, Alexandra Stevas, and Heather DeCoste), and promotion (Valentina Ferrara, Emma Burke, Mekkah Johnson, Brandee Maldonado, and Lauryn Turner).

The students utilized skills gained over their four years studying fashion media and merchandising, including project management, creative and strategic planning, survey and data analysis, social media and ecommerce development, virtual and visual merchandising, graphic design, product development, and brand management.