Sahal Abdul Samad, India’s rising football star, has signed with German sportswear giant Puma as its new global ambassador. The 23-year-old, who has earned many plaudits from his peers and fans alike, will now join PUMA’s roster of Indian players like Sunil Chhetri, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and others.
The deal will also see Sahal join the likes of Virat Kohli, KL Rahul & company as a Puma Global Ambassador alongside global footballers like Antoine Griezmann, Romelu Lukaku, Luis Suárez and Sergio Aguero.
After signing the deal, Sahal said, “It’s a huge honour to sign with a global brand like PUMA… this is another great and positive step in my career. I’ve always motivated myself to perform at the highest level so it’s important I work with someone who has the same vision and gets me to new levels.”
— Sahal Abdul Samad (@sahal_samad) June 10, 2020
Baljit Rihal, CEO, Inventive Sports UK — the agency which looks after Sahal — said, “To be in the company of iconic athletes such as Virat Kohli, Sunil Chhetri and Mary Kom really does speak volumes about Sahal’s engagement with Puma. Of course it’s one of the worlds largest sports brands and we as his agency are confident that this association will elevate Sahal to even greater heights, not just in India but on a global scale.
From nowhere to becoming a force to be reckoned with within a matter of a few months, Sahal’s rise was nothing short of meteoric. He made the cut for Kerala Blasters’ senior team after impressing for the reserves. He had a stellar debut Indian Super League (ISL) season, winning he ISL Emerging Player of the Season, AIFF Emerging Men’s Player of the Year, and FPAI Fans’ Player of the Year.
On the back of his stellar performances for his club, Sahal was soon called up for the national team and he made the squad for the King’s Cup last year. He made his international debut against Curacao and has since bagged 9 international caps for the Blue Tigers.
Shakeel Abdulla and Wilbur Lasrado of Inventive Sports, who have been associated with Sahal since 2017, believe that this has been a long time coming. “Sahal deserves every bit of it. He has worked hard and has earned it all himself, like any other international athletes,” said Shakeel.
“We wanted to do something big with Sahal. I thus spoke to Puma over several phone calls, met them over a couple of times across different cities to work out the best for him. We went with Puma because it not only gave him comfort but at the same time, the best brand engagement,” said Wilbur.
“When we sign an athlete at Inventive Sports, we draw up a mandate, But our relationship with the athlete goes beyond that. It’s a personal relationship and it’s far more important than the paper and that’s what’s special about it,” he added.