Skip to main content

Puma drops sponsorship of Israeli Football Association

Puma previously financed the Israel Football Association, which includes teams based in Israel’s illegal settlements in the Palestinian West Bank.

In December 2023, Puma announced that it would not be renewing its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association (IFA), after years of pressure from campaigners including a long-standing boycott call.

Puma’s decision comes amidst Israel’s brutal siege against Palestine, which has killed more than 33,000 Palestinians and displaced over 1.7 million (to date).

Why was Puma boycotted?

The sportswear brand faced boycott calls since 2018, over accusations that its support for the IFA helped legitimise Israel’s illegal settlement activities on Palestinian land.

The IFA includes teams that operate in Israeli settlements, which the United Nations has declared illegal under international law.

The German company Puma was the only major international corporation to sponsor the IFA after replacing Adidas when it pulled out in 2018.

A boycott of the brand was called by the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) National Committee, a movement campaigning for international withdrawal of financial and cultural support for the Israeli state and complicit institutions and companies “until it complies with international law”.

Puma’s decision to stop sponsoring the IFA

Puma’s decision follows mounting pressure on the company in recent years. The brand has faced protests at its offices and stores and has been dropped by a number of athletes, artists and shops.

In 2018, over 200 Palestinian football teams wrote a letter to Puma, calling on it to end its sponsorship. Liverpool and Chester football clubs also decided not to renew sponsorship contracts with the brand, which Palestine Solidarity Campaign said was a result of following campaign pressure. After Israel’s attacks on Gaza escalated in October 2023, Ireland’s biggest sportswear chain O’Neills also dropped Puma products from stores.

The BDS movement welcomed Puma’s recent decision, saying, “The years of relentless, global BDS pressure on PUMA and the damage to its image should be a lesson to all companies supporting Israeli apartheid, that complicity has consequences.”

Puma said that its decision – which was announced by the Financial Times after an internal memo was leaked – did not reflect campaign pressure. 

Are people still calling for a boycott of Puma?

According to BDS, Puma “will not be renewing its IFA contract when it expires in December 2024. Until then, it is still complicit, so we continue to #BoycottPUMA until it finally ends its complicity in apartheid."

So until December, there is still a boycott call against Puma.

What’s the issue with Israeli settlements?

BDS campaigns against multiple companies implicated in Israeli settlements – communities established on land in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Israeli settlements violate the international humanitarian laws known as the Geneva Convention, which prohibit a state from moving its own civilians into territory it occupies.

Israeli citizens have moved into empty land or directly into Palestinian property, often with state support, meaning Palestinian residents are forced to vacate their homes and land. 

Around 10% of Israel’s population now live in 150 settlements and 128 outposts.

Our boycotts list is an up-to-date guide of progressive boycott campaigns, including those targeting companies complicit in abuses of Palestinian human rights.