WNBA star Stewart says signature shoe deal with Puma a game-changer

Oct 6, 2020; Bradenton, Florida, USA; Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart (30) leaves the court with an armful of confetti and a bottle of champagne after winning the 2020 WNBA Finals at IMG Academy. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

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NEW YORK, July 8 (Reuters) – Twice Olympic gold medalist and former WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart unveiled her signature shoe with Puma on Friday, the first such partnership in more than a decade in women’s professional basketball.

The Seattle Storm forward said she hopes the “Stewie 1” shoe will help pave the way for more exclusive shoes in women’s basketball, with lucrative deals often falling to the men’s side.

“One of the biggest selling points was Puma is going to obviously continue to invest in women, invest in women’s basketball, try and not only level the playing field between men and women’s basketball, but make it better,” the two-time WNBA champion told Reuters.

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Puma declined to provide details on the value of Stewart’s deal with the company but said the shoe would be available in North America in the fall.

“The biggest thing for me was the signature shoe, especially since it’s been over a decade since women’s basketball has had a signature shoe (to) continue to kind of get where we want to be as a sport,” said Stewart.

The deal comes as the 27-year-old former first overall pick relishes in her prime, selected as an All-Star for the fourth time this year after two Achilles surgeries made her miss a chunk of her early career.

She leads the WNBA with an average 21 points per game and said she has no plans to slow down any time soon, particularly after welcoming daughter Ruby with her wife, Marta, in August.

“Especially being a mum, I have a different perspective of what I do because I have another set of eyes always watching me,” she said.

After obliterating the Los Angeles Sparks 106-69 Thursday, the Storm sit behind only the Las Vegas Aces in the Western Conference standings, with a chance to bring home a fifth title before 13-time All-Star Sue Bird calls time on her transformative career.

“When Sue told the team that this was going to be her last year… it was a bittersweet moment,” said Stewart. “Sue deserves to get all the recognition.”

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Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York
Editing by Christian Radnedge

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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