Why Puma is Launching a Sustainability Podcast
By Ellen Ormesher
After the formation of its youth council earlier this year, the sportswear brand is launching a podcast series to make sustainability accessible to a younger audience.
The feedback Puma got from young people on the council it set up earlier this year was that the language brands use around sustainability is often too complicated for consumers to understand. “We needed to do something about that,” Kerstin Neuber, head of communications at the sports brand, tells The Drum.
And so it created Re:gen Reports, a podcast that aims to demystify sustainability and empower audiences to make changes toward becoming part of the solution.
Neuber says the trick has been to not oversimplify or trivialize the topic: “Sustainability is important and serious and we can’t shy away from that. The podcast combines the voices of young people with those of experts at Puma and throughout its supply chain who are doing the work to make the brand and others better.”
She adds that as the brand’s target audience is young people, it needs to meet them where they are – social media. “There’s a full social media rollout plan that features the young people in the podcast as well as leveraging their channels.”
Moreover, she says podcasts are an advantageous way of leveraging a social media audience. “The data has shown us that this is the right medium for our message. According to the 2022 Spotify Culture Next Report, Gen Z podcast listeners in the US increased by 62% on Spotify between Q1 2022 and the year prior. We’ve taken our 300+ page report and distilled it down into digestible episodes for listeners to access via a medium they’re already engaged in.”
Earlier this year, Puma appointed a youth panel made up of young environmentalists to help critique the brand on its sustainability strategy. It won the brand plenty of plaudits and familiar faces from the board will be returning for the podcast. Andrew Burgess and Luke Jaque-Rodney are featured in Re:gen Reports as hosts of the Circularity and Chemicals episodes respectively, too. “They fed into the scripts for their episodes and were instrumental in crafting the conversations.
“The podcast also gave us the opportunity to collaborate with additional voices from across the world and bring wider perspectives into the conversation. As well as Luke and Andrew, we also feature Melissa Tan from Malaysia, Ridudaman Bevli from India, Bertha Shum from Hong Kong, Monica Buchan-Ng from the UK and Anya Dillard, Diandra Marizet, Yumika Hoskin and Amina Shakeel from the US.”
Nueber says the success of the podcast will be measured by the number of downloads it gets and the level of social media engagement, as well as the conversations it triggers. “As this is an industry first, Re:Gen Reports sets the standard for projects of this nature, which is exciting in itself – we’re innovating and setting a blueprint.”
Going forward, she says Puma wants to continue its trend of starting conversations around sustainability. “When we launched Voices of a Re:Generation, we saw a lot of conversation on LinkedIn from NGOs, businesses and young people. We’re hoping for more of that with the podcast; we want to keep the conversation going and to continue to challenge the status quo.”
Credit: The Drum