Interview with Thomas Josnik
on the Las Vegas GP 🏎️

"The impact we made was only possible because we were so tightly connected as a team."

November 24, 2023

"The impact we made was only possible because we were so tightly connected as a team."

November 24, 2023

Back from the Las Vegas GP, Thomas Josnik, our Motorsport BU General Manager, shares his experiences around “the Super Bowl on Wheels” and the 1.5 years of planning, leading up to the spectacle. We had the chance to sit down and have a chat with Thomas as he reflects on the event, shares his insights, and offers an outlook on the future of lifestyle and motorsport.

You have been in Las Vegas for the past days, take us with you on the track: What did your days look like?

Thomas: Las Vegas has been an amazing experience! Having the race in Vegas for the first time after 40 years really made it special, a night race in the city with the unique atmosphere of entertainment, it was exceptional. We obviously had many activities going on, so days started early and, and with Qualifying and Race being late, days finished far after midnight – but the energy of Vegas made time flying by anyway. We hosted customers, presented Strategy and Products, joined several activations and on top met all our Motorsport Partners who were all present at the F1 GP in Las Vegas.


We had a lot of activities for fans, Drivers, and media in Las Vegas, would you like to highlight the most important ones for us?
Thomas: 1.5 Years of planning and detailed alignment was crowned by success and for that I want to say a big thanks to all people and team members who were part of the great journey. The PUMA North America team with all functions was a strong partner for us in the HQ to make this event happen. To mention a few highlights, we had an integrated concept with Ferrari x Joshua Vides including activations, special drivers race suits and products in-store – this was really well done! On top we hosted a Car Club Event inviting customers and influencers to dive into the world of car culture, a top class customer brand presentation with guests on stage, a PUMA Hospitality Suite in the Paddock Club, hosting athletes, customers and Rhianna as well as A$AP Rocky. An A$AP Rocky pop-up activation truly in the spirit of underground car culture and as another highlight two mega spots on the SPHERE. A true PUMA brand moment visible far and wide through the night of Las Vegas. There was so much more and it all went great!

What was the greatest experience for you in Las Vegas?

Thomas: The greatest experience was certainly the visibility of PUMA as a brand. We called Las Vegas the “Superbowl on wheels” and in fact we really made a brand statement – PUMA owned that space! Moreover, it was a great moment for everyone involved to see all we had been planning with so many team members across different functions and locations over more than a year coming together.

All the impact we made was only possible because we were so tightly connected as a team, and everyone contributed in the best possible way.


Do you believe US audiences, who in the past preferred NASCAR and INDYCAR, have warmed up to Formula 1?

Thomas: Netflix has certainly helped to amplify F1 in the US and we could already see increasing attendance for the Race in Austin and Miami being installed as a second race in the US with many celebrities attending. Now the Las Vegas GP was certainly another milestone with an unseen spectacle and – on top – the race itself was really exciting! F1 is definitely here in the US to stay!

We presented several new collections prior to and at the LV GP, can you explain how they align with our brand strategy?

Thomas: Motorsport as a sport is essentially FOREVER.FASTER. and part of PUMA’s DNA. We have our roots in sports and therefore the collection with Joshua Vides x Scuderia Ferrari was an integrated concept where the car livery, the race suits, teamwear and all commercial products had one design language going from the track to the street. Additionally, all activities around A$AP Rocky, our creative director for the F1 partnership, were unique and unexpected – very much in the PUMA spirit.


You work at the intersection of Motorsport and Lifestyle day-to-day – what are the current trends you see for the future in Motorsport?
Thomas: Motorsport itself is on trend and you can see see traces of it in streetwear like racewear inspired apparel, batching stories, car graphics. Also, the silhouettes of racing boots, very slim and low profile has been influencing the streetwear trend for some time now. Our Speed Cat silhouette originally had it’s roots as a driving boot. Motorsport is immensely trending in streetwear and fashion.

What is currently your favorite piece from the new collections?

Thomas: There are just too many great pieces, so for me it’s too tough to choose only one 😉.


We recently announced our deal with A$AP Rocky – what do you expect from this collaboration in the future?
Thomas: A$AP Rocky is the creative Director for our F1 Partnership and the PUMA Team in LA is doing a great job funneling A$AP Rocky’s creativity into the world of F1, bringing a different take on the sport. F1 wants to become younger and open up to a wider fan base, and his work is definitely introducing different consumers to the sports. We saw his unique approach at the first drop in Vegas, the way he launched the products in his pop-up store.

How do you measure the success of events like the Las Vegas GP?

Thomas: We will now sit and digest the impact we created. The success will be reflected by our social media score, media reach, sell through of product, etc. However, the first response from customers, fans and also the F1 teams is very positive, and everyone is impressed by PUMA’s visibility in Las Vegas.

What are you looking forward to the most for next season when we will be officially F1 partner?

Thomas: Being the official Partner for F1 is another step towards being the leading Sports Brand in Motorsport. We will be operating the trackside distribution through our subsidiary stichd, we will launch a wider F1 product collection of fanwear and lifestyle and we will extend our marketing activities around the largest entertainment spectacle on the planet (how F1 calls itself). The beauty of this partnership is that it spans across multiple dimensions – there is more to come and we are excited!

Which GP of the 2024 calendar (or ever) is your favorite one?
Thomas: All GP’s are unique, though my favorite race is Monza, especially as my son is a huge Ferrari fan and the home race of the Tifosi is a special highlight for him, too.

We are looking forward to seeing more PUMA brand moments on and off the tracks!

Thank you so much for your time, Thomas!

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