How PUMA built an interim headquarters in record time

The iconic sportswear brand tapped WeWork for a temporary office that would energize current and prospective employees

Around the world, companies of all sizes find space to succeed at WeWork. Our case studies share their unique stories.

The challenge: finding an interim space that reflects a global brand and attracts talent  

An office is more than just where people work. This is especially true for PUMA’s Boston-based teams, which include marketing and product design. For them, an office space needs to be inspirational for employees thinking up their next big campaign or sneaker design and aspirational for talent interviewing at the multinational sportswear company.

Unfortunately, PUMA didn’t have that at their previous office.

“It was outdated, dark, sparse—it was hard to generate energy,” says Tom Coen, vice president and deputy general counsel at PUMA. “It was not a modern space that employees and candidates expected. And we had the opportunity to fix that.”

That occasion came when the lease expired and the building was marked for demolition. PUMA started designing a Boston headquarters that would get employees excited to come to work every day—an office they would be proud of.

“Boston is a key location in the United States for an athletic footwear and apparel company,” Coen says. “There’s a tremendous amount of talent in this area, so we needed to do everything we could to have a compelling office environment to attract and retain new hires.”

But it would be a full two years between breaking ground on the headquarters and moving in. PUMA’s executive team knew that it was crucial to maintain the employee experience during that time. 

They sought an interim office that didn’t feel like a generic swing space. Even though it would be for only two years, PUMA needed a workspace that reflected their dynamic brand. Without it, they’d be at a disadvantage in Boston’s competitive market. In addition, Boston is an international hub for the company, and the space needed to accommodate—and invigorate—visiting teams from around the world.

And true to their slogan, “Forever Faster,” PUMA required a real estate solution quickly.

The solution: an inspired workplace in record time

With WeWork’s agile real estate offering, PUMA now had a partner that could move at the necessary pace. WeWork built out two floors at 33 Arch St in downtown Boston for 250 PUMA employees. The reception desk bears PUMA’s logo, and a large wall is emblazoned with the “Forever Faster” slogan. Custom paintings, inspired by street art, hang in the halls. Large windows look out over downtown Boston.

“For two floors, 60,000 square feet in downtown Boston, the pace felt pretty insane,” says Kate Armanetti, head of human resources at PUMA. In fact, the entire project was delivered to PUMA within eight months. But despite the accelerated time line, WeWork completed the project without compromising quality. “It was done fast—and it was done well,” Armanetti says.

PUMA’s new workspace offers functional spaces customized to their employees’ unique needs—including a conference room that doubles as a sneaker showroom, a photo studio for marketing shoots, and storage spaces to hold the different materials used in product design. In addition, the office has a number of space types, from quiet nooks and phone booths for heads-down work to lounges for collaboration and conference rooms for private meetings.

“What we found impactful was the time that WeWork spent with us learning about our business, and how that translated into a design specific to PUMA,” Coen says. “WeWork understands what our designers need to make footwear and what marketers need to foster creativity.”

The result: an on-brand, agile space solution that energizes current and prospective employees

PUMA’s WeWork space so fully embodies their brand that it’s helping them achieve key business objectives. 

“We ended up with a space that feels like a PUMA office, not a WeWork office,” says Adam Petrick, global director of brand and marketing at PUMA. “I’m proud to be able to bring clients, celebrities, and all of our ambassadors into this space.”

As the company continues to see double-digit growth in all product segments, PUMA now has a workplace environment that attracts and retains talent as they push to further innovate.

“We’re seeing more candidates in the door than ever before,” Armanetti says. 

What started out as an agile space solution to meet a pressing need has become a valuable business asset.

“We ended up coming out with an office far better than the one we left,” adds Coen. “Our employees reap the benefit of it every single day.”

Key highlights

  • Prime downtown Boston location 
  • Move-in-ready space within eight months
  • Design that reflects PUMA’s iconic brand and assists in talent acquisition and retention
  • Purpose-built spatial features to meet the needs of marketing and product-design teams

WeWork offers companies of all sizes space solutions that help solve their biggest business challenges.

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