This year’s football World Cup has only just started for most. But already Puma‘s attentions are turning to the next competition to be held in 2010 in South Africa.

Jochen Zeitz, chief executive of the German sporting goods group, said he wanted to build on Puma’s dominance of African football to quadruple its revenues in the continent by 2012.

Puma has already more than doubled turnover in Africa in each of the past two years and the region accounts for about 3 per cent of its ?2bn ($2.52bn) sales. “Only 1,295 days left to the World Cup year 2010,” said Mr Zeitz in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Puma is sponsoring all five African teams in the current World Cup, including Ivory Coast and Ghana, and sponsors a further five teams from the continent such as Senegal and Cameroon. It also supports United For Africa, an aid organisation, and is basing much of its marketing push on African teams.

Puma is the leading football brand in Africa and in the top three overall in the sporting goods market. But Mr Zeitz said becoming number one was not the goal.

“That is never our goal - we always set our goals against what we can achieve not against our competitors. In the bigger picture Africa isn’t the largest region for us but it is important. It represents what our brand stands for - having fun and innovating. It has much more significance than pure blunt turnover.”

Puma’s goal in football has been to establish itself as a strong third player alongside Adidas and Nike. At this year’s World Cup it is sponsoring the most teams - 12 against Nike’s eight and Adidas’ six, but rivals snipe that it has picked up sides few are interested in.

Mr Zeitz said he felt Puma had now successfully broadened the big two in football into a big three.

He added on the current World Cup: “The World Cup is a great success - the stadiums are full, the fans are great and overall there is a very positive atmosphere, which is good for Germany.”

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