PUMA already started to gear up for the Football World Cup in South Africa in 2010 – the first sport event of the magnitude of a Football World Cup on African soil. In the world of football, PUMA is synonymous with Africa. This is the result of over ten years of our continued investment to further boost the image of the African game.
To manifest our commitment to Africa, we have even gone as far as alternating our PUMA Number One Logo for the first time in the company’s history, replacing the iconic PUMA cat with the African continent in advertising and in-store materials. The PUMA Africa logo will be exclusively used during the World Cup for print ads, instore materials and some product styles.
The new logo was launched with the African Cup of Nations in January, which was our warm up in the football year 2010. Ten PUMA teams out of a total of 16 participated in the tournament in Angola. The players of Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Togo, Tunisia, Mozambique, Algeria, Egypt, Ghana and Ivory Coast all sported the leaping cat on their jerseys. For the first time, PUMA was the Official Fan Supplier of the tournament and operated shopping areas outside the stadiums in Angola during the event. Egypt won the final of the African Cup of Nations for the third successive time today and seventh overall, beating PUMA-sponsored team Ghana 1-0.
Seven national PUMA teams out of a total of 32 qualified for the football highlight of the year, which will kick off on June 11th in Johannesburg. Current World Champion Italy, Cameroon, Algeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Switzerland and Uruguay all passed the qualification stage and will be wearing the new PUMA v1.10 playing kits.
PUMA has also partnered with artist Kehinde Wiley, the internationally acclaimed, half-Nigerian American-born painter, in order to create a series of four original artworks featuring Africa’s most prominent football players, Samuel Eto’o, John Mensah and Emmanuel Eboué. The four commissioned portraits will be used to build a limited edition collection of apparel that will be sold during the 2010 World Cup.
Also taking PUMA forward to the World Cup was the launch of the new PUMA speed boot: the v1.10. This product was supported by the first in a series of LOVE = FOOTBALL creative executions.
This past year saw many large marketing initiatives in the Teamsport division. PUMA launched a new boot to its King line: the PUMA King XL Italia. This boot was accompanied by a limited edition kit, ball, and gloves. The PUMA King XL Italia Collection coincided with the 80th anniversary of Vittorio Pozzo’s appointment as Italy’s first full-time national coach – the only coach to have won two World Cup™ titles and the creator of the tactical il Metodo formation. At the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup™ in South Africa, Gli Azzurri wore this collection.
In 2009, PUMA became an official partner of the United States’ Women’s Professional Soccer League. As an official partner of WPS, PUMA is the supplier of the league uniforms, training gear, on-field gear and equipment, including the official WPS Match Ball and fanwear such as tees, replica jerseys and accessories.
The league’s inaugural season was supported by PUMA’s ‘Recognize Awesome’ campaign, featured in print, television, and web media. Also new to Teamsport marketing was the India Premier League (IPL) and the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) League, both highlighted by extensive campaigns throughout their respective countries.