NAIROBI, Kenya and HERZOGENAURACH, Germany, January 6 /PRNewswire/ --
- Eto'o & Cameroon Help Launch Strategic Partnership to Support the 2010
International Year of Biodiversity
PUMA and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) were joined
today by the Indomitable Lions - Cameroon's national football team - with
team captain Samuel Eto'o, to announce a strategic partnership to support
biodiversity worldwide and specific initiatives in Africa.
The 'Play for Life' partnership will support the 2010 International Year
of Biodiversity by raising awareness about habitat and species conservation
among football fans and the general public during worldwide football events,
including the Orange Cup of African Nations in Angola later this month and
international friendly games leading up to the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South
Africa. With 12 African football team sponsorships to its name and a history
of innovation with Africa, PUMA is uniquely positioned to help drive this
effort with UNEP.
At their 'Play for Life' press conference held today in Nairobi, Kenya,
PUMA unveiled their key fundraising lever, the revolutionary new Africa Unity
Kit - the world's first 'continental football kit' designed to be worn by the
12 African football national teams that PUMA sponsors. These include the
World Cup qualified teams Ghana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Algeria who are
headed to the Africa Cup of Nations' with hosts Angola and the national teams
of Egypt, Mozambique, Togo and Tunisia, as well as non-qualified federations
of Senegal, Morocco and Namibia. Puma also sponsors some of the continent's
best players - Samuel Eto'o, Emmanuel Eboue and John Mensah.
The Africa Unity Kit has been approved by FIFA who have officially
recognised it as the Official 3rd kit to be worn by those PUMA-sponsored
With all eyes on Africa during the 2010 football season, the Africa Unity
Kit makes a compelling global statement. By supporting the Africa Unity Kit,
African teams are not only uniting as a powerful force in world football, but
also raising awareness of the importance of environmental issues. PUMA's
profits from sales of the replica fanwear for the Unity Kits will help fund
biodiversity programs in Africa, and in particular endangered species on the
continent such as lions, elephants, gorillas and the desert fox.
"In 2010, Africa will be at the centre of the footballing world. The
'Play for Life' campaign and the release of the Africa Unity Kit is a
powerful statement for PUMA. PUMA is creating a unique kit embracing the
diversity of African Nations teams while valuing the unity of players and
supporters towards a common goal," said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman and CEO, PUMA
AG who helped launch the Africa Unity Kit. "Biodiversity and therefore
valuing and protecting all life on our planet is a huge issue, not only in
Africa, but around the world - and we are proud to partner with UNEP to raise
both awareness and funds through the sale of our Unity products."
During 2010, PUMA is planning a range of products designed to generate
additional funds to support biodiversity, including PUMA Unity t-shirts and
PUMA Lacelets, collectable shoe laces featuring patterns from world-renowned
artist Kehinde Wiley. These products all bear the PUMA Yellow "life" Label,
which gives consumers an easy way to identify products that benefit projects
supported by PUMAVision, PUMA's Corporate Social Responsibility Program. A
portion of the profits from the Yellow "life" label products will also go to
fund the biodiversity programmes.
The International Year of Biodiversity (IYB) is a global initiative
launched by the United Nations for 2010 to help raise awareness on the
importance of biodiversity and to encourage worldwide action to conserve
plants and animals and the environments in which they live. The 'Play for
Life' campaign focuses on Africa, a continent that hosts exceptional
biodiversity including two of the five most important wilderness areas on
Earth - the Congo Basin, and Miombo-Mopane Woodlands and Savannas of Southern
Africa. Nine of the planet's 35 Biodiversity hotspots, the richest and most
threatened reservoirs of plant and animal life on Earth, are also in Africa.
According to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), biodiversity
is under threat around the planet - we are creating the greatest extinction
crisis since the natural disaster that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million
years ago. Species have been disappearing at up to 1,000 times the natural
rate, and this is predicted to rise dramatically. Based on current trends, an
estimated 34,000 plant and 5,200 animal species - including one in eight of
the world's bird species - face extinction.
"As the whole planet comes together for the World Cup, 2010 marks the
year when people around the world will unite to conserve the planet's almost
priceless natural resource - its biodiversity. UNEP is delighted to partner
with PUMA to bring this important message to millions of fans," said Angela
Cropper, UNEP's Deputy Executive Director, at the press conference today.
"The planet's living organisms are the building blocks of the
multi-trillion dollar services - from freshwater to agricultural nutrients -
that underpin all life on Earth including its economic, social and sporting
life. Bringing together the public's global passion for football with its
global passion for animals, plants and other life-forms surely makes a
match-winning team," she added.
Cameroon's captain Samuel Eto'o, flanked by fellow squad members at the
unveiling in Nairobi, commented: "The new Africa Unity Kit has inspired me
and my teammates. Not only are we very proud to wear a shirt that helps bring
the continent of Africa together but to do so for such an important cause is
truly an honour. Supporting the Africa Unity Kit sends out a positive message
for Africa - we are a uniting as a continent to help life and the planet."
The UNEP-PUMA 'Play for Life' campaign will support the International
Year of Biodiversity by:
- Raising awareness worldwide about biodiversity and the International
Year of Biodiversity among football fans and the general public during
football events including the African Nations Cup and international
- Raising awareness through Public Service Announcements featuring
- Encouraging the public to take action to conserve biodiversity
- Raising funds through the Africa Unity Kit and other PUMA Unity
football products under the Yellow "life" label to support biodiversity
projects in Africa.
Please Visit: http://www.pumafootball.com, http://www.unep.org,
For More Information Please Contact:
Tim Stedman, Edelman PR, +44-203-047-4097, firstname.lastname@example.org
James Regal, Edelman PR, +44-203-047-2158, email@example.com