PUMA and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) along with the Cameroon national team have announced details of 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.
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.
At their ‘Play for Life’ press conference held 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.
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 African teams.
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.
The sportlifestyle company has a host of other gear 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.
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.