Bolt to Wear “PUMA Africa Unity” colours to support World Cup qualified African football teams
When Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, races in striking new Lava spikes at the 2010 IAAF Diamond League Series in Shanghai , China on May 23 he will show his support of the African football teams headed to the World Cup.
The Jamaican sprinter’s brown and blue race singlet will bear the same graphics as the Africa Unity Kit – the World’s first continental football kit – which many PUMA sponsored African football teams have been wearing to show solidarity for the continent of Africa.
The debut of this unique singlet follows on the heels of International Biodiversity Day, which is celebrated on May 22nd.
“Football is one of my favourite sports and I’m looking forward to watching the World Cup. Last year I had a chance to meet Samuel Eto’o and some of the other African footballers. It’s an honour to wear the same colours during the Shanghai meet that PUMA’s African football teams have been wearing. This is one way that I can cheer them on from afar. Whether we play football or run track, we’re all united as proud athletes representing our countries,” Bolt said.
Bolt will also wear the new PUMA Lava Spike shoe which incorporates the technology that helped him shatter the 100m and 200m world records in Berlin last year. One of the lightest sprint spikes, the new lava flow design represents the power at the Earth’s core.
Bolt will also be showing his support for the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity – a United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) initiative which generates awareness of habitat and species conservation.
In January 2010 PUMA and UNEP launched the Africa Unity Kit, the world’s first continental football kit and proceeds from the sale of the replica fanwear help fund biodiversity programmes in Africa.
The Africa Unity Kit has been recognized as the official third kit for PUMA’s 13 sponsored African teams, four of which have qualified for World Cup ( Cameroon , Algeria , Ghana and Ivory Coast ). The brown and blue kit colours represent the African soil and sky – and the shade of brown was custom created by mixing soil samples from four African nations.
Bolt’s May 23rd race is highly anticipated as it marks his first race of the 2010 IAAF Diamond League season.
Sportlifestyle Company to Host Cameroon, Ghana and Ivory Coast Football Teams in Paris for Exhibition Game Before World Cup™
PUMA to Host Free Concert Featuring Africa Express Artists
PUMA announce that they will host the ‘Africa Unity Experience’ in Paris from May 28-29 as the brand’s kick-off for World Cup. It will include an Africa Unity Exhibition Game at 6pm on Friday May 28 when players from Cameroon, Ghana and Ivory Coast will participate in an exhibition match in front of a capacity crowd at the Stade Michel Hidalgo.
There will also be a free concert sponsored by PUMA and curated by Africa Express at 7.30pm on Friday May 28. Africa Express is a collective of African and Western musicians with the mission to bring African music to a wider audience – headliners include Tiken Jah Fakoly (Ivory Coast), M3NSA and M.ANIFEST (Ghana), Les Nubians (Cameroon) and Amazigh Kateb (Algeria). PUMA footballers and Hollywood star Djimon Hounsou will also make an appearance.
On Saturday May 29, the activities conclude with an Africa Unity Experience Camp, where fans will have a chance to go toe-to-toe with current PUMA players and African football legends such as Roger Milla and Tony Yeboah, in a series of skills challenges.
This series of high impact ‘Unity’ events will generate fan support, build consumer engagement in advance of South Africa and raise funds and awareness for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and PUMA’s 2010 International Year of Biodiversity project ‘Play For Life’.
PUMA’s breakthrough Africa Unity Kit—the first-ever continental kit, designed to be worn as a third uniform for PUMA’s 13 African football teams—will be showcased throughout the Africa Unity Exhibition Game.
“We’re excited to host the Africa Unity Experience—PUMA’s official send-off to the African teams who are World Cup bound,” said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman and CEO of PUMA. “It is through events like these that PUMA’s positioning as a sportlifestyle brand really comes to life. It represents the perfect marriage of sport and music and culture, bringing the Unity message into focus. With our partner UNEP, and with the full support of the African Football Federations, we hope to raise awareness and interest in the topic of biodiversity through our activities during Africa Unity Experience event.”
Internationally acclaimed artist, Kehinde Wiley, has partnered with PUMA to create four original works of art inspired by three of football’s most decorated players, Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon, John Mensah of Ghana and Emmanuel Eboué of Ivory Coast. Wiley painted three individual portraits of each player wearing the Africa Unity Kit, and then a fourth ‘Unity’ Portrait was painted with all three players together, symbolizing the united countries of Africa.
These individual portraits, measuring 5 feet by 6 feet and the ‘Unity’ portrait measuring 9 feet by 12 feet, were unveiled in Berlin in January 2010 and have been travelling as an exhibition beginning in Paris, and will finally end up in South Africa in June.
The Kehinde Wiley exhibition will be held at Studio One, 186 Bree Street, Cape Town, from 24 June – 3 July 2010. Viewing will be open to the public from 10am – 6pm daily. Join in celebrating Africa’s heritage and unity by coming to view this exclusive exhibition. For further information please contact Splash PR on 021 790 9911.