In the light of PUMA’s ongoing and long-term commitment for the African football, PUMA and the Fédération Ivoirienne de Football (FIF) also announced a multi-year extension of their successful partnership beyond the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
"The Ivory Coast is one of Africa’s – and the world’s – most talented teams, as we’ve seen at the 2006 World Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations the past two weeks," said Zeitz. "PUMA is proud to work with the FIF and support Les Elephants for many years to come."
Les Elephants, as the national team is called back home, have been one of Africa’s top teams for several decades, losing in the semi-finals in this year’s ACN against winner Egypt after having won the African Cup of Nations once (1992). In 2006, the team made its first-ever World Cup appearance. Aside from their exciting style of play, Les Elephants are also known for their colorful orange pop-colored uniforms. The extension was made official last week by PUMA Vice President Horst Widmann and FIF President Jacques Bernard Anouma at the Africa Cup of Nations.
For the sixth time a PUMA sponsored football team won the African Cup of Nations (ACN): Egypt beat the also PUMA sponsored Lions from Cameroon 1:0 in Sunday’s final, extending their record number of titles to six.
"Egypt’s victory is the glorious end to a tournament that was incredibly successful for us," said Jochen Zeitz, PUMA Chairman and CEO. "Our brand visibility at the African Cup of Nations clearly not only strengthened but expanded our position as one of the top three football brands. This is a great starting position for the World Cup 2010 in South Africa, where PUMA will once again be the most dominant brand in African football."
The contract between the Egyptian Football Association and PUMA was signed in January 2006 and PUMA will support the team beyond the World Cup in South Africa until December 31, 2010.
As the official supplier to a dozen national teams across Africa, PUMA was worn by nine of the 16 teams in the tournament. PUMA gained brand visibility throughout 87.5% of the tournament, showing the strongest brand visibility on the pitch. That being, in 28 out of the 32 games, at least one PUMA team was present, equating to 42 hours of on-pitch action. In the semi-finals, all teams were supplied by PUMA - making PUMA the most prominent brand.