PUMA, which sponsored all five African teams at the 2006 FIFA World Cup™, is again at the forefront of African football when the 2008 African Cup of Nations kick-off on Sunday in Ghana. As the official supplier to a dozen national teams across Africa, PUMA will be worn by nine of the 16 teams in the tournament, including hosts Ghana and defending champion Egypt.
"The fact that 20 of 24 games in the group stage of the African Cup of Nations will feature the PUMA logo is a statement we are proud to make," says PUMA Chairman and CEO, Jochen Zeitz. "PUMA’s commitment to African football as the leading supplier runs deep, much like the passion that Africa shows for the game of football itself."
Along with Ghana and Egypt, PUMA’s teams also include talented sides from Angola, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia, as well as African Cup of Nations first-timer Namibia. In fact, seven of the games in the group phase will be between teams wearing the Leaping Cat logo. Each PUMA team will wear PUMA’s new v1.08 products that launch in stores this week with a full collection of performance footwear, apparel and accessories.
"This is an exciting kick-off for an extraordinary year in sports for the world and for PUMA," said Zeitz. "We can’t think of a better way to kick it off then with our activities in Africa and the support of PUMA’s national teams at the African Cup of Nations. Then it’s on to EURO 2008™, where PUMA will be worn by the world champions Italy, the host nations – Austria and Switzerland – Czech Republic and EURO-newcomer Poland."
In addition, PUMA will activate several activities on the ground during the tournament. Jochen Zeitz and the Peace One Day charity will co-host a youth exhibition game on January 19 in Accra on the eve of the opening game, together with African football legends Roger Milla and Anthony Yeboah. PUMA supports Peace One Day charity through the development of an own football collection, which will be presented at the tournament.
On the eve of the African Cup Of Nations 2008 in Ghana, Sportlifestyle company PUMA and the non-profit organization Peace One Day will jointly host a local children’s football match to launch PUMA’s Peace One Day (POD) Football Collection and the limited edition edun LIVE - with the goal that all products related to this fundraising will ultimately be sourced and manufactured in Africa.
The PUMA POD collection consists of a specific designed Peace One Day football and accessories, and will be sold world-wide from May 2008. Sales proceeds will go to the POD organization and their work in promoting an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence, 21 September – Peace Day.
The children’s football tournament will take place in Accra’s Kawakudi Park . This match will initiate the POD - PUMA "One Day OneGoal" initiative, which aims to manifest football matches all over the world on Peace Day, 21 September. . The teams will be created with players from different elements of the community mixed amongst each side, symbolizing cooperation, unity and the common love of football.
Jochen Zeitz, CEO and Chairman of PUMA: "We support the aim of Peace One Day and want to make a contribution to the generation of global peace on one day. Within our commitment, we have developed a special POD football collection and we are delighted to be a strong and long-term partner of this exemplary initiative."
Peace One Day began life as a film project, the vision of one man, British filmmaker, Jeremy Gilley. Launched in September 1999, Peace One Day has gained active support from governments through to individuals the world over. In 2001, Peace One Day achieved its primary objective when the UN general assembly unanimously adopted a resolution to formally establish an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence. Peace Day — is now fixed as 21 September each year.
The PUMA Peace One Day football collection consists of a football, mini ball, wristlet, key ring stress ball and screen wiper ball.