Puma and UNEP Announce Strategic Partnership to Support the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity
Puma Unveils World's First Continental Football Kit to Support this Global Cause
Nairobi, Kenya / Herzogenaurach, Germany, 6 January 2010 - 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.
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.
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 Eboué 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 African teams.