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"Play For Life" Raises Funds to Protect Species and Habitats in Africa

PUMAŽ and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Announce Donation Recipients

Proceeds from 'The Play For Life' Campaign to Fund Conservation Programs in Africa in Support of the International Year of Biodiversity

Nairobi, Kenya / Herzogenaurach, Germany- (July 16, 2010) - PUMAŽ and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) announced, Friday, three major conservation projects in Africa as beneficiaries of the 'Play For Life' Campaign, a World Cup inspired partnership to support the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity.

Proceeds generated from the campaign will be donated to beneficiary projects that will help save: African lions in Zambia (The African Lion: King Without A Kingdom Project); elephant populations in the Ivory Coast and Liberia (Support for the Elephants Project); and gorillas in Nigeria's Mbe Mountains (Promoting Community Participation in Gorilla Conservation).

Football fans and the wider public directed the final donations by voting for their favorite cause on FACEBOOK.COM/PUMA and via a UNEP enabled website.

In January 2010, PUMAŽ and UNEP formed an alliance to launch the 'Play For Life Campaign', a global initiative dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of species and habitat conservation amongst football fans and the general public during this World Cup year, which saw the tournament take place for the first time in Africa. 'Play for Life' focuses on Africa, a continent that hosts exceptional biodiversity and is home to some of the richest and most threatened reservoirs of plant and animal life on Earth.

"PUMA has a long standing relationship with Africa and African Football, and as a corporation dedicated to sustainable futures, we could not ignore the growing environmental challenges that face the region," said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman and CEO, PUMA AG. "With 13 sponsored African national football teams, we were uniquely positioned and honored to help champion this cause with UNEP. The global appeal of football made it a powerful and inventive medium to promote the importance of biodiversity, engage with millions around the world and raise both awareness and resources to help these causes."

The 'Play for Life' campaign promoted the International Year of Biodiversity through a combination of events, public service announcements with Cameroon footballer Samuel Eto'o, social networks, PUMA retail and fundraising activities. Each element of the program encouraged the public to take action and get involved. The public, through online voting chose the three beneficiaries for the campaign donations.

Satinder Bindra, UNEP's Director of Communications, said: "Through this valuable partnership with PUMA, we are enabling millions of football fans around the globe to play an active role in conservation. The 'Play For Life' donations will directly benefit major conservation projects in Africa. In the Ivory Coast and Liberia, we will support a project that focuses on creating and preserving migration corridors for the elephants. In Zambia, we will support the provision of accurate estimates of lion populations and the development of national management strategies for their conservation. In the Mbe Mountains, we will support the hiring and training of ecoguards and Gorilla guardians. We hope that this collaboration will empower ordinary people to play a part in landmark conservation projects. "

PUMA's main fundraising vehicle was the revolutionary new Unity Kit was endorsed by all 4 PUMA sponsored African national teams. Inspired by the African landscape, the Unity Kit bespoke colourway represents the sky, sun and actual soil samples taken from Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast and South Africa. A portion of the profits from the sale of replica PUMA Unity Kits, Unity Tees, and PUMA Lacelets will be given to the selected biodiversity conservation programs.

Event highlights include the Africa Unity Experience (AUE), PUMA's official World Cup send-off to Ghana, Ivory Coast, Algeria and Cameroon. Held in Paris in May, the series of high impact events generated fan support, raised funds and awareness about the importance of biodiversity. Highlights include a fundraising parcour with star players, including Cameroon captain Samuel Eto'o and a rousing speech by Djimon Hounsou at the evening's concert produced in conjunction with Africa Express.

Editor Note:

Additional press materials details about the Play For Life campaign and beneficiaries, Africa Unity Experience or Kehinde Wiley exhibition are available at http://www.puma.digitalnewsagency.com/

Media Contacts:

Danielle Marcus, Marketing, PUMAVision, +1 617.488.0009, danielle.marcus@puma.com

Sara Gottman, International PR, PUMA +1.617.488.2914, sara.gottman@puma.com

Shereen Zorba, Head, News Desk, United Nations Environment Programme,

Tel: +254-20 762 5022, Mobile: +254 713601259, shereen.zorba@unep.org


PUMA is one of the world's leading Sportlifestyle companies that designs and develops footwear, apparel and accessories. It is committed to working in ways that contribute to the world by supporting Creativity, SAFE Sustainability and Peace, and by staying true to the principles of being Fair, Honest, Positive and Creative in decisions made and actions taken. PUMA starts in Sport and ends in Fashion. Its Sport Performance and Lifestyle labels include categories such as Football, Running, Motorsports, Golf and Sailing. Sport Fashion features collaborations with renowned designer labels such as Alexander McQueen, Mihara Yasuhiro and Sergio Rossi. The PUMA Group owns the brands PUMA, Cobra Golf and Tretorn. The company, which was founded in 1948, distributes its products in more than 120 countries, employs more than 9,000 people worldwide and has headquarters in Herzogenaurach/Germany, Boston, London and Hong Kong. For more information, please visit http://www.puma.com


The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the voice for the environment in the UN system. Established in 1972, UNEP's mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. UNEP is an advocate, educator, catalyst and facilitator promoting the wise use of the planet's natural assets for sustainable development. It works with many partners, UN entities, international organizations, national governments, non-governmental organizations, business, industry, the media and civil society. UNEP's work involves providing support for: environmental assessment and reporting; legal and institutional strengthening and environmental policy development; sustainable use and management of natural resources; integration of economic development and environmental protection; and promoting public participation in environmental management.

International Year of Biodiversity

In a bid to curb the unprecedented loss of the world's species due to human activity - at a rate some experts put at 1,000 times the natural progression - the United Nations is marking 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity, with a slew of events highlighting the vital role the phenomenon plays in maintaining the life support system on Planet Earth.

The UNEP-PUMA 'Play for Life' campaign will support the International Year of Biodiversity by:

  • Raising awareness worldwide about biodiversity and the International Year of Biodiversity among football fans and the general public during football events including the African Nations Cup and international friendly games

  • Raising awareness through Public Service Announcements featuring football stars

  • Encouraging the public to take action to conserve biodiversity

  • Raising funds through the Africa Unity Kit and other PUMA Unity football products under the Yellow "life" label to support biodiversity projects in Africa.




Further Resources

UNEP Play for Life website

UNEP Sport and the Environment website

PUMA and UNEP Launch Public Service Announcement to Support Biodiversity Initiatives

PUMA Website

UNEP: International Year of Biodiversity


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