Puma Pounces at Volvo Ocean Race

By: Glady Reign

PUMA, the global sportswear company, announced that it will enter a boat in the 2008-2009 Volvo Ocean Race. Three boats are now officially involved and additional sponsorship announcements are expected soon. PUMA, according to sailing enthusiasts, is the recent exciting addition to the entry list.

"We are thrilled to announce PUMA's entry into the Volvo Ocean Race - one of the world's iconic sporting events," said Jochen Zeitz, the Chairman and CEO, PUMA AG. "The race's global reach, lifestyle appeal and true sporting characteristics match the PUMA brand perfectly and provide PUMA with exciting new opportunities to make a strong mark in the world of sailing, on and off the water. This continues our strategy to expand into new product categories and explore the potential of the brand."

Glenn Bourke, the Volvo Ocean Race CEO, said, "I am delighted for the Volvo Ocean Race that a company with such global gravitas as PUMA has decided to come on board. What I am most pleased about is that a big consumer brand sees the race as a viable mechanism for promoting its brand and showcasing its products."

He added, "This race is hugely demanding psychologically, physically and emotionally on everybody involved in it and we are confident that our new partner PUMA has what it takes to support the sailors with high quality and innovative lifestyle products."

The PUMA Racing Team will be led by Ken Read, one of the world's most accomplished sailors. Read has twice been involved in America's Cup campaigns. He was also named United States Rolex Yachtsman of the Year twice. Bourke added, "PUMA has chosen wisely in asking Ken Read to head up the campaign. He is one of the finest sailors in the world. He has won multiple one-design sailing events - the toughest cauldron of all."

Bourke continued, "He is an incredibly good spokesperson for the sport. He's a sensible guy, he's been involved in sailing for a long time, he's seen it from the grass-roots up and he is one of those special guys who can get the race out to a broader cross section of people and he also gets the big picture. He's very committed to the sports side, but not at the expense of the business side."

"Running and skippering a Volvo Ocean Race programme is a dream come true," Read said. "I'm very proud to be part of the PUMA Racing Team and to take the lead in this new and exciting venture. I believe PUMA is the type of company that the sailing world needs, which can think outside the box and deliver this sport to an entirely new group of consumers. It's going to be an incredible journey for all of us."

"The race's global reach, lifestyle appeal and true sporting characteristics match the PUMA brand perfectly and provide PUMA with exciting new opportunities to make a strong mark in the world of sailing, on and off the water. This continues our strategy to expand into new product categories and explore the potential of the brand", noted Zeitz. "Puma are involved in Formula One, Moto GP and NASCAR and they see us as an extension of that portfolio of sporting events. The Volvo Ocean Race provides them with an ideal platform to reach an entirely new consumer audience."

PUMA's move stresses the race's stature as a persuasive marketing platform. Now, it is not just a and ocean race thrill that will make spectators succumb - PUMA will delight them further with a pouncing ocean performance.

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