Dear Friends and Collegues
I wanted to share with you the latest PUMA.Creative project in collaboration with the Design Museum, London.
Global sportlifestyle brand PUMA has revealed an inspiring and contemporary collaboration, launching technical football kits for PUMA’s 10 partnered African National football teams. Each kit is designed by a renowned artist from the Creative African Network (CAN) – a PUMA platform connecting and promoting artists from and in Africa. This unique collaboration is complemented by a month-long exhibition at the Design Museum, London that showcases the artists’ design inspirations.
Today’s unveiling at the Design Museum in London, brought together high profile football players and CAN artists from each of the 10 PUMA partnered teams, including Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon, John Mensah of Ghana and Yaya Touré of Ivory Coast. With the 2012 Orange Africa Cup of Nations fast approaching, the event was the perfect platform for PUMA to demonstrate how the brand has fused its work within sport and art, seamlessly bringing together two worlds that don’t often collide.
Central to the project is PUMA.Creative (a programme of PUMAVision), that brings together individual artists and organizations, and provides them with a platform for creative exchange and international exposure. Through PUMA.Creative’s CAN programme, artists were commissioned to design a football jersey inspired from the country’s heritage, culture and traditions. Ten artists worked with their home nation to create unique and inspiring designs for the official football kits.
“PUMA has been at the forefront of integrating the two disparate worlds of sport and art, and today through a celebration of football, art, colour and culture, we have shown to the world how these two spheres can be uniquely combined,” comments Franz Koch, CEO of PUMA SE. “PUMA has a long standing history with Africa, and this event demonstrates how as a brand we continue to be fully committed to our relationship with the continent.”
PUMA does indeed have a celebrated history with African football, each year bringing something new and different to the football category. Notable highlights include the African Unity Kit for the FIFA World Cup 2010 and the Cameroon Unikit in 2004. Art has also featured prominently in PUMA projects: to celebrate the FIFA World Cup 2010, the brand commissioned contemporary artist Kehinde Wiley for a series of portraits with African football players and to design African-inspired lifestyle products.
The PUMA partnered African national teams represented include Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Namibia, Senegal, Togo, Gabon, Burkina Faso and PUMA’s newest partner South Africa, which signed with the sportlifestyle brand in June 2011. The technical kits have been designed to maximise the player’s on-pitch performance. The jersey fits the body closely to avoid grabbing from the opponent, it also emphasises the physique of the players, allowing them to exhibit their physical presence on the pitch. The fabric features PUMA’s U.S.P Moisture Management technology, enhancing body performance by dragging moisture away from the body, enhancing air flow and keeping the body at the ultimate performance temperature.
Terence Parris, Head of Teamsports Marketing at PUMA SE comments, “African football continues to play a huge part in our global sports marketing strategy. Over the past decade, we have progressively developed our relationship with Africa, investing in grassroots projects, player relationships and African federation partnerships. The emotion and passion of African football perfectly complements our brand ethos and we are uniquely privileged to be in a position to work with a continent with such rich culture and heritage. These football kits embody all of our brand values.”
PUMA has worked with the Design Museum in London to launch a month-long exhibition ‘Interpretations of Africa: Football, Art and Design’ to celebrate PUMA’s inspired new football kit designs for the 10 PUMA partnered African National football teams.
Through the African kits revealed today, ‘Interpretations of Africa: Football, Art and Design’ explores the response of the 10 artists from the Creative African Network, to a demanding brief, focused on Africa’s unique visual identity and culture. The exhibition charts the artists’ journey, inspiration, and design process, demonstrating how Africa’s culture and history can be captured in both an artwork and a corresponding sportswear design.
The exhibition will feature original artwork and sketches alongside development work and the resulting final football kits created by the artists involved, including Barthélémy Toguo of Cameroon, Zineb Zedira of Algeria and Godfried Donker of Ghana who have all become renowned in the art world for their emotive and captivating work. The other artists representing their nations are: Saïdou Dicko of Burkina Faso, Ernest Düku of Ivory Coast, Owanto of Gabon, Hentie van der Merwe of Namibia, Samba Fall of Senegal, Hasan and Husain Essop of South Africa and El Loko of Togo.
Alex Newson, Exhibition Curator, Design Museum, London adds, “As a design challenge, creating a new national football kit is a complicated and demanding brief. The results of the collaboration between PUMA and the group of celebrated artists are remarkable and testament to the talent, pride and passion evident in both African art and football and this exhibition charts this unique journey.”
The exhibition is open for public viewing from November 8 – 27, 2011, 10.00am – 17.45pm.
Sara Gottman, International PR, PUMA +1 978 996 4441 email@example.com
Tim Stedman, International PR, PUMA +49 151 1474 3148 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ceri Reed, Edelman PR + 44 203 047 4099 email@example.com
Ashley Woodfield, Design Museum +44 207 940 8787 firstname.lastname@example.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 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 www.puma.com
At PUMA, we believe that our position as the creative leader in Sportlifestyle gives us the opportunity and the responsibility to contribute to a better world for the generations to come. A better world in our vision—PUMAVision—would be safer, more peaceful, and more creative than the world we know today. The 4Keys is the tool we have developed to help us stay true to PUMAVision, and we use it by constantly asking ourselves if we are being Fair, Honest, Positive, and Creative in everything we do.
We believe that by staying true to our 4Keys, inspiring the passion and talent of our people, working in sustainable, innovative ways, and doing our best to be Fair, Honest, Positive, and Creative, we will keep on making the products our customers love, and at the same time bring that vision of a better world a little closer every day. PUMAVision looks ahead to a world that is safer, more peaceful and more creative for the generations to come. Through the programs of PUMA.Safe (focusing on environmental and social issues), PUMA.Peace (supporting global peace) and PUMA.Creative (supporting artists and creative organizations), we are providing real and practical expressions of this vision. For more information, please visit http://vision.puma.com
The Design Museum is the world’s leading museum devoted to architecture and industrial design. It is working to place design at the centre of contemporary culture. It demonstrates both the richness of the creativity to be found in all forms of design, and its importance. The Design Museum is the definitive voice of contemporary design in the UK. Founded in 1989 and currently located in Shad Thames, its work encompasses all elements of design, including product design, graphic design, and fashion. For the past 22 years, the museum has hosted exhibitions showcasing some of the most important pioneers of design including, Paul Smith, Zaha Hadid, Jonathan Ive, and Dieter Rams. The Design Museum plans to relocate from its current home at Shad Thames to the former Commonwealth Institute building, in Kensington, West London. The project is expected to be completed by 2014. Leading designer John Pawson will convert the interior of the Commonwealth Institute building to create a new home for the Design Museum giving it three times more space in which to show a wider range of exhibitions, showcase its world class collection and extend its learning programme. For more information please visit: www.designmuseum.org