On the heels of the biggest soccer event in the world, sportswear brand PUMA announced a new initiative in collaboration with various women`s soccer teams – PUMA Project Pink. The project strives to raise awareness and funds in support of the fight against breast cancer. With their partnership with Women`s Professional Soccer (WPS), the brand will outfit some of the best female players in the world in special Project Pink kits for five WPS matches. A range of Pink Project merchandise will be created and made available for purchase beginning this summer and continuing through Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. Profits from the sale will be donated to a non-profit organisation committed to breast cancer awareness or research; the beneficiary will be named as the result of a national online voting campaign.
“Giving back, is an integral part of our brand DNA at PUMA which comes to life through our Project Pink programme with Women`s Professional Soccer,” explained Tara McRae, Senior Director of Marketing for PUMA North America. “Project Pink has resonated with the players, the fans, and our company. There`s a lot of personal passion driving this programme forward, and we`re looking forward to finally taking it public and getting consumers involved.”
Launching July 31, PUMA is hosting a forum at wps.pumafootball.com/projectpink that invites interaction with the Project Pink initiative. The site allows for the nomination of breast cancer charities with non-profit status, supporters can then log on to vote for the winner, who will ultimately receive a donation consisting of 100% of the profits from the sales of the products. The nomination period will open on August 7, voting will begin on September 13, and the favorite will be announced and the donation made in late October.
WPS teams including the Boston Breakers, Washington Freedom, FC Gold Pride, Philadelphia Independence, and Sky Blue FC have joined with PUMA to rally behind Project Pink, designating matches in July and August to help raise awareness for the cause. Players from each home team will sport special Project Pink kits, and PUMA`s Project Pink match ball will be used for each game. Project Pink-themed activities will also be hosted in pre-game Fanzones and throughout the matches.
PUMA athlete and Philadelphia Independence goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc will be serving, along with fellow players and PUMA athletes Leslie Osborne from Boston Breakers and Amy Rodriguez of Philadelphia Independence, as a spokeswoman for the Project Pink cause. “As a woman in sports, I always support promoting an active, healthy lifestyle,” LeBlanc explained. “Plus, a number of my close friends and family have been affected by breast cancer. I`m out here doing what I love, and any chance I have to be a part of a project like this to show my passion for what I do and link with a good cause is a no-brainer.”
PUMA`s new range of Project Pink merchandise has been launched this July on shop.puma.com and at select PUMA stores and other retail partners. It will also be sold at various participating stadiums during the WPS games throughout the season. The merchandise includes replica jerseys, t-shirts in pink and white, trainer and mini skill balls, and gym sacks.
In an effort to drive additional awareness to the cause, the brand will be using the Twitter hash tag #projectpink when communicating updates about Project Pink and will also encourage fans creating content to do the same. For every tweet using the hash tag from July 31 through October 18, the sportswear brand will donate an additional $1 to the Project Pink cause, up to a maximum of $25,000.
PUMA became an official founding partner of WPS and an official sponsor of all WPS franchises in December 2008. The partnership makes PUMA the official sport and lifestyle apparel, footwear and equipment supplier of WPS, including the official WPS Match Ball and also for WPS Fanwear.
On a global scale, PUMA Football`s portfolio includes five European National Teams, including Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Bulgaria and Czech Republic, 2010 FIFA World Cup contenders Uruguay, and 13 African soccer Federations including the current CAF African Cup of Nations holders Egypt, Algeria, Ghana, Cameroon, and Ivory Coast.
The brand has been 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. 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, distributes its products in more than 120 countries, and has headquarters in Germany, Boston, London and Hong Kong.