The move is part of the ‘Play for Life’ partnership the brand has with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which is supporting the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity.
The partnership will raise 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.
The new kit is sported in the picture by Ivory Coast star Emmanuel Eboue. The focus for Puma will be on Africa, where it sponsors 12 national football teams. Profits from sales of the replica fanwear for the Unity Kits will help fund biodiversity programs in Africa, and in particular endangered species on the continent such as lions, elephants, gorillas and the desert fox.
Africa is home to nine of the planet’s 35 Biodiversity hotspots, the richest and most threatened reservoirs of plant and animal life on Earth. According to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), 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 face extinction.
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. With all eyes on Africa during the 2010 football season – the Africa Unity Kit makes a “compelling global statement”, says Jochen Zeitz, chairman and CEO, Puma.
Unveiling the new kit in Nairobi, Cameroon ‘s captain Samuel Eto’o, says: “The new Africa Unity Kit has inspired me and my teammates. Not only are we very proud to wear a shirt that helps bring the continent of Africa together but to do so for such an important cause is truly an honour. Supporting the Africa Unity Kit sends out a positive message for Africa – we are a uniting as a continent to help life and the planet.”