Johannesburg - PUMA announced on Tuesday it has entered into a new partnership with the South African Football Association. The global sportlifestyle brand has become the official technical supplier to the SAFA, effective immediately and lasting beyond the next two FIFA World Cups.
PUMA will provide the official playing kits for all associated South African teams, including the National 'A', Youth and Women's teams.
PUMA is also SAFA's official partner in relation to replica kits, fanwear and other merchandise. The South African National 'A' team will first wear the new PUMA kit during their next fixture scheduled for August 10 (opponents to be confirmed).
The new PUMA South Africa kit was also launched in Johannesburg, by South African captain Stephen Pienaar along with Siphiwe Tshabalala, Renielwe Letsholonyane, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Darren Keet and Katlego Mphela.
Featuring the very latest innovations of PUMA technology, the kit incorporates performance enhancing fabric through moisture wicking properties, mesh inserts on the side for improved ventilation and embossed fabric to enhance the optical appearance. The shirt will also feature both the Protea and SAFA badges. In line with PUMA's CSR commitment to Africa, all proceeds from replica home shirts sales will be donated to SOS and the Children's Fund.
Christian Voigt, Senior Head of Global Sports Marketing at PUMA, said, "We are delighted to enter into this new partnership with the South African Football Association. PUMA has a longstanding commitment to Africa and African football, and this new relationship further underlines our continuing investment in the continent. In partnering with the South African Football Association, we are proud to have added another great asset to our sports marketing portfolio, and we look forward to a long and successful relationship."
Kirsten Nematandani, President of the South African Football Association, said, "To announce this new commercial relationship with PUMA is a great privilege for us, and we are very happy to have secured this deal.
"PUMA's presence in African football really speaks for itself, and they were the most desirable company for us to align ourselves with. Their technical innovation and excellence is of course important, but more so is the heritage and support they have demonstrated for this continent over a number of years.
"They are the perfect partner as we strive to grow the profile of football in South Africa in the years to come."
South Africa will become the 12th current African international team to be currently outfitted by PUMA, the German company is also supplying the Orange African Cup of Nations champions Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Algeria, Senegal, Morocco, Togo, Burkina Faso, Malawi and Namibia.
As part of the brand's commitment to Africa, PUMA continues to support a number of grass roots and charitable initiatives across the continent. In 2010, the sportlifestyle brand launched the Africa Unity kit - the official FIFA sanctioned third kit of all PUMA sponsored African national football teams, with proceeds from global sales supporting biodiversity causes in Africa. Later the same year, 10 000 durable footballs were delivered to various football projects across a number of West African countries. PUMA was also the official sponsor and fanwear supplier of the 2010 Orange African Cup of Nations in Angola. In 2009, PUMA incorporated the use of sustainable cotton sources from Africa into its product ranges, supporting the Aid by Trade Foundation's 'Cotton Made in Africa' initiative, developed to improve the living conditions of African cotton farmers and promote environmentally responsible farming practices.