Westford, Mass. (June 22, 2011) – Goalie? Absolutely; we’ve got Karina LeBlanc. Defense and midfield? Covered, by the fabulous Alex Scott and Leslie Osborne. And forward? Triple-check: Marta, Amy Rodriguez, and Tasha Kai. But no matter how solid the team, there’s always need for a strong leader. Sportlifestyle brand PUMA® is proud to complement its world-class roster of female soccer stars with a new sponsorship – this time, with gold medalist, two-time world champion, and all-around soccer legend Julie Foudy. As a PUMA Women’s Soccer Ambassador, Foudy will share her leadership expertise, soccer tips, news, and other commentary with fans over the blog at puma.com/womenssoccer and via her new Twitter handle, @JulieFoudy. Fans will have the chance to meet her in-person as well, as PUMA will be hosting Foudy at brand events throughout the year. Foudy will also be spotted both on and off the field in PUMA performance and lifestyle footwear, apparel, and accessories, including her boot of choice, the PUMA King Finale.
“We’re thrilled to team up with Julie,” said Tara McRae, vice president of marketing for PUMA. “Our values align perfectly – hers as a role model and women’s soccer advocate, and ours as a women’s soccer brand. We both truly believe in the development of this game and are committed to investing in its future.”
As a component of the sponsorship, PUMA will lend its support to the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy, which teaches self-confidence, communication skills, and leadership to teen girls using sports as a medium, as well as the soccer immersion and development programs of Julie Foudy Soccer Camps. PUMA scholarships will also be offered to young athletes in need via the Julie Foudy Leadership Foundation.
“PUMA has fully supported women’s soccer on the national and international level, and I’m excited to become a part of their team,” said Foudy. “I’ve always believed that sport is one of the greatest gifts in life, and I look forward to working with PUMA to continue spreading the message of positivity, self-confidence, and leadership to young athletes.”
Foudy, who spent 17 years with the US Women’s National Team – 13 of those as a captain – was amongst the iconic athletes who brought women’s soccer to the domestic and global stage in the mid-nineties and into the early-2000s. In 2006, Foudy formed the Julie Foudy Soccer Leadership Academy and, in 2007, was the sixth woman inducted into the US National Soccer Hall of Fame – in its first all-female class, no less. Off the field, Foudy is a seasoned sports journalist working in the broadcast, print, and digital spheres, covering national and international sporting events; she’ll be reporting – and Tweeting! – live from the women’s tournament in Germany this June and July.
PUMA has a longstanding commitment to women’s soccer and an aim to become the brand of choice amongst the sport’s female athletes. PUMA became an official founding partner of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) in 2008 and sponsors some of the best women’s soccer athletes in the world, including the aforementioned Marta, Rodriguez, Scott, LeBlanc, Osborne, and Kai. In support of the game’s up-and-coming talent, PUMA’s Total Club Concept (TCC) targets the development of young athletes with components like the Women’s vElite Tournament and the Women’s Elite Showcase, and, with that same girl’s performance and style needs in mind, PUMA debuted its on- and off-the-pitch Women’s Soccer Training Collection in Spring 2011. On the heels of a $60,000 donation in 2010, an announcement is also forthcoming about the brand’s 2011 Project Pink initiative, created at the urging of female athletes in support of the fight against breast cancer.