PUMA and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) announced, Friday, three major conservation projects in Africa as beneficiaries of the 'Play For Life' Campaign, a World Cup inspired partnership to support the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity.
Proceeds generated from the campaign will be donated to beneficiary projects that will help save: African lions in Zambia (The African Lion: King Without A Kingdom Project); elephant populations in the Ivory Coast and Liberia (Support for the Elephants Project); and gorillas in Nigeria's Mbe Mountains (Promoting Community Participation in Gorilla Conservation).
Football fans and the wider public directed the final donations by voting for their favorite cause on FACEBOOK.COM/PUMA and via a UNEP enabled website.
In January 2010, PUMA and UNEP formed an alliance to launch the 'Play For Life Campaign', a global initiative dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of species and habitat conservation amongst football fans and the general public during this World Cup year, which saw the tournament take place for the first time in Africa. 'Play for Life' focuses on Africa, a continent that hosts exceptional biodiversity and is home to some of the richest and most threatened reservoirs of plant and animal life on Earth.
'PUMA has a long standing relationship with Africa and African Football, and as a corporation dedicated to sustainable futures, we could not ignore the growing environmental challenges that face the region,' said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman and CEO, PUMA AG. 'With 13 sponsored African national football teams, we were uniquely positioned and honored to help champion this cause with UNEP. The global appeal of football made it a powerful and inventive medium to promote the importance of biodiversity, engage with millions around the world and raise both awareness and resources to help these causes.'
The 'Play for Life' campaign promoted the International Year of Biodiversity through a combination of events, public service announcements with Cameroon footballer Samuel Eto'o, social networks, PUMA retail and fundraising activities. Each element of the program encouraged the public to take action and get involved. The public, through online voting chose the three beneficiaries for the campaign donations.