PUMA® Introduces 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race Team and Unveils Training Boat in Boston Harbor

May 04, 2007

Unveiling Coincides with Announcement that the City of Boston will be a Port of Call for the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race

 

Boston, Massachusetts, May 4, 2007 – Global sportslifestyle company PUMA® introduced its skipper, training boat and the PUMA Racing Team at an official unveiling ceremony in Boston Harbor today attended by Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, PUMA CEO Jochen Zeitz, Volvo Ocean Race CEO Glenn Bourke, Save the Harbor President Patricia A. Foley, and Secretary Daniel O’Connell of Massachusetts.

The unveiling coincided with Boston’s announcement that it will be one of the official ports of call during the nine-month Volvo Ocean Race that begins in Alicante, Spain in October 2008 and finishes in Northern Europe in June 2009. The Boston stop will be in mid-May 2009 and will include a fortnight of festivities and local events to celebrate Boston’s maritime history, the sport of sailing and the Volvo Ocean Race.

“This is a special day as we introduce our PUMA Racing Team and unveil the colors of our boat in this wonderful setting of Boston Harbor,” said Jochen Zeitz, CEO and Chairman, PUMA AG. “We are extremely pleased that the City of Boston, the State of Massachusetts and Save the Harbor are welcoming the Volvo Ocean Race as an official port of call and, as a company, we are proud to be able to call Boston the home of our North American and international brand headquarters for more than a decade.”

PUMA has offices in Boston’s Marine Industrial Park, where the Global Marketing headquarters are located, and Westford, Massachusetts, where PUMA North America is based. PUMA officials worked closely with the local government to help bring the Volvo Ocean Race to Boston.

Said Mayor Thomas M. Menino, City of Boston: “We are delighted that Boston has been selected as the only North American stopover for the 2008-2009 Volvo Ocean Race. World Class events like this, with great partners like PUMA, Volvo and Save the Harbor/Save the Bay give folks from our neighborhoods and visitors from across the region and around the world another reason to rediscover all that Boston Harbor and waterfront have to offer.”

“Today, Massachusetts is all about innovation and opportunity. Governor Patrick and I are proud to have our capital city selected as the only North American port of call for the Volvo Ocean Race, we are proud to have innovative companies like PUMA headquartered here in the state, and we are particularly proud of Boston Harbor and Massachusetts Bay,” said Secretary Daniel O’Connell, Dept. of Housing & Economic Development, Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

“The choice of Boston as a North American stopover for the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race is a welcome addition to the ground-breaking route. Boston has a proud association with international sailing and sailors. There has been great enthusiasm from everyone involved in making the Boston stopover happen. I fully expect that Boston will put on a tremendous show when the race comes to town,” said Glenn Bourke, CEO, Volvo Ocean Race.

“It’s a major fillip for the Volvo Ocean Race and the sport of sailing to have involvement from an iconic global consumer brand such as PUMA. There is definitely synergy between us – the Volvo Ocean Race leads the way on advanced design with the Volvo Open 70, while PUMA brings great energy and creativity to the design of their sports lifestyle products.”

Said Patricia A. Foley, President, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay: “With billions of public dollars invested in the Boston Harbor Clean-up and the Big Dig, and billions more invested in new waterfront development, we are looking forward to the fantastic opportunity that this stopover will provide to share the harbor with Bostonians, regional residents and visitors from around the world.”

PUMA announced its entry into the Volvo Ocean Race in late March with skipper Ken Read placed at the helm of the PUMA Racing Team. Read was on-hand for the unveiling on Friday, bringing the boat up from its training base in Newport, Rhode Island, after it made the trip across the Atlantic.

The exterior design of the training boat is uniquely PUMA. Conceptualized by Puma’s brand head, Antonio Bertone, with the help of ad agency GBH, the idea was to transform the boat into an object. In this particular case, the object is a shoe, taking inspiration from PUMA’s heritage.

“We wanted to have some fun with the design — basically have a floating shoe out on the water,” says Antonio Bertone, Group Functional Head Brand & Marketing. “So we had the boat painted to look like it’s made from leather and then stitched together. The boat and the Volvo Ocean Race on the whole is just a great platform for PUMA to express its creativity and design-forward thinking.”

The Volvo Ocean Race is a legendary around-the-world yacht race that blends state-of-the-art design and technology, elite sporting performance and extreme adventure into one global event. The Volvo Ocean Race began in 1973 as the “Whitbread Round the World Race”. The race takes approximately nine months to complete, covers 39,000 nautical miles in challenging and often dangerous waters, and is broken into 11 separate legs. The Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 challenge will have at least 12 ports of call, including ports in Middle East, India and Asia – places never before visited in race history.