The Jamaica Olympic Association and PUMA today launched the Jamaican Team uniforms for the London 2012 Olympic Games™, including podium and ceremony wear with the help of Jamaican Track Athlete and World’s Fastest man Usain Bolt. Fashion designer Cedella Marley, daughter of Reggae icon the late Bob Marley, unveiled her designs alongside Usain Bolt at the launch in London today.
The designs will be worn by the entire team (men and women), including three-time Jamaican Olympic gold medallist, fastest man in the world and PUMA athlete Usain Bolt. PUMA’s partnership with Marley, the eldest daughter in the Jamaican family dynasty, underscores the brand’s long-time commitment to the Caribbean nation, with its rich cultural heritage, global music contributions and its unparalleled dedication to Athletics.
“It is truly an honor to design this collection for my home country and my home team,” said Cedella Marley. “It’s not even a dream come true because it’s something I never dreamed would be possible. I ran track in high school in Jamaica and I’m still a huge fan of Jamaican Athletics, so to have a role in creating the outfits for our Olympians is a thrill. I admire what PUMA has been doing in Jamaica over the years and the Marley family has the same type of give-back philosophy. I think this partnership is going to be legendary.”
Staying true to PUMA’s DNA of sportlifestyle, the collection incorporates high-tech fabrics and silhouettes engineered to enhance the performance of the athletes hailing from the fastest country in the world—Jamaica. Taking inspiration from the vibrant colors and patterns of the Caribbean nation as well as the African influences that have come to characterize that country, Cedella Marley’s unique designs are sure to make the world take notice in the summer of 2012.
“I can’t think of a better person to design our Olympic outfits than Cedella,” said Usain Bolt. “PUMA got that right…hooking up with a legendary Jamaican. She’s a great designer but also carries on the spirit of our nation through the legacy of the Marley family. It’s going to be inspirational to run in London with that energy surrounding me.”
PUMA’s Olympic wear will be accompanied by a lifestyle collection of apparel, footwear and accessories which will be available at PUMA retail stores globally in June 2012.
“We’ll go through a rigorous process of material selection and design to ensure the performance singlets, in particular, meet the needs of Jamaica’s world-class athletes,” continued Marley. They have to fit and feel like a second skin.”
“Cedella, the Marley family and their fun and laid back Jamaican nature are a perfect fit for the PUMA brand”, said Franz Koch, CEO of PUMA. “Cedella’s vibrant style and unique design will bring an authenticity to the Olympic PUMA collection for the entire world to see in London 2012, boosting the visibility of our brand significantly.”
Cedella Marley began designing clothes while she was on tour with Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, a band comprised of her brothers and sisters. Her fashion brand, Catch A Fire, named after her father’s first album, debuted in 2001 and encompasses a tailored bohemian style with vivid colors and prints. Her collections are available in upscale department stores throughout the United States. In addition to fashion design, Marley is a children’s book author and the CEO of Tuff Gong International—the record label founded by father Bob Marley in 1965. She is also the director of Marley and Company which manages Bob’s image and music rights and helms the merchandising conglomerate The House of Marley. A life-long philanthropist, Marley is currently overseeing operations for The Bob Marley Foundation and 1Love.org, which aligns well with PUMA’s own commitment to giving back.
PUMA’s investment in Track & Field in Jamaica is far and wide, with Usain Bolt being undeniably one of the brand’s greatest ambassadors. Since 2002, PUMA has sponsored the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), which is the governing body for Track and Field in Jamaica, and the Jamaica Olympic Association. In addition to this, PUMA helps to foster young talent through sponsorship of seven high school track and field programs. This partnership also drives the annual ISSA Boys & Girls Track and Field Championships, dubbed “The Champs” which is lauded as the most popular sporting event in Jamaica and the place where many of the world-renowned sprinters got their start. PUMA is a partner of pre-Champs meets including the Gibson Relays and various Invitationals. Outside of the high school sphere, PUMA is the main partner of the Reggae Marathon, which takes place each December in Jamaica and draws distance runners from all over the world.
The world will be watching Usain Bolt in London 2012 to see if he will break his own record in the 100m and 200m relays, clad in Cedella Marley’s unique designs. At 25, Bolt has emerged as one of the world’s most talented Track and Field athletes in the modern era, winning three gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and smashing two world records in the 100m (9:58) and 200m (19:19) at the World Championships in Berlin in 2009. PUMA, like many Bolt enthusiasts, believes the best is yet to come.