PUMA Will Return for the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race

Some thought that the announcement of Miami as the US stopover for the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race might impact on PUMA’s decision to participate. The global sportswear brand obviously thinks bigger than that, and given the success of the first campaign, it would have been strange for the company not to be back.

PUMA will not be shouldering the whole budget next time around. For the 2011-12 event, PUMA will partner with BERG Propulsion. The team will be known as PUMA Ocean Racing, powered by BERG Propulsion.

PUMA’s entry into the sailing shook up the sport by leveraging experiences in sports marketing around the world. The announcement that PUMA will be back in the next Volvo Ocean Race means two things; 1) That the Volvo Ocean Race delivers real ROI and justifies the marketing spend and 2) that other sponsors in the race will have to lift their game to get share of voice.

The entry into competitive sailing extends PUMA’s focus into premium lifestyle sports – a category PUMA has forged through its Formula One partnerships, motor sports collaborations such as Ducati and Ferrari, and the launch of a sport lifestyle golf collection in 2006.

The decision underlines the race’s status as a compelling marketing platform, according to Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad.

“PUMA Ocean Racing was a ground-breaking team in the last Volvo Ocean Race, not only bringing a very competitive team, but the creativity of a world class fashion brand. Their funky attitude and design spoke to a young audience who engaged with both PUMA and the race.

“It is great to have Ken Read and his team back, after their outstanding performance in the 2008-09 race and I am sure he is striving to achieve the ultimate goal.

“We appreciate greatly BERG Propulsion, who have decided to join the race again after tasting it in the previous event and now they are playing in the upper league of sponsors.”

Jochen Zeitz, PUMA AG Chairman and CEO, said: “We are proud of PUMA Ocean Racing’s success in the last Volvo Ocean Race and look forward to the adventures this next race will bring.

“The Volvo Ocean Race is one of the world’s iconic sporting events. It proved to be an extremely successful marketing tool for us and an important launch pad for the sailing product category. We look forward to building the sailing category even more throughout the next race, as well as expanding into other forms of outdoor lifestyle ventures.”