Puma gears up for Olympics by kick-starting search for global PR support

Puma is on the hunt for international PR support as the brand prepares for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Usain Bolt: Puma deal biggest in athletics history (Rex Features)
Usain Bolt: Puma deal biggest in athletics history (Rex Features)

The sportswear firm is thought to be looking for a networked agency with offices in the UK, US, Asia, Latin America and the EU. It is understood to be issuing a one-year contract with a budget of £300,000.

An agency source said: 'Puma is looking for support for the brand globally during the year of the Olympics and is calling on agencies to tie in with London 2012, as well as its partnerships with BMW. There's also some tie-in with motocross.'

Puma is not a sponsor of the 2012 Olympics. The brief, issued by Puma's Boston USA office, is calling for full PR support including media, social media, digital, media strategy, press materials, crisis comms and events.

The brief applies to Puma's sports and lifestyle business categories.

A pitch took place at the brand's Boston offices on Wednesday, at which a number of networked agencies are believed to have pitched. The firm is understood to be seeking an agency that has sports experience.

Puma head of international PR Sara Gottman, based in Boston, declined to comment on the pitch. Puma UK lifestyle PR and marketing manager Kate Hasse did not confirm that a pitch process was under way, but said that in the UK, PR agency Canoe would continue to work on the brand.

In September, Puma UK parted ways with EdenCancan after three years and appointed Canoe for all its lifestyle PR brands.

'In terms of the year of the Olympics, Canoe will do PR for the lifestyle side and Mercieca will handle PR for the performance side of the business,' said Hasse.

It is not known how the pitch will affect Edelman, which is the brand's global PR agency.

Last year, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt extended his contract with Puma to 2013, signing the biggest sponsorship deal in athletics history. World record-holder Bolt is expected to be one of the stars of the 2012 Olympics.

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