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Puma enlists mobile help for grueling sailing race

Sportswear brand Puma is using mobile to keep sailing fans updated about the Puma Ocean Racing Team.

To support Puma communications towards all sailing followers and improve brand awareness, Publicis Groupe's Phonevalley mobile agency designed the Puma Ocean Race mobile Internet site at

"Today, thanks to their mobile phone, all fans of the Puma Volvo Ocean Racing Team get the
opportunity to stay connected 24/7 with il mostro and its fantastic, though grueling, adventure," said Antonio Bertone, chief marketing officer of Puma.

The Volvo Ocean Race is 37.000 nautical miles long and lasts for nine months. It comprises seven teams.

The race is said to be among the most extreme, most dangerous and most challenging sailing events worldwide.

The Puma Ocean Race mobile Internet site displays the freshest news on the race from the Puma team, as well as photos and videos to download on mobile phones.

Sailing fans can also follow the race, live on their device, thanks to Google Maps which highlights the positions of all racing teams in real time.

The Puma Ocean Race mobile Internet site also presents all Puma sailing collections, men and women, footwear, apparel and accessories.

The site subsequently drives mobile users to stores thanks to a Puma store locator which identifies the closest shop on a map. A click-to-call function also connects directly to that store.

Phonevalley has set up a Puma Ocean Race mobile desktop icon specifically for BlackBerry owners to download from the mobile site. This is designed to increase Puma's relationships and brand loyalty with high-profile mobile users.

To stimulate the buzz around the Puma Ocean Race mobile site, Phonevalley created a viral attribute to let sailing fans send a free message to a friend and let him or her know about the site.

This isn't Puma's first mobile initiative.

"Puma is one of the first global brands to have fully played the mobile card in their media plans, first in 2008 in 13 different countries in Europe for Euro 2008 football cup, then few months later for the Chinese market with the F Wan campaign for the Shanghai Formula 1 Grand Prix, and today in three different continents for the Volvo Ocean Race fantastic event," said Alexandre Mars, CEO of Phonevalley and head of Mobile Publicis Groupe in Paris, France.

To increase Puma's brand awareness in China, the sporting goods giant launched a multichannel mobile campaign consisting of a mobile Web site, in-game advertising, coupons, banners and search.

Puma tapped interactive mobile agency Phonevalley to help with that campaign as well. Together, the two companies ran the mobile campaign right before and after the Shanghai Formula 1, an open wheeled auto racing event. Puma was promoting its F1 Puma Ferrari official apparel.

The sportswear maker also launched a mobile initiative in 13 different world markets to promote its "Together Everywhere" program for soccer enthusiasts.

The Together Everywhere program works by connecting friends and fans of the same soccer team. After registering, users downloaded their team's song or chant as a ringtone, so that when their team scored they were instantly alerted and teleconferenced in with either their pre-chosen friends or a network of anonymous supporters.