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Puma’s love affair with African football deepens

February 27th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in Business, Charity, Events, Fashion, Film/Television, General, Sports, Travel

Puma Ghana Peace OneBeing the No. 4 sporting-goods brand is tough. But Puma is betting that backing African football (soccer to Americans) will differentiate the brand and win it a significant increase in market share. Continuing with the company’s commitment to African football made during the 2006 World Cup Games, Puma put some serious resources together for product and marketing efforts behind the 2008 African Cup of Nations held recently in Ghana. As a sponsor for 9 out of the 16 African teams, including tournament hosts Ghana and champions Egypt, Puma worked hard to make the brand synonymous with African football, even going so far as buying the Ghana team a top-of-the-line Mercedes-Benz bus for transport between matches. The company began it’s Cup of Nations efforts with a sponsorship deal for Eurosport’s live coverage of the games and then a press conference at the brand new Puma store in Ghana’s Accra Mall. The press conference was held to announce several activities on the ground during the tournament, including a youth exhibition game co-hosted by the Peace One Day charity and edun Live and featuring African football legends Roger Milla and Anthony Yeboah. More »

A retirement plan for African leaders, Mo Ibrahim

February 19th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in Business, Charity, General, Politics, Technology, Travel

Mo IbrahimAfrican leaders, Ibrahim (says), look to retirement as they would to the edge of a cliff, beyond which lies a dizzying fall towards retribution and relative poverty.

“We don’t have financial institutions for ex-presidents to go and run, or boards of great companies. There is life after office in other parts of the world. I just read that Tony Blair was paid half a million pounds to make a speech in China. People like Blair always have a place in society, they have secure financial futures,” – Lunch with the FT: Mo Ibrahim

Sotheby’s, Bansky bring Bono green for Valentine’s

February 18th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted in Art, Business, Charity, Events, General, Politics

Takashi Murakami RED auctionDespite increasing criticism Bono’s marketing behemoth Product (RED) keeps on course, this time with a Sotheby’s run valentine’s day auction titled (AUCTION) RED. The art auction, held February 14th at the Gagosian Gallery, included limited edition art by the contemporary art world’s heavy hitters such as Takashi Murakami, Bansky, Damien Hirst, and Jasper Johns. The auction closed at a total of $42.58 million, an amount which even eclipsed Sotheby’s pre-sale estimate of $21 million – $29 million. A fan of contemporary art myself, some of the pieces sold are truly beautiful and I’m envious of the winning bidders.

In kicking off the Valentine’s Day sale, to which over 60 top contemporary artists donated museum-quality work, Bono led the crowd in a sing-along of the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love.” –

I continue to be amazed at the RED campaign’s ability to continuously be “successful” at tapping into the guilt of celebrities and normal citizens alike. It’s too bad that such a brilliant marketing vehicle doesn’t think it could be effective without consistently playing the victim/savior game. Check out some of the artwork and related video below.

Bansky RED auction Bansky Damien Hirst RED auction Yinka Shonibare RED auction

Gallery footage

Damien Hirst speaking to Charlie Rose about the auction

Bono fanfare at the Valentine’s auction

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