The international sports apparel marketing executives said from their Africa office in Cape Town, South Africa that “they are not sponsoring the Warriors and neither are they considering a marriage with the Warriors”.
It has been established that the kit used by Warriors against Mali was in fact bought from a local sports agent and explains why the replicas were sold at the cost recovery price of US$50.
Grant Hamilton, the Puma SA sports marketing manager told Standardsport that there have been no proposals received from the Warriors and neither was the company considering bankrolling Zimbabwe.
“We are not sponsoring Zimbabwe and neither has there been any proposal from the team. There is no sponsorship agreement whatsoever,” Hamilton said.
The statement flies in the face of the Zifa head of marketing Nigel Munyati, who said they were looking at penning a three-year deal with Puma. The national association also announced last Friday that Puma would dress the Warriors.
However, Munyati admitted to this newspaper in an interview that they were dealing with an agent and had actually paid for the kit that Zimbabwe used in their last match.
“We have been dealing with agents in pursuing the deal and we paid for the kit that we used against Mali,” Munyati said.
Brett Bellinger, the Marketing Director for Puma South Africa also released a statement saying that the fact that the Warriors donned the Puma kit did not mean they were in talks with the national team. He said the team was free to purchase the kit “in the market place”.
“I can confirm that the product worn by the Zimbabwean National team is official Puma product and in-line with the range worn by Puma sponsored national teams across Africa.
“Zifa are free to purchase Puma products in the market place but this does not mean Puma have a formal agreement with Zifa at this point in time. We will always look at opportunities in Africa as this is in line with our commitment to Africa and African Football,” Bellinger said in a statement.