Women's league lands major sponsor

Women's Professional Soccer unveiled its first major sponsorship with Monday's announcement that Puma would be a founding partner of  WPS and an official sponsor of all WPS teams. The multi-year partnership, reported to have a value of $10 million, makes Puma the official sport and lifestyle apparel, footwear and equipment supplier of WPS, including the official WPS match ball.

Amid a difficult economic climate, the deal is a coup for WPS, which kicks off its first season in 2009 in the Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Jersey/New York, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C.

"To have Puma, the world's leading sportlifestyle brand, as a founding partner in Women's Professional Soccer is a great endorsement for our league," said Commissioner Tonya Antonucci. "We are proud to have Puma's commitment to support, supply and grow the league and we recognize the creative, stylish and unique ways Puma will promote WPS and women's soccer on the whole."

Puma has had deals with Brazilian star Marta, who was drafted by the Los Angeles Sol, and her Swedish club Umea IK. While Marta remains unsigned, WPS hopes to attract the best women's player in the world for its 2009 launch.

"Puma has built up a strong momentum in women's soccer over the past 10 years, collaborating closely with pioneering partners that have redefined the game on a global and local stage," said Puma Chairman & CEO Jochen Zeitz. "Today, we are proud to be one of the founding partners of Women's Professional Soccer in what promises to be a new pioneering chapter for women's soccer. The WPS partnership provides PUMA with a perfect platform to reinforce the brand's positioning as the most desirable sportlifestyle brand in the world as well as underline our continued commitment to women's sports."

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