Puma India races ahead with Urban Stampede


While a number of brands are running towards sponsorship of marathons to get noticed, German sports lifestyle major, PUMA India is working on its own strategy to establish brand image. Launched in India in 2005, the brand has been able to create a niche for itself in the competitive sportswear market which for a long time had been dominated by brands like Nike, Adidas and Reebok.

Puma has introduced several new concepts to woo consumers and engage with them on the ground, this includes the Puma Social Club in Bengaluru. In this concept, the space within Puma stores is utilized to serve food and beverages and host cultural events or after-sports parties. But the one initiative that has set the brand apart is its PUMA Urban Stampede property.

With the philosophy of introducing running to people who were fitness-conscious but are leading busy lifestyles, the idea of a corporate relay race took shape. Companies can nominate their employees to participate in a race where they could run a distance that needed only a month’s training. Thus, the concept of four people, running 5km each, was born.

With more than 3000 enthusiastic participants from some of the biggest Corporate Houses running at PUMA Urban Stampede last year- the popular race will now travel to 8 cities for the 2014-15 season.  The brand’s initiative which is powered by Flipkart is a relay race where participants vie for the title of the fastest team in the Men’s, Women’s and Mixed categories.

Started in Bengaluru in 2008, PUMA Urban Stampede is back now for its seventh edition. It has enjoyed unprecedented growth and has prompted Runners for Life and PUMA to take it to other cities. Flipkart has also come on board as the event’s Associate sponsor, which has increased the scale and reach of the event. This year, the relay race will travel to Pune, Chandigarh, Kolkata and Chennai in addition to the existing races in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi and Hyderabad.

Commenting on the event, Rajiv Mehta, Managing Director, PUMA India shares, ‘Starting June 2014, the first Sunday of almost every month will see a PUMA Urban Stampede taking place in one part of the country. This is the only National Running event in India, and we’ve opened up the categories to allow more runners to participate – with the 4x5k Corporate Relay still taking pride of place in the overall event. This year, PUMA will also fly down the National Corporate Relay Winners to South Africa to participate in the renowned Safari Half-Marathon.’

For the seventh edition, the event has brought on board Fortis as Medical Partners, Ginger as Hospitality Partners, Red FM as Radio Partners and Give India as Charity Partners.

The new season format will include the Open 5K, a 2X10Km Open Challenge and the 4X5Km Corporate Relay. The top 10 finishers in the Corporate Relay in each city will get a chance to participate in the Grand Finale which will be held in Mumbai.

On their partnership with the event, Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Head of Retail, Flipkart says, ‘Sports and Fitness, as a category, is very popular in the online space, indicating that health and fitness have become very important to our growing customer base. Partnering with PUMA Urban Stampede is an effective way for Flipkart to engage and participate in our customers’ interest areas and we are happy to support this initiative.’

With the relay races starting with Pune on June 1st, the track is all set for Puma Urban Stampede.

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