PUMA announced today a multi-year partnership agreement with international football legend and current MLS New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry. Henry has chosen the sportslifestyle brand as his performance and lifestyle footwear and apparel sponsor, both on and off the pitch. Henry made his worldwide debut in PUMA boots Wednesday as he took to his home field in New York at the AT&T 2011 Major League Soccer All-Star Game against Manchester United FC. And this weekend, the legendary athlete returns to his former battleground in England – this time, with PUMA on his side (and on his feet!) – to lead the New York Red Bulls against his former team, Arsenal Football Club, in a pre-season friendly.
Known for his finesse, speed and impeccable ball control on the field, Thierry Henry has made waves since coming to the United States to play, quickly becoming one of the Major League Soccer’s top goal scorers. The 33-year old French powerhouse forward, who was nominated for the FIFA World Player of the Year twice, will also serve as a key brand ambassador for PUMA and a mentor to PUMA’s young football talent in Europe. He joins the brand’s all-star portfolio of football players that includes Samuel Eto’o, Gigi Buffon, John Mensah and Marta, to name a few. PUMA is considered one of the world’s top soccer brands, known for their love of the game, high-quality, technologically advanced performance product and fan wear. Henry will participate in a wide variety of PUMA’s consumer and trade programs throughout the partnership, working together to help grow the sport of football (soccer) in the United States.
“Thierry Henry’s reputation in the football world is legendary. He plays with his heart and exudes a love of the game that is inherent to PUMA’s DNA. Off the pitch, his sense of style, laid-back attitude and, of course, his love for sneakers, make him a great partner for us,” said Jay Piccola, President and General Manager of PUMA North America. “Football is a priority for PUMA. As a sportlifestyle brand with deep roots in soccer, there’s no better way for us to make a statement than with one of the most credible, talented and well-known players in the world. I’m ecstatic to have Thierry join our team.”
“Not only am I excited to be playing here in New York and all around the United States, but I am thrilled to have PUMA by my side as a partner and a supporter,” said Henry. “I have always loved PUMA for their unique, fun and authentic love of the game, and for the sheer joy that the brand brings to their fans. I’m excited to represent PUMA on the pitch – my new PUMAs performed exceptionally for me in yesterday’s game – I have always been a PUMA sneaker fan and now, I can’t wait to get my hands on the insider stuff.”
Henry joined Major League Soccer as a forward for the New York Red Bulls in July 2010, and this season he leads the MLS scoring charts with 11 goals in 18 games. Prior to joining the Red Bulls, Henry was considered one of the top strikers the English Premier League has ever seen, winning the Premier League title twice and FA Cup three times for Arsenal FC, becoming the Gunner’s top scorer of all time with 226 goals in 370 games. Moving to FC Barcelona in 2007, Henry won La Liga twice and the top trophy in European football the UEFA Champions League in 2009, going on to win the FIFA Club World Cup in the same year.
On the international stage, Henry helped France to win the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 1998, and the European Championships in 2000, going on to captain Les Blues and ending his international career as the all-time leading scorer for France with 51 goals. He was named PFA Player’s Player of the year twice in England, the EPL golden boot winner 4 times, French player of the year 5 times and named in the UEFA Team of the Year 5 times – in one of the most glittering football careers of all time.