Spencer signs PUMA deal, eyes Rio success
Hurdling standout Kaliese Spencer says she was excited, following news that she had signed a new kit sponsorship deal with PUMA and is hoping to inspire young females through this new platform.
"I have known PUMA for many years throughout their partnership with the JAAA. I like them and their people; they are great support to have around, more like a family really," Spencer was quoted in a media release issued yesterday.
"I am excited to be a part of PUMA as it increases its focus on women, and I hope that involving female athletes in the campaign will inspire young girls to hit the track. I look forward to doing great things with my new PUMA family," Spencer added.
There were no details in yesterday's statement, but when pressed about the length of the agreement, Spencer's executive manager Marvin Anderson the recently retired sprinter said that the 28-year-old would retire a Puma athlete.
Anderson noted that the deal underlines her marketability, while noting that it will allow her to focus on meeting her objectives this season.
"This deal reaffirms how consistent she has been over the years; all the hard work that she has done over the past ten years," said Anderson during an interview with The Gleaner.
"She is in a really good frame of mind. She is at the right place. She is focused on doing well at the games. Everything she is doing now is geared towards going to the Olympics in Rio and doing well there," he added.
Spencer, who joined the Bert Cameron-led Cameron Blazers training group at the end of last season, now adds her name to the PUMA roster, which also includes fellow Jamaican athletes Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Hansle Parchment.
Spencer's addition comes at a point when the German brand has increased its focus on its female audience with the launch of its SS16 training campaign with 2015 US NCAA 100m Champion, Jenna Prandini and Australian sprint hurdler, Michelle Jenneke also among its ranks.
Spencer, who will compete at this weekend's Drake Relays before flying out to Qatar for the Doha Diamond League meet next week, finished fourth at the London Olympic Games in 2012 as well as at the Berlin (2009) and Daegu (2011) World Championships. With 22 wins on the Diamond League circuit, Spencer is the most successful track athlete ever in the series. She also has the second most top three finishes (32).
Spencer won Diamond Race trophies for the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014 seasons.
Pascal Rolling, head of sports marketing, Running at PUMA noted, "Kaliese is another great addition to PUMA as she embodies the brand's distinctive attitude, especially through her determination to succeed."
"She has been competing internationally for 10 years now and is at the top of her game. This combined with her likable nature and personality make her a perfect fit for PUMA," added Rolling.
"PUMA today announced it has signed an endorsement deal with Kaliese Spencer. The 28 year-old 400m hurdler will join PUMA's roster of athletes as they prepare for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro," the release continued.
Spencer won gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2006 IAAF World Junior Championships and was second in the 400m at the 2014 World Indoor Championships.