PUMA Announces PUMA & Second City "LOL" Scholarship Program

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Sportlifestyle Brand Supports Emerging Talent as Part of The Second City Outreach & Diversity Program

Westford, Mass. and Chicago, IL (December 12, 2009) – Tonight, sportlifestyle brand PUMA® joined The Second City, the world’s premier comedy theatre and school of improvisation, as the organization celebrated it’s 50th anniversary at a star-studded affair in Chicago.  As part of it’s long-term commitment to emerging talent and the brand’s partnership with The Second City, PUMA announced the PUMA & The Second City “LOL” Scholarship Program, offering ten scholarships to the organization’s training center in Chicago and Los Angeles as part of The Second City Outreach & Diversity Program in an effort in increase diversity among the improv community.

“The incredible training programs offered by The Second City have helped launch careers across the entertainment industry,” said Jay Piccola President and General Manager of PUMA North America.  “PUMA has an obligation, as a fun, creative, global brand, to support and cultivate talent.  It is an honor for us to offer these scholarships to young people, giving them a chance to unleash their talents and potentially help launch a new rising star.”

PUMA will launch the scholarship program in February 2010 in the PUMA Stores on North State Street in Chicago and the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.  Ten young artists, five in Chicago and five in Los Angeles, will be awarded a year’s worth of improv training at the Second City training centers in Chicago and Los Angeles.  Details of the program and how to enter will be announced in January.

“We are so happy that PUMA shares our passion for education as well as our commitment to diversity,” said Andrew Alexander, CEO/President for The Second City.  “The art of improvisation builds the skills of listening and creativity while promoting teamwork.  PUMA is a perfect partner for us to provide opportunities for those who need and want it.”

PUMA launched it’s partnership with The Second City as a sponsor The Second City 50th Festival:  The Benefit of Laughter supporting the Alumni Fund of Second City in Chicago from December 10 - 12.  As part of the sponsorship, PUMA hosted the guest lounges for the alumni, transforming the lounges into the ultimate PUMA brand experience for alumni to reminisce and celebrate their years together on and off the The Second City stages.

PUMA’s partnership with The Second City aligns with the brand’s PUMAVision, the concept that unites PUMA’s corporate social responsibility activities and initiatives and guides the brand’s work, partnerships and engagement worldwide.  PUMACreative is the division of PUMAVision that supports artists and creative organizations such as the Hawaii Film Festival, Creative Africa Network, Africa Express and PUMA Central Saint Martins Bursary Award.  

For more information about the PUMA & The Second City “LOL” Scholarship Program, visit www.puma.com or www.secondcity.com in January 2010.

PUMA

PUMA is one of the world’s leading sportlifestyle companies that designs and develops footwear, apparel and accessories. It is committed to working in ways that contribute to the world by supporting Peace, Creativity, and SAFE Sustainability, and by staying true to the values of being Fair, Honest, Positive and Creative in decisions made and actions taken. PUMA starts in Sport and ends in Fashion. Its Sport Performance and Lifestyle labels include categories such as Soccer, Running, Motorsports, Golf and Sailing. The Black label features collaborations with renowned designers such as Alexander McQueen, Yasuhiro Mihara and Sergio Rossi. The PUMA Group owns the brands PUMA, Tretorn and Hussein Chalayan. The company, which was founded in 1948, distributes its products in more than 120 countries, employs more than 9,000 people worldwide and has headquarters in Herzogenaurach/Germany, Boston, London and Hong Kong. For more information, please visit www.puma.com

For more press information visit: puma.digitalnewsagency.com

Second City

The Second City is the leading brand in improv-based sketch comedy. With theatres in Chicago and Toronto, Training Centers in those cites as well as Hollywood, 11 full time touring ensembles, thriving corporate communications and theatricals divisions as well as television and film operations, The Second City has been called "A Comedy Empire" by the New York Times.

For more information or to buy tickets to shows, sign up for classes or to The Second City to you, visit www.secondcity.com