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Volume 25 No. 107
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Puma Launches Campaign Around Black-Gloved Salute At '68 Games

Puma has sponsored Smith (l) for more than 50 years, while Meek Mill serves as a brand ambassador
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Puma is launching a campaign to "mark the 50th anniversary" of U.S. Gold Medal-winning sprinter Tommie Smith’s "black-gloved salute" at the '68 Mexico City Games, according to Emma Thomasson of REUTERS. Puma’s #REFORM campaign will see brand ambassadors such as rapper Meek Mill "call for people to post images of themselves online with a raised fist to commemorate Smith’s silent salute" alongside teammate John Carlos on Oct. 16, 1968. The brand is working with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation on "live and social media events to fight racism and sexism, and will match donations to charities such as the American Civil Liberties Union, up to $100,000 in total." Puma CEO Bjorn Gulden said that it was a "coincidence the anniversary comes soon" after Nike's Colin Kaepernick ad. Gulden: "We are not trying to make commercial advertising out of this but we think it is good for the brand because it is part of our values." Puma has sponsored Smith for "more than 50 years." He took a "pair of their shoes onto the platform when he did his salute." Puma is launching a "collection of shoes called 'Power Through Peace' on Oct. 16, with the proceeds going to charity" (REUTERS, 10/11).