FOOTBALL: Western Pride has received another massive boost in its professional development, securing Puma as the Ipswich state league club's official kit manufacturer.
Puma is an iconic sports-wear brand whose high-profile clients include AC Milan, the Italian national team, Borussia Dortmund and Hyundai A-League heavyweights Sydney FC.
Pride will have access to Puma gear through signing a partnership with licenced Australian suppliers Sports Clique.
Already active players in the southern states, Sports Clique and Puma selected Western Pride as their marquee partner in Queensland.
Sports Clique owner Joel Grenell said Puma became very excited after he sounded them out about linking with Pride.
"Puma are a brand that likes to have fun, who love to innovate, who love to promote young athletes and support them on their journey," Grenell said.
"Pride represent all of those key elements and a long-term relationship between us was always the goal."
Grenell said Pride would benefit from Puma's global experience.
"Pride will have access to world-class premium products for their members and supporters," Grenell said.
"Pride are now able to align themselves with Puma's marketing at a local level which will help to increase the club's visibility."
Grenell also acknowledged Pride's bid to join the Hyundai A-League made the club an attractive partner.
"The professionalism from Pride's office staff, general manager and the coaching and playing group is A-league class," Grenell said.
"We have the resources to be able to support Pride with their current A-League bid.''
Western Pride general manager Pat Boyle agreed the partnership with Puma and Sports Clique would help Pride meet their NPL and A-League aspirations.
"It's a huge benefit partnering with a brand of this magnitude in terms of raising recognition," Boyle said. "You look around Ipswich and see people wearing Puma street clothes.
"At the moment The Pit (Pride's fan club) is growing in numbers which is leading to a greater demand for merchandise. Partnering with Puma and Sports Clique will give our fans access to some great gear they can proudly wear around Ipswich."