FIGC & PUMA® Give Top Soccer Players the Chance to Train with Italian National Team in Italy

Global Sports Brand Gives U.S. Azzurri Fans Chance to Win Once-In-A-Lifetime 'Journey'

WESTFORD, Massachusetts, Feb. 19, 2016 /CNW/ - The Italian Football Association (FIGC) and PUMA® have announced a new program named Il Viaggio, Italian for The Journey. This program gives U.S. and Canadian male and female soccer players (2000 and 2001 birth year) the opportunity to compete for a once-in-a-lifetime experience to learn and play football the Italian way in Italy. In 2016, PUMA will host trials for male players in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto that call on soccer playing Italy fans to #BeTheNext and compete for the chance to train with Gianluigi Buffon, Marco Verratti and the rest of the Italian Football National Team. Female trials will take place in 2017.

Representatives from the FIGC will attend the trials to select the players they feel will most benefit from the opportunity. Those chosen will participate in the National Trials, hosted at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, FL. There Antonio Conte, the head coach of the FIGC, will be on-site to select the final group of 16 players who will then be sent on an all-expense paid trip to Italy.

"Soccer participation in the youth levels is growing in the U.S., this program will give sixteen kids with the prospect of an excellent future the chance to experience soccer at the highest level", said Filip Trulsson, General Manager of the Teamsport Business Unit at PUMA.  

Michele Uva, CEO of the FIGC added, "Youth soccer development is key among the FIGC's strategy as well as the Football family world-wide. This initiative we made in partnership with PUMA in the USA and Canada we hope will be functional to the growth of the game around the world. Il Viaggio aims to spread Italian football values among youth generations and is a great opportunity to promote our brand. I believe this experience at FIGC's Technical Center in Coverciano will give promising footballers the right motivation to boost their passion for soccer and to build up talent."  

The trial dates and locations will be posted on in2sports.ca/ilviaggio and Ilviaggiotrials.com on February 12, 2016 where players will be able to register online for a chance to be selected to attend their regional trial. The final roster of players selected for each regional trial will be posted on in2sports.ca/ilviaggio and Ilviaggiotrials.com. Players of the Italian National Team, including Giorgio Chiellini and Davide Astori are encouraging soccer players based in the U.S. and Canada to #BeTheNext and bring their talents to the pitch in 2016 through this registration. PUMA and the FIGC will open this program up to female soccer players beginning in 2017 and encourage those players to keep an eye out for future program announcements.

PUMA will be partnering with key accounts in the U.S. and Canada to activate this program including Soccer.com, Upper 90 Soccer, Niky's Sports and In2Sports.

For more information on the Il Viaggio program and PUMA please visit in2sports.ca/ilviaggio, Ilviaggiotrials.com and PUMA.com

PUMA

PUMA is one of the world's leading Sports Brands, designing, developing, selling and marketing footwear, apparel and accessories. For over 65 years, PUMA has established a history of making fast product designs for the fastest athletes on the planet. PUMA offers performance and sport-inspired lifestyle products in categories such as Football, Running, Training and Fitness, Golf, and Motorsports. It engages in exciting collaborations with renowned design brands such as Alexander McQueen and Mihara Yasuhiro to bring innovative and fast designs to the sports world. The PUMA Group owns the brands PUMA, Cobra Golf, Dobotex and Brandon. The company distributes its products in more than 120 countries, employs more than 10,000 people worldwide, and is headquartered in Herzogenaurach/Germany. For more information, please visit http://www.puma.com

SOURCE PUMA



For further information: Media Contact: Michelle Perrault, PUMA, Central Marketing, PR, Michelle.Perrault@puma.com, 978-698-1264

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