It will be an Olympic Games in Paris and an Independence Day in Jamaica to remember as the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) and PUMA International join forces to bring to a global citizenry an experience in friendship and mutuality in sport and a cultural expose of Jamaica’s culture.

The JOA and PUMA will be partnering to celebrate Jamaica’s independence in Paris on August 6 and JOA Day on August 7 in the historic capital of France which is known universally for its avant-garde and exquisite taste for cuisine and art.

But for those days Jamaica’s culture in sport, music and food  and Olympism will be  spotlighted and take pride of place in a glorious display for Jamaica’s golden sporting champions and ambassadors, Jamaican fans, patriots resident in France, the worldwide Olympic officialdom, international personalities in sport and entertainment and athletes across the Olympic spectrum.

President of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), Christopher Samuda, in commenting on this historic and landmark partnership said, “We, the JOA and PUMA, are innovators in sport as we are constantly revolutionizing its ethos in giving capital and currency to stakeholders in building an inspiring world view of sport and in articulating a universal language of hope. It will be a Jamaican reggae yard experience in PUMA’s house, a home away from home sporting experience for many and a household name and legacy in the annals of Olympic history.”

This activation was inevitable as the messages of the JOA and PUMA converge in sporting values and prowess which are defining of their brands and way of life. JOA Secretary General and CEO, Ryan Foster, is an advocate of this and makes it clear that “August 6 and 7 will be the destinations in Paris for all roads will lead to Jamrock in PUMA’s house where food, music and our vibes will imprint values on the sporting landscape and leave lasting footprints.”

If there is any doubt as to the JOA’s perspective, Secretary General Foster provides certainty. “Globalizing brand Jamaica, internationalizing brand JOA and personalising sport remain a primary focus and mandate  and ‘JaParis’ our Olympic manor, will be iconic,” he said.

Central to the JOA’s domestic outlook and foreign policy are the athletes of its member associations and federations who President Samuda says “define what we do, how we do it and when we do it and the 2024 JOA PUMA French connection will be a blockbuster.”

In a few days shy of six months, members of the sporting fraternity will, in Paris, savour the best of the city courtesy of the JOA and PUMA.

In a strategic move fueled by the desire for fresh challenges and a lack of competitive challenges at the collegiate level, Jamaican triple jumper Jaydon Hibbert has secured a significant long-term contract with Puma. As was first reported by Sportsmax.TV late Thursday (25), the 19-year-old sensation, who enjoyed a remarkable freshman year at the University of Arkansas, has chosen to embark on a professional journey while continuing his studies at the esteemed institution.

Henry Rolle, the principal at Preeminence Sports Group and Hibbert's agent, shed light on the decision-making process, emphasizing the athlete's motivation to seek new horizons after achieving unparalleled success at the collegiate level. Hibbert's undefeated streak in both indoor and outdoor competitions during his freshman year highlighted his dominance, prompting a thoughtful evaluation of his next steps.

Hibbert set a World U20 record of 17.54m to win the NCAA Indoor title. He won the outdoor title with a world-leading 17.87m, an NCAA record and World U20 record. Just 18, he capped his incredible season by winning the coveted Bowerman Award in December 2023, becoming the first freshman, the youngest ever collegiate athlete and the first Jamaican to claim the award it’s 25-year history.

Rolle provided key insights into Hibbert's decision, stating, "There was really nothing to motivate him competing at the collegiate level, and he discussed it with his coach and his parents, and, of course, he had that NIL with Puma." Rolle emphasized that the decision was entirely driven by Hibbert's quest for greater challenges and personal growth.

The long-term contract with Puma signifies a crucial milestone for Hibbert's professional aspirations. Despite the transition to a professional career, the Jamaican triple jumper remains committed to completing his education at the University of Arkansas, showcasing a balanced approach to athletic and academic pursuits.

Reflecting on the financial feasibility and the athlete's personal goals, Rolle remarked, "It is a long-term deal that makes it feasible for him to complete his education." This strategic approach ensures that Hibbert can continue his studies while receiving the support and sponsorship necessary for his professional development.

Hibbert's decision to sign with Puma and embrace professionalism was made apparent in a heartfelt message shared on his Instagram page. In the post, he expressed gratitude to the University of Arkansas for its pivotal role in shaping him as both an athlete and an individual. The Razorback spirit instilled during his collegiate journey will accompany him into the professional realm.

“University of Arkansas you have been more than just a school to me. You have been a family. To all my coaches, teammates and professors, you’ve shaped me into the athlete and the person I am today. You’ve instilled in me the Razorback spirit which I will carry with me on my professional journey,” he posted on Instagram.

 “This journey has been filled with unforgettable moments, victories and lessons that I wouldn’t trade for anything. The roar of the crowd at every track meet, the camaraderie, the grind, the triumphs and even the injuries…each has carved a piece and my heart and soul.

“As I say goodbye to my NCAA eligibility and step into my professional career, I do so with a heart full of gratitude. I am not leaving behind the Razorback family; I am taking it with me.”

Hibbert will not compete indoors but will likely participate at a few outdoor collegiate meets in Arkansas and the wider USA before deciding which competitions including Diamond League meets he will be take part in prior to the Jamaica national championships and the Olympics in Paris in July, Rolle said.

 

 

 

 

Jaydon Hibbert has signed with the Preeminence  Sports Group, an indication that he has decided to become a professional athlete.

However, our sources indicate that he will remain at the University of Arkansas to continue training with Coach Travis Geopfert.

Hibbert, who turned 19 earlier this month, had signed an NIL contract with German sports apparel company PUMA during his freshman year after producing marks of 17.54m, a world U20 and NCAA record, to win the NCAA Division I Indoor title and followed up by winning the outdoor title with a mark of 17.87m, which is also a world U20 record.

Hibbert is his sophomore year at the University of Arkansas where he achieved record-breaking success in his freshman year, capping his outstanding season by winning the coveted Bowerman Award.

The Preeminence Sports Group announced on Instagram Thursday that Hibbert has joined the group.

“Help us in welcoming @...wunderkid_to the Preeminence team. We look forward to what this year has in store.”

 

St Lucia track queen Julien Alfred is also represented by Preeminence Sports Group.

Sportsmax.tv will have more detail on the development soon.

 

Nickisha Pryce has become the latest collegiate athlete from Jamaica to sign a NIL deal. The 22-year-old Pryce, now a junior at the University of Arkansas, has signed a deal with Puma, according to her announcement on Instagram on Tuesday evening.

A NIL deal is an agreement or arrangement between a student-athlete and a third party, such as a brand, company or individual, where the student-athlete receives compensation for the use of their name, image and likeness.

“New level unlocked. Very excited to be a part of the Puma family. It gives me great pleasure to share that I am now an officially recognized Puma NIL athlete. God’s timing is the right timing,” she said in her Instagram post.

The opportunity to earn while still competing at the collegiate level has come on the back of an outstanding season during which Pryce won a bronze medal in the 400m final at the NCAA Division 1 Outdoor final at the Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas, in a then personal best time of 50.23 in June when she was also a member of the Razorback’s gold-medal winning 4x400m relay team.

She would go on to claim her first Jamaican national title at Jamaica’s national championship in Kingston in a new lifetime best to 50.21 in July.

At the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Pryce helped Jamaica to the 4x400m silver medal. Jamaica lost the gold medal at the death to a fast-finishing Netherlands team anchored by the incredible Femke Bol.

Pryce joins fellow Razorback student-athletes Wayne Pinnock and Jaydon Hibbert who have signed NIL deals with Puma. Pinnock, a two-time Jamaica national long jump champion, won the silver medal at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in August while Hibbert, the 2023 world leader in the triple jump at 17.87m, won NCAA Division SEC and NCAA national Indoor and Outdoor titles last season.

 

 

 

 

Jamaica and University of Arkansas long jumper Wayne Pinnock has signed a Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) contract with global sports apparel company Puma. The 22-year-old, two-time national champion made the announcement on Instagram on Saturday.

“I’m thrilled to announce that I’m now an official Puma NIL athlete,” said the former Kingston College athlete, who will represent Jamaica at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in a fortnight, after winning his second national title with a jump of 8.32m in July.

As of June 30, 2012, college student-athletes competing in states without an NIL law will have the freedom to receive compensation for their NIL however they see fit, as long as they do not violate pay-for-play or receive financial incentives to sign with or remain at a program. 

Pinnock joins fellow Razorback alum Jaydon Hibbert as Jamaican student-athletes at the University of Arkansas to have announced signing NIL contracts with Puma. Hibbert is the world leader in the triple jump with a mark of 17.87m. The 18-year-old won the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor national titles in his freshman year at Arkansas.

Pinnock is part of a strong long jump contingent that will represent Jamaica at the World Championships set to begin in Budapest on August 19. NCAA champion Carey McLeod and 2019 World Champion Tajay Gayle complete the trio that will go for medals at the championships.

St Lucia sprint queen Julien Alfred has signed with Puma, the global sports apparel company announced on Friday.

The 22-year-old Alfred, the NCAA 100m champion, has experienced a meteoric rise through the rankings over the past 18 months, having gone undefeated at 100 metres in the 2022 NCAA season, and picking up a silver medal in the same event at the Commonwealth Games Birmingham 2022.

Her fine form has continued into 2023, with Alfred becoming the first woman in NCAA history to break the seven second barrier at 60 metres, and in doing so securing her spot as the all-time second fastest indoor sprinter at both 60 and 200 metres.

The seven-time NCAA Champion capped a remarkable first half to the year by taking gold at the Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador earlier this month.

“Julien is an incredible athlete, one we believe will continue to make history on the track,” said Pascal Rolling, Head of Sports Marketing at PUMA. “She is the true embodiment of forever faster and our ambition to be the fastest brand on the planet – we’re thrilled to have her join the PUMA family.”

“PUMA has such legendary status in athletics, so the decision to join their family was an easy one,” said Julien Alfred. “I feel that together we can achieve great things on and off the track.”

Now ranked in the top four at both 100 and 200 metres, Alfred will wear PUMA’s evoSPEED TOKYO NITRO track and field spikes, which offer the ultimate combination of power and propulsion thanks to PUMA’s NITRO Elite foam technology in the forefoot and a full-length Pebax plate

Alfred won her professional debut at the Diamond League meeting in Silesia on Sunday, clocking in at 9.89 to defeat the previously undefeated American Sha'Carri Richardson who ran 9.97.

For most of his illustrious career, Yohan Blake ran as an Adidas athlete. With them as his shoe sponsor, Blake won the 100m world title in Daegu, South Korea to become the youngest man ever to do so.

That year, he ran a 200m time of 19.26 to become the second fastest man over the distance behind his then training partner Usain Bolt. The following year, he ran 9.69 becoming the second-fastest ever in the 100m. Only Usain Bolt’s 9.58 is faster.

However, this weekend when he takes to the track at Jamaica’s National Athletics Championships in Kingston, Blake will be competing in Puma gear.

The announcement was made on Puma’s Instagram page on Wednesday.
“A new chapter begins. Welcome, @yohanblake to the PUMA family” was the simple post under a picture of the man once known as ‘The Beast’, who this weekend will be attempting to win a spot on Jamaica’s team to the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

The 33-year-old ‘Beast’ a veteran of three Olympiads and four World Championships will face a brigade of rising stars of Oblique Seville, Ackeem Blake, De’Andre Daley and Bouwahjgie Nkrumie and hungry lions like Julian Forte, Nigel Ellis and Michael Campbell, who are among the 25 entrants vying for a spot on the Jamaican team.

So far this season, Blake has run a season-best time of 10.05 set at the FBK Games in Hengelo. The time makes him the fifth-fastest Jamaica this year behind Ackeem Blake (9.89), Seville (9.95), Nkrumie (9.99) and Forte (10.03).

 

 

  

Jamaican triple jump World Junior record holder, Jaydon Hibbert, has signed a NIL deal with Puma.

Short for Name, Image, and Likeness, an “NIL” refers to the way college athletes can receive compensation. “Using” an athlete’s NIL would involve a brand leveraging their name, image, and/or likeness through marketing and/or promotional endeavors.

The NCAA officially made it legal for athletes to profit off of their NILs on July 1, 2021. Since this initial passing, states have begun to pass their own laws detailing the rules for athletes that attend colleges in their state. Universities have also begun to produce rules and programs for their student-athletes.

Hibbert, still only 18-years-old, is currently a finalist for the 2023 Bowerman Award after a spectacular freshman season for the Arkansas Razorbacks.

He won the SEC Indoor and Outdoor titles as well as the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor crowns. To take the SEC Outdoor title, Hibbert produced a personal best, world leading and world Under-20 record 17.87m.

 

Trinidad and Tobago Olympian Tyra Gittens has gone professional.

The 24-year-old Gittens announced on Instagram on Monday that has signed with Puma.

“Turning dreams into reality. I am proud to announce that I’m a new member of team Puma,” she said.

“The transition into my professional career was not smooth or easy but I have amazing people in my corner who rooted for me when I didn’t feel worthy of it. So excited to start this new chapter of my life.”

Gittens was an outstanding athlete while at Texas A&M University where she excelled at the heptathlon, high jump and long jump events.

In 2021 at SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships, she jumped 6.96m to place her inside the top 10 for the year so far and set Trinidad and Tobago records in Heptathlon 6418 points, high jump 1.95 m  and long jump 6.96 m.

However, those 6418 points where just two points shy of the Olympic standard and caused her to miss 2020 Tokyo Olympics in that event.

However, she did qualify for the Olympics where she jumped 6.60m to finish 10th overall.

She struggled for form in 2022, when she jumped 6.27m for 11th place at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England. She was also well below her best in the high jump clearing 1.76m for 14th place in the high jump.

At the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon that year she only managed 6.44m for 19th place in the long jump.

She was fourth at the NACAC Senior Championships with her best effort of 6.25m.

Later that year, Gittens transferred from Texas A&M to University of Texas citing a need to shift her focus from the heptathlon to the long and high jump events.

“I don’t feel like I outgrew it because I still have a lot of things that I wanted to do in the hep and accomplish in the hep. But at the same time, you kind of have to feel your body. It’s a lot to do the hep, I’m not going to lie, and so I wanted to challenge myself in other ways,” said Gittens in a media interview in 2022.

Now, armed with her Puma contract, Gittens can now turn her focus to the Paris Olympics in 2024.

“My goals are not something you necessarily can write down. It’s more of a feeling and how I carry myself and how I adapt and how I push through all of the things that has led me here. I think that’s what my goal is for this year  — to overcome a lot of things that the younger Tyra wouldn’t have been able to,” she said.

 

 

Student-athletes across Jamaica are set to benefit again from the World Class Athletics training camps provided by the MVP Track & Field Club.

Charokee Young, the 2022 NCAA 400m silver medalist is the latest Jamaican to go pro after signing a professional contract with Puma. Young, the fastest Jamaican woman in the world this year at 49.87, made the announcement on the Puma Performance Instagram page Friday.

“So blessed to announce that I am the newest member of the Puma family,” said Young, who just completed her sophomore year at Texas A&M University, is making her first appearance in an individual event at a global championship after finishing third at Jamaica’s national championships. She was a member of Jamaica's bronze-medal-winning team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan.

On Thursday, five-time Olympic gold medalist Elaine Thompson-Herah announced that she is now a member of the Puma family after breaking ties with Nike.

Kemba Nelson, the NCAA 100m silver medalist, and who was third at Jamaica’s national championships in June, also signed with Puma in recent days.

Weeks of speculation ended today when Puma announced the signing of five-time Olympic gold medalist Elaine Thompson-Herah.

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