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The running-obstacle game lets players collect medals; but is the fun game a guise for an Olympic marketing push?
Puma has turned www.puma.com into a site reminiscent of an old-school 8-bit video game. In ‘Run Puma Run,’ an HTML5 game, site visitors can select a player from five options- the runner, the golfer, the footballer, the driver, and the cricketer. Players then try to collect as many medals as possible while running on a track while avoiding obstacles like hurdles and water puddles. The space bar lets players jump, and the arrow keys make the player change lanes. The game comes complete with nostalgic Nintendo-like sounds, coin count, and hearts to indicate how many lives you have left.
Puma isn’t an official sponsor of the Olympics, but look closely- is the runner, who looks like he’s wearing a Jamaican jersey, supposed to be Usain Bolt, a Puma sponsored athlete? And while golf isn’t in the Olympics, the golfer, dressed in all orange, looks oddly suspicious - is he Puma sponsored golfer Rickie Fowler, known for wearing all orange on the green? The footballer is also a dead ringer for a member of the Italian team, also sponsored by Puma.
Because the brand isn’t an official Olympics Sponsor, Puma can’t make an overt connection to its athletes in the London 2012 games, but in this game timed so closely to the Olympics and where players collect medals and end up on a podium, is the fun game giving Puma a way to take part in the games?