By Paul Meadors, Sports Reporter
Foregoing her senior track and field season at University at Oregon, Jenna Prandini has decided to take a giant leap and go pro, signing with Puma, the brand that includes World’s Fastest Man Usain Bolt. She will be used in global marketing initiatives for Running and Training across all communication channels, most prominently in the US market. Translation: look for the former Clovis High standout’s image on TV, billboards and magazine ads.
She will continue to attend school in Oregon and train in Eugene, with hopes of making the 2016 U.S. Olympic team.
Prandini didn’t make the announcement as much as she wore the announcement. Running in Bejing, China for Team USA at the IAAF World Championships, she turned heads by wearing baby blue and yellow Puma shoes instead of the traditional Nike shoes sponsored by Oregon while she and her 4×100 teammates sprinted to a silver medal.
“I’m very happy to be joining PUMA, a great brand with a rich history in sport and track and field,” Prandini said in a press release.
Jenna was the 2015 USATF 200m Champion, 2015 NCAA 100m Champion, two-time NCAA Long Jump Champion, a 14-time All-American while at the University of Oregon and a four-time gold medalist in the State Track and Field Meet for Clovis High School.
She’s super-pumped about the marketing ideas put in place by and of course one of the perks of signing with a big-time sponsor – all the cool swag.
“The running footwear and apparel they’ve given me is excellent, and they have exciting marketing plans in place for me,” said Prandini in a press released. “I’m excited to start the next chapter in my career. Everyone has made me feel so welcome, I’m looking forward to getting involved.”
Prandini ran 22.95 to finish second in her preliminary heat to qualify for the 200m semi-final at the IAAF World Championships and she finished fifth in her semi-final in 22.87 in Beijing, China, where she was joined by her family: dad Carlo, Clovis Unified School District’s Deputy Superintendent, mom Theresa, brother Mark, who teaches in New York, and grand dad Nonno who, at age 84, said he wouldn’t miss this event no matter what.
Despite not advancing to the finals of the 200m, Prandini is excited about the new chapter in her life, especially the marketing plans put into place by Puma.
“It’s been an overall great experience with them,” Prandini said after her 200m semi-final race. “It really clicked the moment we started talking.”
Prandini, forever grateful to friends and family for their lifetime worth of support posted the following on Facebook: “I would not be where I am today without my family, friends, teammates, and coaches. I am so grateful for all of the opportunities the University of Oregon has provided me with. I have created some incredible memories wearing the “O” on my chest that I will cherish forever. My life long dreams are turning into reality and I cannot wait to see what the future holds!”
To use a phrase made popular by family, friends and fans alike: “Go Jenna go!”