German sportswear giant Puma AG has come up with a weird and wacky way to promote its new range of soccer boots ahead of this summer's World Cup - by placing them in bamboo and glass display cases in sushi restaurants.

The company will place its new Shudoh soccer boots in 15 sushi bars around the world - including Hong Kong, London, Madrid and New York - and will have its name on dinner mates, sake glasses, soy-sauce bowls and chopstick holders.

The bizarre promotional campaign will be backed up by an advert featuring soccer-hardman turned Hollywood-star Vinnie Jones who karate-kicks his way through a sushi restaurant packed with Puma-sponsored soccer players.

Last month, Puma revealed a 185 per cent jump in first quarter profits amid soaring sales and record orders for its sports footwear. It said it now expects 2002 pre-tax profits to smash its earlier forecasts and climb more than 30 per cent this year.

Major growth in EU and US markets helped push first quarter earnings up 184.8 per cent to 33.6 million euros ($29.97m) from the year-ago period, while sales surged 55.8 per cent to 232.8 million euros.