NEW BALANCE ANNOUNCES NEW CHARITABLE INITIATIVES AS PART OF ITS “MY STORY MATTERS” SIGNATURE PROGRAM IN CELEBRATION AND SUPPORT OF THE BLACK COMMUNITY
Boston, MA – February 1, 2021 – Today, global athletic leader New Balance announced a range of philanthropic brand action initiatives aimed at supporting underserved communities and under the brand’s umbrella program “My Story Matters.”
Throughout Black History Month this year and beyond, New Balance will identify and elevate personal success stories that highlight Black achievements in sports, music, culture and more, as well as devote resources to support Black communities.
Most notably, Team New Balance Athlete, Kawhi Leonard, will be donating more than 12,000 pairs of his signature shoe, the Kawhi 1, to Soles4Souls, an organization that turns unwanted shoes and clothing into opportunity by providing relief, creating jobs and empowering people to break the cycle of poverty. Specifically, Soles4Souls helps people in developing countries launch and sustain their own small businesses selling donated shoes. The donation represents an estimated retail value of more than $1.9 million worth of product and will provide much needed resources for Soles4Souls micro enterprises in places including Africa.
Additionally, New Balance is pledging to support the Black Talent in Design & Fashion Fund (BTDF), an initiative set to directly fund Black students studying to enter the fashion and/or footwear industry.
Statistics show Black talent represents less than 5% of such a vast industry. The BTDF Fund addresses a solution from the root and foundation, undergraduate studies, in the efforts to cultivate and foster students obtaining a degree in which they are technically trained. The fund will support underrepresented communities within fashion and design programs to ensure they are able to complete their degree without roadblocks like not being able to afford materials, supplies or even the semester’s tuition. In total, New Balance will be funding 15 total scholarships each worth $500 and a number of New Balance associates will be joining BTDF’s mentoring directory to improve access to the design/fashion world for younger, BlPOC professionals.
“In recent years, a number of our associates have come together to ideate on how New Balance can not only recognize but lift up the Black community globally,” says Chavon Cham, Senior Product Manager for Lifestyle Apparel at New Balance. “Through the products we create and the action we take as a brand, we’re committed to empowering BlPOC individuals both at New Balance and around the world.”
“Whether it’s through our associates or our brand ambassadors, these commitments to the Black community are a part of our DNA and continue to expand our values-led initiatives,” Cham continues. “’My Story Matters’ is more than just our signature program for Black History Month; it’s about elevating the voices and experiences of those too often overlooked this year, this month and beyond.”
To learn more about New Balance’s commitments to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, please visit: https://www.newbalance.com/responsible-leadership/who-we-are.html
About New Balance
New Balance, headquartered in Boston, MA has the following mission: Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host. Manufactured in the U.S. for over 75 years and representing a limited portion of our U.S. sales, New Balance Made U.S. is a premium collection that contains a domestic value of 70% or greater. New Balance owns five factories in New England and one in Flimby, U.K. New Balance employs more than 6,000 associates around the globe, and in 2019 reported worldwide sales of $4.0 billion. To learn more about New Balance, please visit www.newbalance.com and for the latest press information please visit http://newbalance.newsmarket.com.
Jennifer KeddyGlobal PR ManagerUnited StatesJennifer.Keddy@newbalance.com-