NEW BALANCE STEPS INTO PRIDE WITH 2021 SIGNATURE PROGRAM AND COLLECTION: EVERYBODY’S WELCOME
NEW BALANCE STEPS INTO PRIDE WITH 2021 SIGNATURE PROGRAM AND
COLLECTION: EVERYBODY’S WELCOME
Boston, MA (June 1, 2021) – Today, global athletic leader New Balance introduced its latest initiatives in commemoration of Pride 2021, entitled “Everybody’s Welcome,” which include a collection of footwear and apparel, a short film dedicated to telling the story of the Front Runners New York Pride Run and continued support of GLSEN’s relaunch of their Changing the Game program, designed to create safer school environments for all K-12 LGBTQ+ athletes.
Inspired by the global LGBTQIA+ community and rooted in vibrancy and playfulness, the 2021 PRIDE collection features art by queer Hong Kong visual artist, Zoie Lam. The footwear and apparel introduce original designs by Zoie that are emblematic of happiness and optimism. Her genderless characters are quirky and kindhearted; exemplifying warmth and empathy and underline our belief that everybody is welcome, no matter how you identify.
“At New Balance, we believe that product can be purposeful in driving positive change and creating healthy dialog,” says Kristen Mackenzie, Sr. Marketing Manager for New Balance. “Zoie Lam’s core value is positivity and she celebrates and encourages ambiguity and fluidity through her art. As a brand, our hope is that this collection will help foster connections with each other, regardless of our differences.”
The product assortment includes graphic tees, shorts, an anorak and singlets, as well as the Fresh Foam Tempo running shoe (suggested retail $120.00), a classic 574 (suggested retail $160.00) and sandal (suggested retail $45.00). The collection will launch globally and on www.newbalance.com beginning on June 1, 2021.
Front Runners Pride Run Film
Later in June, as the centerpiece to our Pride celebration, New Balance will debut a short film created in conjunction with Front Runners New York that tells the story of the historic 40-year old Front Runners Pride Run®. Directed by Rose Bush, Director of Photography of the Academy Award winning film “Colette” and produced by Vacationland, the film will highlight the story of Urie Dvorozniak, a New York and non-binary unemployed college graduate longing for community and personal healing as they work to embrace their identity, build confidence and re-imagine their potential, all illustrating the importance of being able to compete on one’s own terms.
GLSEN’S CHANGING THE GAME PROGRAM
Additionally, for the third year in a row, New Balance is supporting GLSEN, a United States based organization focused on championing LGBTQ+ issues and creating safer school environments for elementary through high school LGBTQ+ youth and students. New Balance has committed to donating $100,000 over two years to directly support GLSEN’s “Changing the Game” program which is being redesigned and relaunched to create safe spaces in locker rooms and on-field. In addition to a donation, New Balance will be using its global platform to help further GLSEN’s mission and give visibility to its efforts.
“As a global brand that emphasizes the importance of diversity and inclusion, New Balance is proud to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community around the world and facilitate participation in athletics,” says Jeff McAdams, VP of Global Marketing. “We believe in providing equal access to sport for all athletes.”
Funding from New Balance will support GLSEN’s update and relaunch of their “Changing the Game” program which was originally developed in 2011 to help create inclusive, encouraging, and safer spaces for student-athletes. This program’s mission and multitude of resources will assist schools in creating and maintaining an athletic and physical education climate that is based on the core principles of respect, safety and equal access for all students, teachers, and coaches regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression and integrating these efforts into overall school plans to ensure a safe, respectful school climate and culture. #LetKidsPlay
GLSEN has organizational partners in more than 30 countries in Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific and provides technical assistance in addressing the needs of LGBTQIA+ students in their own countries. Digital training for the “Changing the Game” program - via webinars and other tools - will be made available through GLSEN and its partners around the world expanding the reach of this program beyond the US and making inclusion in athletics and sports a reality worldwide.
About New Balance
New Balance Athletics, 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 more than 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 and operates four factories in New England and one in Flimby, U.K. New Balance employs more than 7,000 associates around the globe and in 2020 reported worldwide sales of $3.3 billion. To learn more about New Balance, please visit www.newbalance.com and for the latest press information please visit http://newbalance.newsmarket.com.
About Front Runners New York
Front Runners New York (FRNY) is New York City’s largest LGBT running club. The club was founded in 1979 and has grown to over 700 members annually. FRNY’s mission is to provide encouragement and support to LGBT adults and their supporters who are interested in running and running related activities. FRNY has created a social running community focused on health and fitness that is welcoming to all New Yorkers. FRNY offers a robust, inclusive membership experience.
GLSEN exists to create safe and inclusive schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression because no child should have to choose between their wellbeing and an education. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach millions of students and educators in K-12 schools, via action at the national, state, and local level. Over three decades of work, GLSEN has improved conditions for LGBTQ students across the United States and launched an international movement to address LGBTQ issues in education and promote respect for all in schools. Find more information on GLSEN’s policy advocacy, student leadership initiatives, school-based programs, research, and professional development for educators at www.glsen.org.
Jennifer KeddyGlobal PR ManagerUnited StatesJennifer.Keddy@newbalance.com-