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Marketing Plays: Melissa Sponsors Footwear Design Challenge at Istituto Marangoni Miami + More News

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See all the season’s biggest marketing moves, from ad campaigns and digital initiatives to major ambassador partnerships. Got some news to share? Send it to web@footwearnews.com.

March 1, 2024: Brazilian footwear brand Melissa is teaming up with the Istituto Marangoni Miami to sponsor a design challenge for the university’s spring semester, inviting students to reimagine the company’s signature Possession sandal for a Gen-Z audience. Participants will be challenged to redesign and customize the sandal’s insole and upper portion. Students will also be tasked with conceptualizing packaging and creative marketing materials. Contestants are required to submit their sketches by April 8, 2024, with the winner to be announced on April 30, 2024. The winning student will be rewarded with a one-week trip to Brazil this summer to visit one of the Grendene factories in Farroupilha, Rio Grande do Sul, followed by an tour of the Melissa Galeria store in São Paulo. Additionally, the winner will receive a week-long visit to Melissa’s U.S. headquarters in Miami’s Wynwood Art District, gaining firsthand knowledge of marketing strategies, wholesale operations, and more. Separately, Melissa has also committed to donate $15,000 to Istituto Marangoni Miami’s scholarship fund.

Feb. 18, 2024: Since the start of February, retailer DTLR This has celebrated Black History Month by recognizing talented Black educators as part of its “Mission 1865” campaign, which it will continue to do until month’s end. The “Mission 1865” campaign, DTLR explained, was inspired by the year that the 13th Amendment was passed and ratified by Congress to abolish slavery. As part of this effort, the retailer will recognize and reward educators around the country for their Black History Month classroom artwork. This campaign includes a social media contest that aims to highlight the artwork for a potential reward of school supply support. DTLR said in a statement that educators should submit the classroom designs that are celebrating Black history and culture in the form of classroom decorations, door art or bulletin boards. To enter the contest, they can post their artwork to social media and tag @daretoliveright and #DTLRMISSION1865. DTLR said it will reward the winning educators with a DTLR Teacher Appreciation Swag package, and the winning art will also be featured in DTLR stores, social platforms and on DTLR.com. The contest will come to an end on Feb. 26. 

Jan. 3, 2024: FC Barcelona rising star Fermín López has joined Under Armour‘s growing roster of soccer players. The Spanish midfielder joins the likes of Antonio Rüdiger (Real Madrid), Ansgar Knauff (Eintracht Frankfurt), Malick Thiaw (AC Milan), Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal), Lewis Hall (Newcastle) and Anna Patten (Aston Villa), all of whom were signed by Under Armour in recent months. According to the company, López will be playing in Under Armour’s Shadow Elite 2 boots, designed for players who need speed and agility in their game. They will become available to the public in early 2024. Off the pitch he will wear the brand’s latest performance and sportstyle products.

Dec. 14, 2023: Twisted X revived its classic westerns video series starring brand partners and rodeo pros Shad Mayfield and Shelby Boisjoli. The new commercial, “Trouble on the Comfort Express, features tie-down roper Mayfield and breakaway roper Boisjoli intercepting a train robbery and changing the robber’s life with comfortable Western boots. The spot has been running on the Cowboy Channel since Dec. 7 and had a live premiere during its National Finals Rodeo Tailgate Series. It’s also airing on the brand’s social channels (including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Vimeo). Mayfield and Boisjoli previously appeared in Twisted X western videos last year. 

Nov. 2, 2023: Mark Wahlberg’s Municipal has signed its first official NFL partnership with New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon. According to the premium performance brand, the two plan to partner together on a multitude of charitable initiatives that support the local underserved Boston community, including a Turkey Drive and a Coat Drive in the holiday season. Along with the philanthropic initiatives in play, the partnership will feature Judon in Municipal attire both on and off the field, during training, and beyond. “As a fellow Boston native, this partnership holds a special place in my heart,” Wahlberg said in a statement. “Matthew and I share a deep connection to the Boston community, and our commitment to making a positive impact together is unwavering. Municipal has always stood for pushing boundaries and overcoming obstacles, and that’s exactly what Matthew embodies on the gridiron. We’re absolutely thrilled to welcome him to the Municipal family, and together, we’re primed to redefine comfort and style in the game.”

Oct. 20,2023: Wolverine Boots is launching two University of Michigan branded boots which will be sold exclusively at The M Den; the university’s official athletic merchandise retailer. A limited number of pairs are now available at the Ann Arbor M Den. Additional pairs will become available for presale for an early spring 2024 launch. For each pair sold, Wolverine will be contributing a portion of proceeds to the Champions Circle, the University of Michigan’s NIL collective that benefits student athletes, with an additional giveback coming from the M Den. The Wolverine x U of Michigan branded boots are built on the silhouette of Wolverine’s popular Floorhand Moc Toe boot. The two pairs within the collection are inclusive of Wolverine’s classic styling and Maize & Blue Collar details that offer hardworking, tailgate-ready good looks. Both colorways feature a waterproof full-grain leather upper, a Wolverine x University of Michigan woven tongue label and embossed University of Michigan ‘M’ in the heel. The boots retail for $160. The Wolverine x U of Michigan boots launch comes after an already established name, image, likeness (NIL) agreement between Wolverine Boots and 13 University of Michigan football players.


Wolverine x University of Michigan Boots

CREDIT: Wolverine

Oct. 5, 2023: Birkenstock is set to take over three public spaces across New York City next week in an effort to “give back to the city that never stops walking.” According to the German footwear brand, which is set to go public very soon, it will host a series of interactive public green spaces on Wednesday, Oct. 11 and Thursday, Oct. 12 in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The program, dubbed “Birkenfields,” will take place at Flatiron Plaza, located on 23rd Street and Broadway; 410 Lafayette Street; and 34 River Street near Domino Park. These public events will provide consumers foot massages, hot chocolate carts by Maman and pretzels by Sigmund’s Pretzels. Exclusive Birkenfield merchandise will also be available, with proceeds benefiting local New York organizations. Plus, the Brooklyn event will take place at Other Half Brewing in Williamsburg and will offer guests to try German-Inspired along with interactive games.


Birkenstock, NYC Parks, Birkenfield

A rendering of the Birkenstock activation at Flatiron Plaza.

CREDIT: Courtesy Image

Oct. 4, 2023: Canadian footwear and apparel maker Kamik is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year with a robust lineup of brand initiatives. Timed to the anniversary, Kamik has unveiled a fully redesigned Kamik.com, amplifying the consumer shopping experience, spotlighting the brand’s heritage and commitment to sustainability, and rolling out expanded content and product over time including blogs, product features, and more brand highlights. To give consumers a glimpse into the people and processes that make Kamik possible, a new tentpole campaign featuring Kamik’s hydroelectric Montreal factory and real Kamik employees and their families will coincide with the anniversary, premiering this month. What’s more, Kamik is celebrating the families and fans who have contributed to the brand’s success with a contest that will gift 125 pairs of footwear to 125 lucky winners throughout the year. Fans will also have a chance to win a monthly $125 gift card to spend on Kamik.com to find their perfect fit. No purchase necessary; consumers can enter to win on 125.Kamik.com, and winners will be notified via email.


Kamik, anniversary, campaign, giveaway, free shoes

CREDIT: Courtesy of Kamik

Sept. 19, 2023: Paul Andrew has released his newest campaign. The footwear designer teamed up with photographer Alessio Bolzoni for the newest spot, which showcases Andrew’s third season collection. According to Bolzoni, who Andrew met while working at Ferragamo, the new campaign is a “surreal and powerful group of images that we both love.” The campaign stars Swiss model and painter, Veronika Kunz, who Andrew said in a statement “epitomizes female sophistication” with a truly modern and artistic edge. “This campaign is important for me as it is the first time in which I give the Paul Andrew woman a face,” Andrew said. “It is also the first time in which the campaign will be printed and showcased on poster-boards allover New York City throughout the month of September, framing my return to the NY Fashion Week calendar.”


Paul Andrew, footwear, shoes, campaign

CREDIT: Courtesy of Paul Andrew

Sept. 13, 2023: Brooks announced it has signed Shawnti Jackson to a name, image and likeness (NIL) deal. This NIL deal is the first for Brooks. Jackson, who is now a freshman at Arkansas, broke the American girls’ high school record after running 10.89 in the 100 meters in June. The signing of Jackson, according to Brooks, expands its “breadth in the sport” beyond its expertise in distance running “with further investments in speed disciplines.” “We’re incredibly excited to work with Shawnti in this next chapter,” Brooks head of sports marketing Garrett Heath said in a statement. “This NIL partnership signals our commitment to continuous innovation and building high performance speed product alongside the best athletes in the world.”


Shawnti Jackson Brooks

Brooks athlete Shawnti Jackson.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Brooks

Sept. 13, 2023: REI Co-op has announced that REI Co-op Studios, its in-house content arm, will release and expand distribution of several original feature films, short films and podcasts. The feature films releasing in the fall include “Canary,” a climate documentary featuring renowned scientist Lonnie Thompson that will play in 140 theaters across 60 U.S. markets. The U.S. theatrical run will begin Sept. 15, and REI stated and most dates will start Sept. 20 during Climate Week. Also, REI Co-op Studios will release the Billy Luther written and directed by “Frybread Face & Me,”  a narrative film the outdoor retailer stated chronicles the story of an 11-year-old city boy sent to his grandmother’s ranch on the Navajo reservation. The film premiered in the U.S. at SXSW and debuted internationally at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 7, which concludes Sept. 17. REI stated additional screenings will soon be announced. REI also announced that it is working with Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Studios on the feature documentary film “Full Circle: The First All Black Everest Ascent,” which follows the story of the first Black climbing expedition to Summit Mt. Everest in spring 2022. The film is scheduled to release in 2024. Aside from the aforementioned feature films, REI Co-op Studios is producing short films and podcasts that will launch on its channels through the fall. These include the films “Saturday in the Park” and “My Wild” and the podcasts “Hello Nature,” “Camp Monsters” and “Wild Ideas Worth Living.”

Aug. 23, 2023: K-Swiss has inked a new partnership with professional pickleball player and coach Matt Manasse, which includes a multi-year apparel and footwear deal. In April of 2020, after discovering his passion for pickleball, he quickly climbed the pro ranks. Manasse made a move to Los Angeles where he started the pickleball program at the Riviera Country Club. He quickly garnered clients such as Emma Watson, Matthew Perry, Jamie Foxx, and more. He was the coach for the CBS special “Pickled” featuring the likes of Will Farrell, Kelly Rowland, Dierks Bentley and more. Manasse was also featured in the most recent Pickleball Slam with Andy Roddick, John McEnroe, Andre Agassi, and Michael Chang. “We are excited to have Matt join the K-Swiss team,” Dave Larson, VP of marketing for K-Swiss, said in a statement. “His prowess as a pickleball player and his connection to celebrities enables our brand to take advantage of the natural crossover of performance and lifestyle pickleball. He already hosted a pickleball party for our global team at our recent sales meeting. He is a master at bringing the fun of the game to all.”

Related: Best Pickleball Shoes

Aug. 9, 2023: Farfetch has teamed up with Stadium Goods to launch a new editorial in celebration of 50 years of hip-hop. Shot by photographer Janette Beckman, the editorial features rappers Midwxst and Bktherula, where they discuss hip-hop’s impact on sneaker culture and its ever-evolving relationship with fashion. Featuring a curated selection of sneakers, menswear and accessories, the editorial highlights brands beloved by the hip hop community, including Nike, Jordan, Adidas, Heron Preston and more. “Hip-hop goes through cultural moments – for example, the shell toes and tracksuits [that] were a big staple for Run-D.M.C.,” Midwxst said. “Then in the 2000s, there was Soulja Boy, and everyone was wearing big tees. Each era has its own impact.”


Midwxst, Farfetch, Stadium Goods, hip hop

Midwxst stars in the new Farfetch x Stadium Goods 50 Years of Hip Hop editorial.

Aug. 7, 2023: Bruno Magli has released its autumn/winter 2023 collection and campaign last week. This season, the Italian luxury footwear brand is building on the “La Dolce Vita” theme from the spring/summer collection and further highlighting the relaxed elegance of its styles. Embracing the changing season, the collection features the brand’s signature hardware and ornamentation, and are produced in Bruno Magli’s heritage colors such as cognac, truffle, Bordeaux, rust, and black. For men, this season’s collection features suede sneakers, loafers, lace-up styles and lug-soled boots. For women’ the collection includes loafers, leather flats, high heels.


Bruno Magli, fall 2023, campaign, collection, men's shoes, mens shoes, mens loafers, loafers, boots

CREDIT: Courtesy of Bruno Magli

Aug. 1, 2023: Shoe Carnival has launched a new back-to-school campaign with actor, television host, and entrepreneur Terry Crews. The tongue-in-cheek campaign features a different side of Crews, famous for his megawatt smile and muscular physique. In his role as “Spokesfeet” the spots feature Crews’ less famous – and less expensive – feet, celebrating Shoe Carnival’s ability to pass savings onto its customers with the best back-to-school deals on top brands like Nike, Hey Dude, Adidas and more. Along with the campaign comes Shoe Carnival’s Terry Crews Megastar Giveaway sweepstakes, which gives shoppers a chance to win more than $1 million in cash and prizes. From July 18 – Sept. 5, shoppers who purchase three or more pairs of shoes in any Shoe Carnival store can spin the Spin ‘N Win Wheel for a chance at cash and prizes including the grand prize, a $15,000 Cash Card and an opportunity to meet Crews in Los Angeles. “I’m thrilled to partner with Shoe Carnival to help put cool shoes within reach for all families as they gear up for another school year,” said Crews in a statement. “Growing up in Flint, Michigan, I know first-hand how important shoes are for kids and how much saving on those shoes matters to hardworking families.”

July 28, 2023: Merrell has announced a contest where trail runners could win a chance to race for a spot on its international athlete roster as part of the brand’s “Get Fastest Known Time (FKT)” challenge. The brand said in a statement that it will host a challenge for trail runners to race, and become signed athletes, by setting an FKT route while wearing the Merrell Test Lab (MTL) Skyfire 2 shoe. Until Aug. 18, people can enter Merrell’s online sweepstakes via Merrell.com/athletesearch where six applicants — three male and three female — will be selected to race for a spot to become a member of the brand’s sponsored athlete team at an exclusive “Get FKT” event. The contestants will wear the MTL Skyfire 2s on a 3.2-mile route with 2,201 feet of climbing, and one male and one female trail runner who set the FKT at the event will be the “Get FKT” challenge winners. The challenge will result in two athlete signings to Merrell’s global trail team for the 2024 season, who will work with the brand’s product research and development test lab. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen. The “Get FKT” challenge will be held on Sept. 27 in Steamboat Springs, Colo., and the sweepstakes winners will receive compensated travel and lodging accommodations to attend the race.

July 25, 2023: REI Co-op has expanded its rentals, day tours and multiday travel offering, which includes three Canadian Rockies trips for year-round adventure and new destinations in the U.S. Also, the retailer’s paddling operations have doubled in location number and its day tours are expanding in the Bay Area. The three new Canadian Rockies experiences include a five-day Canadian Rockies Hiking and Camping trip where people can explore Lake Louise, Banff and Jasper, a six-day Canadian Rockies Cycling – Banff to Jasper and the six-day Banff and Beyond Winter Adventure. And in the U.S., REI has added roughly 30 multiday itineraries this year, including backpacking at the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in Tennessee, canoeing at Boundary Waters in Minnesota, snowshoeing at Tahoe National Forest in California. To meet growing customer demand, the retailer said it doubled the size of its Bryce National Park signature camp and added four trips to expand its assortment to 13 itineraries in the park. Also, REI added a five-day Denali Cycling trip in Alaska, as well as the Haines Multisport trip in the state that includes an overnight kayaking expedition to Chilkat Inlet or Chilkoot Lake. The growth, REI said in a statement, supports the multiyear strategy for its experiences business to help three million people get outside each year.

July 24, 2023: Del Toro is now the official shoe partner for the 2023 U.S. Ryder Cup team and will create three custom shoes for players to wear for events leading up to and during the tournament, taking place Friday, Sept. 29 through Sunday, Oct. 1 in Rome. Under the direction of new CEO Chad Kramer, Del Toro will create three shoes specifically for the 2023 U.S. team. Players will sport the Italian shoes during various events throughout the duration of the event. On arrival day, when the Ryder Cup’s U.S. team descends into Rome, the players will be outfitted in custom Del Toro White Sneakers made of Italian leather complete with a rubber heel and contrasting cobalt blue stitching. The U.S. Ryder Cup logo will be embossed on the back of the shoe with the iconic trophy on the tongue. During a private dinner hosted by the Ryder Cup for the players, the U.S. team will be wearing Del Toro’s iconic Black Velvet Slipper with the U.S. Ryder Cup logo emblazoned on the bottom of the shoe, the trophy embroidered on the outer heel and the player’s initials on the inner heel. For the Ryder Cup’s opening event, the U.S. team will be wearing Del Toro’s Brown Leather Milano Loafer made with Italian Napa Leather and complete custom features including a unique, navy, suede “x” accent on the top of the shoe that is custom-made for the Ryder Cup. The shoe also features a “1 of 12” – a nod to the 12 person U.S. Ryder Cup team – embossed on the inner footbed. The players’ initials are embossed on the inner footbed of the opposite shoe.


Del Toro shoes, Del Toro, Ryder Cup, US Ryder Cup team

CREDIT: Courtesy of Del Toro

July 13, 2023: REI Co-op has launched a multiyear initiative titled “Outside in 5” to ensure everyone in the U.S. has immediate access to outdoor spaces. This community-led initiative, according to the retailer, aims to address specific needs of communities and “supports local projects and national legislation in pursuit of REI’s goal of getting 100 million people outside in five minutes or less, no matter where they live.” To support this initiative, REI said it will put $5 from every co-op membership toward the REI Cooperative Action Fund to support organizations and projects “that will help everyone get ‘Outside in 5.’” REI launched “Outside in 5” on July 12 in Anacostia Park in Washington, D.C., a historically Black community that the retailer said has limited access to green space. Friends of Anacostia Park, alongside REI and the REI Cooperative Action Fund, are working “to reconnect the historically Black community of Anacostia to the national park in their own backyard.” On July 12, the retailer co-op joined Brenda Mallory, chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, as well as author and policy advocate Heather McGhee and other community leaders to unveil “a national playbook” for “Outside in 5.” In the fall, REI said the REI Cooperative Action Fund will announce more than 250 new local nonprofits that will help advance the “Outside in 5” vision. Also, the retailer said it is asking its community to join the Cooperative Action Network and help pass the Outdoors for All Act, which was designed to “help close the nature gap by securing funding for green spaces in underserved communities so everyone can enjoy time outside.”

June 30, 2023: Asics has teamed up with Bandit Running on a 16-week guided fall marathon training experience. Dubbed “The Program,” the training is offered in two ways – NYC-based in-person, which is paid, as well as a virtually for free. Participants will have the opportunity to explore the most crucial aspects of long-distance training—from strength and mobility, to recovery and nutrition, and everything in between. The Program will also feature new themes each week and expert coaches who will guide you every step of the way. Applications for the NYC based in-person program close on Monday, July 3 at 11:59pm ET.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CuFHaO-LLR_/?hl=en

June 23, 2023: Interactive live-streaming platform Clash TV has teamed up with And1 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the basketball shoe brand’s iconic “MixTape Open Run” events. The “Open Run” street basketball competitions, according to Clash TV, were created by And1 to celebrate the its 30th anniversary and to “reintroduce the company’s iconic Mixtape tours to the next generation,” which were summertime staples throughout the 1990s. Clash TV said in a statement that they will jointly live-stream the events on the ClashTV platform, which will take place July 9 and July 23. The events will take place at the MMBL Schuler Playground in Philadelphia and on July 23 at KingDome in King Park in New York City, respectively. 

June 22, 2023: The Athlete’s Foot and Adidas once again partnered to present The Athlete of the Mic contest. This year, contestants had the option to audition live in Raleigh, N.C., Atlanta and Dallas or submit their audition video online, and one winner was selected from each pool of applicants. The four finalists included Atlanta winner DYKingz, Raleigh winner Sitch, Dallas winner South Dallas Keke and online winner iamBree-Ze. They all took to the stage on June 16 to perform live at the Who’s Hot contest in Atlanta, with DYKingz emerging victorious. As its prize, the hip-hop dance group made up of four Atlanta-based brothers, performed live onstage at Birthday Bash ATL alongside mega stars 21 Savage & Friends, GloRilla, Finesse2Tymes, NLE Choppa and Jacquees, in front of more than 30,000 fans at the State Farm Arena.


The Athlete of the Mic contest winner DYKingz performs Birthday Bash ATL June 17 2023

The Athlete of the Mic winner, DYKingz, performs at Birthday Bash ATL on June 17 in Atlanta.

CREDIT: Courtesy of The Athlete’s Foot

June 9, 2023: Puma has entered into a three-year partnership with Jumping Fences Inc., the event producer of the San Francisco Marathon, which is the athletic brand’s first apparel and footwear sponsorship for a U.S. marathon. This partnership, Puma said in a statement, is focused on “supporting the local running community and celebrating the monumental course.” The partnership will include sponsorship of all the weekend races, Puma said in a statement, as well as exclusive footwear and apparel rights. Also, Puma confirmed it is the lead sponsor of the San Francisco Marathon’s Run365 Training Program. Race weekend begins July 21 at Fort Mason Park, and the Health and Fitness Expo will go through July 22. What’s more, Puma said it will release a limited-edition style featuring its Nitro midsole foam cushioning in the San Francisco Marathon colors, as well as apparel, which will be available to purchase at the Health and Fitness Expo.

June 9, 2023: Snipes has announced that it is a sponsor of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City and will participate in the event, which will take place on June 11. The retailer said in a statement that it will bring “a wave of excitement and entertainment to all parade-goers,” which includes a custom-designed float that Snipes stated “pays tribute to the influential leaders, educators, artists and celebrities who have left an indelible cultural mark on our nation.” The float will also feature a live DJ set from DJ Enuff and Puerto Rican artist Dalex is slated to perform. What’s more, Snipes said it has partnered with KR3TS (Keep Rising To The Top), an organization that provides dance classes and support programs to empower the community by offering positive alternatives to social and street pressures.

May 23, 2023: Adidas Basketball will once again host its officially sanctioned NBA pre-draft camp outside of the United States, the Adidas Eurocamp. For the first time in six years, Adidas will host elite draft-eligible athletes from around the world, who will be coached by current pro coaches and players. What’s more, Adidas confirmed that this year’s Eurocamp will be the first time that female athletes will be featured in the multi-day scouting program. Some of the NBA and EuroLeague people of note who will be in attendance include LSU point guard Hailey Van Lith and Houston Rockets power forward Jabari Smith. La Ghirada Sports Complex in Treviso, Italy from June 9-15.

May 23, 2023: Say goodbye to muddy festival kicks. IHG Hotels & Resorts has teamed up with premium shoe care brand Jason Markk on a new “Sneaker Spa” pop-up at the Hotel Indigo Lower East Side New York just in time for Governors Ball. The Sneaker Spa will offer 15-minute appointments using Jason Markk’s products and professional cleaning crew to refresh your sneakers. Additionally, visitors will receive a complimentary shoe bag with Quick Wipes and a thoughtfully curated sneaker Care Kit, including eco-friendly products that will protect their favorite sneakers throughout the entire festival season. Walk-ins are welcome between 9AM-1PM on Saturday, June 10 & Sunday, June 11 on a first come, first served basis. Hotel Indigo Lower East Side New York is located at 171 Ludlow Street in Manhattan.


IHG Hotels & Resorts, Jason Markk, Sneaker Spa, Governors Ball

CREDIT: Courtesy of IHG Hotels & Resorts

May 23, 2023: Snipes announced it has entered into a new partnership with the Pro Breaking Tour, the professional competition series for breakdancing in the United States and Canada. The Pro Breaking Tour, powered by Snipes, will hit 12 cities across the U.S., with dates in Miami, Atlanta, New York and more. The tour will begin with a three-day event this month in Seattle and comes to a close in California in November. The kick-off event on Memorial Day Weekend includes a preliminary round on May 27 at Pier 62, followed by the main event at the Neptune Theatre on May 28 and a grand finale with the Massive Monkees on May 29 (which includes a youth battle at Seattle Center and a community jam and BBQ at Jefferson Park).

May 23, 2023: Meredith Edwards, Team Vibram mountain endurance athlete, is in Alaska for her fastest known time (FKT) attempt of Denali. Edwards hopes this attempt, Vibram said in a statement, will inspire more women in mountain sports. The current women’s Denali FKT stands at 21 hours, 6 minutes by Katie Bono in 2017. Edwards is making the attempt now and will be on Denali until June 15. “Attempting this project is a stepping stone for women in mountain sports as I want to inspire others to not be afraid to pursue big goals. No matter the outcome, it’s important to show up and focus on the journey,” Edwards said in a statement. “I’m a product of everything that’s happened in my life and I’m grateful for the struggles that I have overcome because that is what made me the person I am today. Her Denali Speed Project is about showing up for women everywhere.”

May 16, 2023: Vibram is set to launch “Move Freely Experience,” an international grassroots events program that will take place throughout 2023. This global fitness event series, according to Vibram, will introduce its FiveFingers shoes “to new sports consumers, fitness trainers of varied disciplines and outdoor enthusiasts,” and will also all them “to engage with the Vibram brand and team.” The experiences are unique to the region and will take place in key cities including Portland, Ore. (May 17); London (May 27); Boston (June 29); Paris (June 30); Berlin (July 27); New York City (Aug. 16); Madrid (Sept. 23); Boulder, Colo. (Sept. 27); Chicago (Oct. 25); and Seattle (Nov. 15). All of the events will feature an overview of the Vibram brand and heritage, a personalized FiveFingers fitting for each attendee, two FiveFingers-inspired workouts led by certified trainers and healthy food and beverages.


Vibram FiveFingers

Women athletes working out in Vibram FiveFingers shoes.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Vibram

May 16, 2023: After a three-year hiatus due to COVID, retailer DTLR is bringing back its fashion show to Atlanta. The 2023 Fall Fashion Showcase: Excel will honor brands including Nike, Jordan Brand, New Balance, Javi and Goorin, and feature performances from artists including Hunxho and Breezy Lyn. Hosts include Tiara LaNiece of DTLR Radio and famed rapper Yung Joc from Atlanta’s Streetz Radio.

May 15, 2023: After two successful years of touring the country in a vintage school bus, Chaco is bringing back its “Fit for Adventure” tour. The tour, which officially kicked off on Friday in Grand Rapids, Mich., will travel to over 10 different cities across the country, including Denver, Nashville, and new, never before visited locations. More stops will be announced at Chacos.com/tour. During the tour, Chaco will be offering customers the chance to repair their loved Z sandals repaired for free – or they can design a custom pair of Z/1 Classic Sandals ($110) or Chillos Slides ($40). Both repairs and custom sandals are handcrafted on-site inside the specially equipped vintage school bus. There will be exclusive webbings at select stops. The Fit For Adventure Tour has kept thousands of sandals out of landfills and is an extension of the ReChaco Repair program – Chaco’s repair facility in Rockford, Mich. To date, over 266,000 pairs of sandals have been repaired and returned to Chaco fans for years of adventure to come.


Chaco, Fit for Adventure tour, sandals, repairs

CREDIT: Courtesy of Chaco

May 10, 2023: To mark Occupational Safety and Health Day, Red Wing Shoe Co. has launched a new campaign called “Thanks for Nothing” that recognizes the tireless efforts of safety professionals to protect trades workers. In the world of safety, “nothing” means no unexpected accidents or injuries — which means no missed shifts, no lost wages and no impact on their families. According to OSHA, on-the-job incidents have declined 75 percent during the last four decades, from 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972 to 2.7 incidents in 2021. As part of the initiative, Red Wing is inviting all workers to share stories about safety professionals who have made a difference, by posting videos on social media using the hashtag #RedWingSafetyHeroes. The brand is also sharing videos on its campaign website.


Red Wing Shoe Co. safety professionals Thanks for Nothing campaign

Red Wing Shoe Co. celebrates safety professionals in its “Thanks for Nothing” campaign.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Red Wing Shoe Co.

May 3, 2023: Skechers has announced a partnership with Pickleball Canada that names the brand as the official footwear sponsor of the Pickleball Canada National Championship. The agreement begins with the current season and will further establish Skechers’ prominent position in the fast-growing sport. “Skechers currently sponsors every major elite professional pickleball tour in the United States and our athletes are winning on the court, so it’s the perfect time to expand our reach to the biggest circuit in Canada so that we can connect with more consumers across North America and around the world as they discover and fall in love with this incredible sport,” Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers, said in a statement. Skechers kicked off 2022 by signing its first two elite pickleball athletes, Tyson McGuffin and Canadian Catherine Parenteau, who compete wearing Skechers pickleball footwear and Skechers-branded apparel. After introducing its pickleball collection at the US Open Pickleball Championships in Naples, Fla. last year, Skechers began to dominate the sport by sponsoring major tours including USA Pickleball, Major League Pickleball, the Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP) Tour, and the Carvana Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) Tour.

April 28, 2023: Social Status, one of several retail banners owned by James Whitner’s The Whitaker Group, has won the 2023 Best Video Campaign Webby Award for its “Playground/Recess” short film. The video accompanied the release of the Social Status and Nike collaboration, which featured looks from the classic Air Penny franchise. The film was directed by Julien and Justen Turner, collectively known as the Turner Brothers, which was a follow up to the “Free Lunch” short film, which won the People’s Choice Award for Best Video Campaign at the 2022 Webby Awards. The retailer described “Playground/Recess” as “the latest adventure in the-coming-of-age story of young James and his friends touches on a number of social issues.” Social Status will be honored at the 27th Annual Webby Awards in New York City on May 15.

April 28, 2023: Vibram has entered into a multiyear deal with New England Race Events to sponsor the Midstate Massive Ultra Trail. From 2023 through 2025, Vibram confirmed in a statement that it will be the title sponsor of the ultramarathon, which offers three distances: 30 miles, 50 miles and 100 miles. The races go through Central Massachusetts and crosses the New Hampshire and Rhode Island borders. This year’s races take place Oct. 7-8, with the 100-mile race starting at Windblown Camping in New Hampshire. Vibram said it will provide support for race participants with the sponsorship, including coaching and training tips by a Team Vibram elite athletes and one-on-one coaching for one athlete. Also, Vibram said 25 participants will receive a free trail shoe re-sole, the top male and female athlete for each event each year will receive one pair of Vibram FiveFingers or Furoshiki shoes and one free re-sole.

April 27, 2023: Champs Sports has unveils its 2023 spring campaign, titled “Game, All Day Every Day.” The effort, according to Champs Sports, is an opportunity for the retailer “to celebrate the active athlete” and encourages everyone “to unlock their inner athlete in everything they do.” Stars of the campaign include incoming Duke University basketball player Jared McCain, Angel City FC and New Zealand women’s national team captain Ali Riley and former UCLA gymnast Nia Dennis. The three athletes are dressed in what Champs Sports called “elevated, everyday premium essentials” for the spring, which are available via Champssports.com and in-stores.


Champs Sports former UCLA gymnast Nia Dennis Game, All Day Every Day

Former UCLA gymnast Nia Dennis in the Champs Sports “Game, All Day Every Day” campaign.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Champs Sports

April 24, 2023: Li-Ning announced its marathon racing silhouette, dubbed DragonFlight, has been awarded with the iF Design Award in the category professional concepts. The iF Design Award honors exceptional designs under different parameters such as sustainability, function, technology and innovative materials. The Chinese sportswear brand’s DragonFlight shoe — which noticeably is constructed without a heel — was created to promote both acceleration efficiency and speed performance for professional runners. The lack of heel, according to Li-Ning, is a “research-supported choice for propulsion optimization.” What’s more, the shoe features midsoles with high rebound tech and carbon plates that are embedded for propulsion, high-resistance outsoles and uppers featuring Boom Fiber, which Li-Ning explained is bio-based and eco-friendly.


Li-Ning DragonFlight

Li-Ning DragonFlight.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Li-Ning

April 18, 2023: Puma has signed a partnership agreement with German long-distance runner Konstanze Klosterhalfen, who will wear the company’s performance running products starting at the first Diamond League event in Doha on May 5. On the track, Klosterhalfen will compete in Puma’s new EvoSpeed Distance Nitro Elite+ 2 spike, an ultra-premium race day shoe which incorporates Puma’s latest Nitro Elite midsole and a full-length internal carbon plate for exceptional energy return. For road races, she can choose from Puma’s latest road running shoes such as the Deviate Nitro Elite 2. Following the introduction of a new line of running products that uses Puma’s Nitro technology, the company built a strong team of middle and long-distance runners, including Olympic medalist Molly Seidel, World and Olympic Champion Emmanuel Korir and Jenny Simpson, one of the most successful runners in U.S. history. At only 26 years old, “KoKo,” as she is known in the track and field community, can already look back on an impressive career. She is the reigning European Champion in the 5,000 meters and has medaled at the World Championships and the European Indoor Championships.


Puma, running, Konstanze Klosterhalfen

Konstanze Klosterhalfen

CREDIT: Courtesy of Puma

April 6, 2023: Birdies has launched the third iteration of its inspirational “What are You Running?” campaign series, which features inspiring women across all industries. This time around the company is putting the spotlight on San Francisco-based interior designer Tineke Triggs. Triggs stars in the campaign, wearing Birdies’ spring ’23 collection, including woven sandals and flats. Triggs, who, like Birdies CEO and Co-Founder, Bianca Gates, first began her career in investment banking and technology before shifting to interior design.


birdies, tineke triggs

Tineke Triggs in Birdies “What Are You Running?” campaign for spring ’23.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Birdies

April 4, 2023: With its latest collection, dubbed “My Name Is,” Reebok has created a campaign video that it said “mocks today’s over-styled brand advertisements.” The 60-second clip, Reebok explained, brings viewers to the set of a mock photoshoot for the brand “where models pose in simulated environments as a stage director shouts for lighting adjustments, rain, snow and facial expressions from behind the camera.” Eventually, everything is stripped away and only the shoe remains. The “My Name Is” collection, Reebok said in a statement, is an ‘80s sport footwear range that has been remixed for Gen Z, featuring the Classic Leather ($85), the Club C 85 ($90), the BB 4000 2 ($90) and the LT Court ($100), as well as a retro apparel lineup. The collection is available now via Reebok.com and select retailers.

March 31, 2023: For the 2023 Metaverse Fashion Week by Decentraland, held March 28-31, British footwear brand Clarks created an immersive entertainment hub, called the Clarks Arcade, that was part carnival and part rooftop nightclub. At the center of the arcade was the the Helter-Skel”TOR,” an amusement park replica of the iconic Somerset landmark in Glastonbury, England. It offered two gaming zones: The Wallabee Game Zone and Torhill Amusements, which pay homage to the brand’s famous products and heritage. Users also could participate in dance battles and enjoy opportunities to win unique wearables based on the iconic Clarks shoes.


Clarks, Decentraland, Metaverse Fashion Week

CREDIT: Courtesy of Clarks

March 29, 2023: Vibram and UTMB World Series have announced a new global partnership that will extend across all 35 UTMB World Series events. With the partnership, according to a statement, Vibram will become the official soles technology supplier of the UTMB World Series for the 2023-2025 seasons. What’s more, a statement confirmed the Vibram Sole Factor Mobile Lab will be present at numerous UTMB World Series events, which will allow runners to re-sole their trail shoes with Vibram soles for free. The next UTMB World Series event is a triple-header weekend from April 14-16 — the Desert RATS Trail Running Festival by UTMB in the USA, the Ultra-Trail Ninghai by UTMB in China and the Istria 100 by UTMB in Croatia.

March 27, 2023: K-Swiss announced via today that it is the sponsor of the 2023 inaugural Pickleball Slam, which is scheduled for April 2 and will be held at the Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla. It will air live on ESPN at 12 p.m. ET. With the sponsorship, K-Swiss said in a statement that it will provide all footwear and apparel for the Pickleball Slam and Amateur Pickleball Slam referee and ball handlers. The collection will also available for purchase on K-swiss.com. The tournament, created and produced by Horizon Sports & Experiences and InsideOut Sports & Entertainment, will feature tennis legends John McEnroe, Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick and Michael Chang, who are competing for a $1 million purse. Also, the Amateur Pickleball Slam Challenge will take place on March 31 and April 1, with top amateur teams of two competing for a $10,000 team prize. The winners will have the chance to compete against the tennis legends on April 1.

March 21, 2023: Vasque has unveiled its new brand purpose, ethos and tagline, which is featured in its fresh “Log Outside” global brand campaign. According to Vasque, “Log Outside” aims to inspire consumers to “disconnect to reconnect with themselves, each other and their full potential.” Vasque explained in a statement that it did a deep dive into the history of the brand during the pandemic, as well as “the evolving way people go outside” and “how future generations will go outside.” The result of this deep dive, Vasque said, is “a body of work that has morphed into the brand’s new tagline that embodies everything the brand brings to market — inspiring people to find reprieve from the stress of the everyday, every day — by disconnecting and going outside.” “Log Outside” messaging will appear will in every touchpoint with the brand, which includes a new social call-to-action urging people to forget their phones on purpose on hikes. What’s more, Vasque said it will accept time spent disconnected from technology outside as currency in exchange for new product via the Log Outside Project. According to Vasque, the project — which debuted in Boulder, Colo. on March 18 — had locals leave their phonesin secure lockers while they continued on their journey outside. After one hour, Vasque said they people retrieved their phones, as well as a new pair of Breeze hiking boots, and a signal-locking pouch “so they can recreate the experience in the future.”

March 14, 2023: DTLR has revealed its “Community Champion” campaign, which was created to highlight local individuals or organizations that make an impact in their communities. With the campaign, DTLR said in a statement that it will choose a community champion every month and partner with them for a community service event or project that helps to further the cause they’re dedicated to. This month, DTLR said it will focus on honoring a female champion in honor of Women’s History Month. This campaign kicked off in February with Random Acts of Kindness Everywhere (R.A.K.E.), a nonprofit formed by comedian Ricky Smith, which was formed to support the Cleveland community in a positive way.

March 10, 2023: Dick’s Sporting Goods announced today that it has launched its largest brand campaign to date, which the retailer explained was created “to celebrate the principles on which the company was founded.” The campaign, titled “Sports Change Lives,” features a 90-second brand anthem video that Dick’s Sporting Goods explained shows the positive impact sports participation has on people and its ability of sport to bring together communities. Also, the retailer said there will be a second expression of the campaign featuring nine sport-specific 15-second spots. Other components of “Sports Change Lives” includes becoming the sporting goods retail partner of the NCAA and its new “75for75 Sports Matter Grant Program” that will provide 75 grants from The Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation of $75,000 to select youth sports programs (a total of $5.6 million to be distributed in 2023). Also, this effort includes its renewed $1.5M partnership between The Dick’s Foundation and Good Sports to provide 20 of under-resourced communities with $75,000 worth of youth sports equipment in 2023 and its new $1.5 million partnership between The Dick’s Foundation and Local Initiatives Support Corporation to launch the Game On-Community Places to Play Initiative that will create or renovate up to 20 multiuse youth sport spaces in underserved communities.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJhCLpnnjCQ

March 10, 2023: Athletic Propulsions Labs (APL) has inked a new partnership deal with Formula One team Oracle Red Bull Racing. The partnership will see APL join the charge as the team’s athletic footwear partner as it fires up for its 2023 defense of both the Formula 1 Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships. What’s more, Formula One world champion Max Verstappen, grand prix- winning team-mate Sergio “Checo” Perez, as well as trackside team personnel debuted exclusive APL x Oracle Red Bull Racing footwear at the Bahrain GP over the weekend. “Over the seasons to come we will debut multiple shoes with the team that are built in a collaborative manner to fit the needs of the F1 season and deliver the fans an amazing on-foot experience,” Adam and Ryan Goldston, co-founders of APL, said in a joint statement. “In addition to in-line official team shoes, we will also have exciting limited releases around key moments, races, and victories. This partner- ship was a natural fit because both brands have so many synergies, starting with the desire to always push the limits of what’s possible, and that’s exactly what we will do together over the years to come.”


APL, Oracle Red Bull Racing, sneakers

CREDIT: Courtesy of APL

March 8, 2023: London-based footwear brand Duke + Dexter has released its spring/summer 2023 campaign. Called “Club Morocco,” the campaign was inspired by the desire to “get lost” and forget about London and escape to surroundings filled with “natural beauty” and “bliss” of Marrakech. “When idealising everything we hoped Club Morocco could be, we were inspired by a settlement stuck in time – a natural birthplace for our collection of updated classics, rife with complimentary palettes and textures throughout,” the company said in a statement. “It was here that we touched base with a 17th century Riad before moving further into the desert, void of any company bar our own. These palettes gave the urban landscape of Old Town Medina a voice. An opportunity to tell stories of tiled mosaic, rug markets and highly-skilled wooden craftsmanship lost in the Agafay Desert’s wake.”


Duke + Dexter, loafers, Marrakech

CREDIT: Courtesy of Duke + Dexter

March 2, 2023: The Good Feet Store has entered into a multi-year endorsement deal with the first-round pick of the Dallas Wings and WNBA All-Star MVP, Arike Ogunbowale. As a brand ambassador, Ogunbowale will help produce educational social media content about The Good Feet Store and attend events on behalf of the brand. She will also support the company’s publicity efforts, serving as an advisor on strategic initiatives planned for 2023 and beyond. Ogunbowale will also collaborate with The Good Feet Store to support national and local non-profit organizations that are near and dear to her heart. In addition to her support on multiple initiatives in 2023, Ogunbowale and The Good Feet Store are planning other consumer-facing activities. These include photo appearances and events, charity outreach efforts, social media efforts, and more.


Arike Ogunbowale, Dallas Wings

Arike Ogunbowale of the Dallas Wings in action against the Atlanta Dream at College Park Center on Sept. 2, 2021 in Arlington, Texas.

CREDIT: Getty Images

March 1, 2023: Clarks has released the second edition of its “For The World Ahead” campaign. First launched for the fall/winter 2022 season, the new campaign stars mother, model, actor, and ambassador Jourdan Dunn; poet, artist, and model Sonny Hall; and principal dancer with the Royal Ballet, Marcelino Sambé. Each talent wears Clarks’ directional new silhouette – the Torhill. “Last season we launched our new brand campaign with some fantastic ambassadors all creating their own positive social progress,” Tara McRae, Clarks’ global chief marketing & digital officer, said in a statement. “This season we are so excited to be adding to our Clarks collective with Jourdan, Sonny and Marcelino, who all represent something really unique and important. Clarks has always been about creators and innovators, and our latest footwear creation is the brand new Torhill, worn by all three talent, which is a retro Clarks silhouette we’ve re-imagined For The World Ahead.”


Clarks, campaign, Sonny Hall, Jourdan Dunn, Marcelino Sambé

Sonny Hall, Jourdan Dunn and Marcelino Sambé.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Clarks

Feb. 22, 2023: Merrell has signed University of Georgia track and field scholar-athlete Matthew Boling to a name, image and likeness (NIL) deal. The signing of Boling — a sprinter with an impressive resume that includes NCAA and multiple SEC championships — marks Merrell’s entry into the NIL world. According to Merrell, Boling trains on the trail in order to clear his mind, build stamina and enhance proprioception. When he does, Merrell said he’s been wearing its Long Sky 2 trail running shoe.


Merrell NIL Matthew Boling

Merrell’s first NIL athlete, Matthew Boling.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Merrell

Feb. 20, 2023: Fila announced today that it has entered into a partnership with the 3×3 basketball competition Red Bull Half Court. According to Fila, the brand will serve as its official global apparel and footwear partner for the next three years. With the partnership, Fila said it will provide a total look for all athletes, referees and staff in every match of the tournament. Red Bull Half Court, according to a Fila statement, has more than 15,000 participants and athletes from around the world. The 2023 tournament will feature stages globally, with recent national qualifiers in Melbourne and Kuwait City, and others coming soon in 25 other countries including Belgium, Japan, Kenya, Turkey, the Philippines, the United States and Italy.


Red Bull Half Court

A basketball player at Red Bull Half Court in Salmiya, Kuwait on Feb. 11, 2023.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Fila/Red Bull

Feb. 15, 2023: Skechers has signed a multi-year agreement as the official footwear sponsor of the Carvana Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) Tour, starting with the 2023 season. Stops on the PPA Tour will feature activations by Skechers where spectators and athletes can experience and purchase Skechers Viper Court footwear as well as the brand’s off-court styles and apparel. In addition, staff will wear Skechers at all tournaments, and referees will be outfitted in Skechers at select major tournaments. Skechers kicked off 2022 by signing its first two elite pickleball athletes, Catherine Parenteau and Tyson McGuffin, who compete wearing Skechers Pickleball footwear and Skechers-branded apparel. The brand then introduced its pickleball collection at the 2022 US Open Pickleball Championships in Naples, Fla. in April, and has had a presence at multiple pickleball tournaments across the country.


Skechers, Pickleball, athlete, Tyson McGuffin

Skechers pickleball athlete Tyson McGuffin

CREDIT: Courtesy of Skechers

Feb. 15, 2023: Skechers has signed TV personality Nuria Roca as the new face for the global lifestyle brand in the Spanish market. As the first local Skechers ambassador in Spain, the television and radio presenter, actress, writer, and social media influencer will be seen in multi-platform campaigns for Skechers women’s athletic and casual footwear collections. The initial campaigns starring Roca will focus on a range of Skechers collections for women including Skechers Hands Free Slip-ins, supportive Skechers Arch Fit footwear, and the Skechers UNO range of fashion sneakers. “I’ve always been a fan of Skechers, so it’s an honor to be the brand’s first ambassador in Spain,” said Roca in a statement. “As someone often on the move, I can appreciate the versatility, style and comfort that Skechers offers across all of its collections. It’s a perfect brand for any woman with a busy and active lifestyle and I love that there are fashionable options for every part of my day. I look forward to sharing this new campaign with my fans and followers throughout Spain!”


Nuria Roca, Skechers

Nuria Roca

CREDIT: Courtesy of Skechers

Feb. 14, 2023: Zappos.com has joined forces with the Savannah Bananas baseball team to become its official title partner and exclusive footwear partner for the 2023 Banana Ball World Tour, which kicks off on Feb. 17. According to Zappos, this marks the first time the retailer has partnered with a sports team in this collaboratively experiential approach, and the first time the Savannah Bananas have brought on a partner for the Banana Ball World Tour. To celebrate the monumental partnership, the players visited Zappos HQ in Las Vegas for a Bananas-style takeover, complete with a Wiffle Ball game dance party. “Zappos and the Savannah Bananas have a history of creating fun and unexpected surprises for their fans across the U.S.,” Ginny McCormick, chief marketing officer at Zappos, said in a statement. “When the opportunity arose to marry our two brands, there was no hesitation to do so. This partnership is merging together fashion and sports in a way that will redefine brand culture for years to come.”

Feb. 9, 2023: In March of 2022, The North Face announced the creation of the Athlete Development Program (ADP) in March 2022, which was created to combat inequity in sponsored athletics. To accomplish this, The North Face said it would equip aspiring athletes with tools and financial support to achieve their athletic goals and “inspire other adventurers within their communities.” Today, The North Face announced its first group of ADP members, a group the brand said is “set to recast and accelerate diversity in outdoor recreational and career sports.” The first set of emerging athlete members, 17 in total, come from all backgrounds and includes trail runners, climbers, alpinists, snow-sport athletes and more. The ADP, according to The North Face, aims to “tackle the systemic barriers in the recruitment process that often keep underrepresented communities across race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and differently abled athletes from excelling in their discipline.” This first ADP class, according to The North Face, has signed two-year contracts inclusive of payment, funding for expeditions and development, gear, 1-on-1 mentorship with brand-backed athletes and programming tailored to the various elements of professional athlete sponsorship. What’s more, The North Face said each sport will have its own version of a training program that will “tailored to the needs and skillset of each ADP athlete.”


The North Face Athlete Development Program ADP

The first class of athletes of The North Face’s Athlete Development Program (ADP).

CREDIT: Courtesy of The North Face

Feb. 1, 2023: The Athlete’s Foot has added Cam Kirk, renowned photographer and Cam Kirk Studios founder, to its Impact Council. Kirk is the latest addition to the group that features several other thought leaders in the worlds of education, sports, fashion, arts, social justice, inclusion and diversity. The mission of the council, according to The Athlete’s Foot, is to uplift neighborhoods “by cultivating and sponsoring programs such as recreational sports leagues, playgrounds, college scholarships, clothing and food drives that directly impact underserved communities.” The five pillars of the Impact Council include community enrichment, social justice, female empowerment, children in need and creating opportunities for the homeless.

Feb. 1, 2023: Express is expanding its collegiate athlete style ambassador program ahead of college basketball’s biggest month. Expanding beyond its headquarter city of Columbus, Ohio, the brand will bring on Jahvon Quinerly (Alabama), Justice Sueing (Ohio), Keyonte George (Texas) and Nick Smith Jr. (Arkansas) for each of the athlete’s first fashion deals. The social-first campaign will be seen across the brand’s owned channels, talent channels and paid media. George, Quinerly, Smith Jr. and Sueing will each take to Instagram and TikTok starting this month and continuing through March to highlight their style tips that create confidence for them off the court. Express will also style these new ambassadors in its spring ‘23 collection for their collegiate events and appearances throughout the season.


Express, Style ambassador, college athletes

From top to bottom: Nick Smith Jr., Justice Sueing, Keyonte George and Jahvon Quinerly.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Express

Jan. 23, 2023: On running is launching a global running event series called “On Track Nights,” which will span three continents and five cities. The series will kick off in May 2023 and will allow professional and semi-pro runners to compete for World Championship and Olympic qualifying points in community-focused and entertainment-driven races. “We know that race atmosphere is pivotal to performance, so we want to bring the fans and running community closer to the track and have them be part of the athlete’s journey to major championships,” said On co-founder Olivier Bernhard.

Jan. 17, 2023: K-Swiss has unveiled its athlete roster for the 2023 tennis season. The brand will continue its multiyear contracts with British player Cameron Norrie (ranked No. 12 by the ATF) and Russia’s Liudmila Samsonova (ranked No. 19 by the WTA). Other partners for the season include Allaksandra Sasnovich, Yulia PutintsevaLauren DavisRebecca MarinoAnastasia GasanovaLouisa ChiricoPedro CachinTomas EtcheverryMitchell Kreuger and Marcos Giron. “Building upon our success in 2022, we are excited to more than double our player roster and drive brand visibility to our new product line that our athletes will be wearing at the Australian Open,” David Malinowski, director of tennis for K-Swiss, said in a statement.

Jan. 17, 2023: In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, retailer Snipes tapped poet Roya Marsh to reimagine the late civil rights icon’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Marsh — who is a Bronx, N.Y., native — is an educator, an activist and the author of the poetry book “Daylight.” Also, Marsh is co-founder of the Bronx Poet Laureate, a PEN America Emerging Voices mentor and the awardee of the 2021 Lotos Foundation prize for poetry.

Jan. 12, 2023: Wilson Sporting Goods Co. has entered into a partnership with professional tennis player Marta Kostyuk. Kostyuk, according to the brand, is its first complete Wilson ambassador “across rackets, footwear and clothing.” The partnership, Wilson said in a statement, launches in tandem with its latest tennis sportswear collection. The line is available in both women’s and men’s sizing, and can be shopped now via Wilson.com. “Wilson is committed to equipping athletes with all they need to succeed on and off the court, and there is nobody better to join forces with than Marta Kostyuk,” Jason Collins, global GM of Wilson Racquet Sports, said in a statement. “Marta has an extremely sharp game, and we look forward to not only expanding Wilson’s impact in the sport of tennis, but also supporting her as she grows her competitive edge and personal brand.”

Jan. 11, 2023: New Balance has signed rising NBA star Tyrese Maxey of the Philadelphia 76ers. Maxey is the latest pro basketball player to join New Balance’s already stacked roster that includes Kawhi Leonard, Jamal Murray, Zach LaVine and Dejounte Murray. “As one of the most talented young players in the league, we’re excited to welcome Tyrese to the New Balance family,” New Balance head of global sports marketing — basketball Naveen Lokesh said in a statement. “He embodies the charisma and personality of the New Balance brand. We are excited to start working with Tyrese to further highlight his style in the game and his desire to inspire the next generation, both on and off the court.”

Jan. 11, 2023: Red Wing Heritage has teamed up with local Minneapolis non-profit youth art and design education center Juxtaposition Arts (JXTA) on its latest campaign. Specifically spotlighting art, education and a passion for craft, this collaboration aim to bring real world learning experience for student apprentices, giving them the opportunity to showcase their unique interpretation of a 70-year-old boot: the Red Wing Heritage Classic Moc. A small-batch collection of the students’ custom Moc and complementary sweatshirts will be sold on shop.juxtapositionarts.org starting Jan. 18, with all proceeds going back to the JXTA educational program to help create a space for artists and creators to thrive in their craft. To further bring this campaign to life, Red Wing Heritage will be replacing ads with art, covering local billboards across Minneapolis with original artwork made by JXTA students, alumni and friends.


Red wing

CREDIT: Courtesy of Red Wing

Marketing Initiatives from 2022

Dec. 12, 2022: Saysh has tapped Bala co-founder Natalie Holloway as the new face of its Maternity Returns Policy. Formerly helmed by Saysh co-founder Allyson Felix, the policy offers Saysh customers who have previously purchased a pair of Saysh Ones a complimentary pair, in their new size, should the customer experience a change in foot size upon becoming pregnant. To celebrate the partnership, Saysh and Holloway, who is pregnant with her second child, gathered a group of inspiring female founders and entrepreneurs for an intimate dinner at Alta Adams in Los Angeles. Guests included Sabeena Ladha of Deux, Terri Rockovich of Jinx, Annabel Lawlee of Breeze, Luana Arantes of Swoon Homes, Sharon Pack of Insert Name Here, Allyson and Wes Felix and more. As Saysh’s Maternity Returns Policy evolves to include new representation and offerings, the brand also announces a partnership with Cadenshae, an activewear brand for mothers, to provide a special gift to those customers who opt to exchange their shoes through the policy.


Saysh, Natalie Holloway

Natalie Holloway

CREDIT: Wes Felix for Saysh

Nov. 10, 2022: Thom Browne returned to his alma mater The University of Notre Dame for his annual football game, a tradition the designer has upheld since 2014. Held on the south quad of university’s campus, the was casted through an open call video submission, students expressed their interest in being a part of the game. In grey, white, and khaki, the 2022 football capsule collection fuses classic varsity elements with modern Americana. Brand icons including the bal collar coat, sack jacket, and pleated skirt meet striped rugby polos, high-top canvas sneakers, and backstrap shorts. The brand’s signature outerwear, cashmere knits, long johns, a down-filled parka, and cozy muff nod to the autumnal season of the sport. Browne was recently announced as an artist-in-residence at Notre Dame. Over the next year, he will conduct a series of talks, visit the campus and contribute to the exploration of how fashion and design shape public life. The series of events will culminate with a course titled “Strong Suits: The Art, Philosophy, and Business of Thom Browne” taught by Meghan Sullivan during the spring 2023 semester.


Thom Browne Football Game

CREDIT: SINNA NASSERI

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