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SOURCE New Balance
BOSTON, June 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Boston-based New Balance, Inc. and the New Balance Foundation today announced the launch of NB SparkStart, a global initiative focused on improving the health, well-being and self-esteem of children through movement.
"Our goal is to inspire millions of children around the world to discover and nurture their movement spark," says Anne Davis, New Balance Vice Chairman and Executive Vice President of Administration. "Children thrive when they are physically active. Whether it's a love for jumping, running, soccer, or riding a bike, we believe that children who find their spark – how they love to move – stay active for a lifetime."
Through grants, associate volunteerism and engagement, athlete involvement, product donations, retail events and consumer engagement, NB SparkStart will work to improve the health, well-being and self-esteem of children worldwide.
NB SparkStart aligns New Balance, Inc. and the New Balance Foundation philanthropy, volunteering and other responsible business activities. "At every level of the organization, there is a strong belief that we can make a difference in our business as well as in our local and global communities," says Davis. "For more than 30 years, we have been dedicated to serving local communities through corporate outreach and foundation grants, associate volunteerism and product donations. NB SparkStart will grow and expand this long-held commitment to supporting positive, sustainable change for young people and communities around the world."
Starting this year, New Balance will engage company associates worldwide as NB SparkStart advocates and leaders to inspire and empower fellow associates to volunteer and help under-served children in their communities. In September, the company will hold its first-ever global volunteer week, supporting the NB SparkStart mission. New Balance will also donate footwear, apparel and NB SparkStart movement kits to children in need worldwide and will engage and involve New Balance athlete ambassadors in initiative efforts.
"Doing well and doing good is part of the unchanging core and future vision of New Balance," says Davis. "We see this every day as our associates volunteer as coaches and catalysts in their communities, using their energy and skills to inspire children to move and play."
Also in 2014, the New Balance Foundation will provide $4 million in NB SparkStart grants to diverse, best-in-class nonprofit organizations primarily in the U.S., but also to select organizations in the U.K. and China, to provide opportunities for children to discover and nurture their movement spark. Since its inception in 1981, The New Balance Foundation has been committed to supporting causes that will make a long-lasting and sustainable change in the world. Since 2001, the Foundation's focus has been on preventing childhood obesity through supporting research, and grassroots organizations that are teaching children how to make healthy eating choices and helping them to be more active.
"NB SparkStart is an excellent opportunity for New Balance Inc. and the New Balance Foundation to do more on a global scale, tackling the issues we all care about – helping children live active, healthy lives," says Davis. "Through NB SparkStart, we look forward to expanding our relationships and impact across the globe."
In addition, from July 15, 2014 - August 31, 2014, when consumers purchase a pair of New Balance kid's shoes from participating New Balance stores or on www.newbalance.com in the U.S., New Balance will give 30% of the sales price to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in the form of new shoes to help inspire a lifetime of movement. To learn more about the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, visit www.bgca.org
"Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is an essential component for youth to achieve great futures," says Jim Clark, CEO and President, Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Consumers can visit www.newbalance.com/NBSparkStart for stories of how New Balance associates and athletes discovered their spark and the impact it had on their lives.
About New Balance Foundation
Established in 1981, the New Balance Foundation has served a deeply held mission: to support charitable organizations whose humanitarian efforts work for the betterment of our children and communities. The heart of our focus is the prevention of childhood obesity. For more information, please visit www.newbalancefoundation.org.
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. New Balance is currently the only major shoe company that manufactures athletic footwear in the U.S.; in 2013, 1 out of every 4 pairs of shoes we sold in the U.S. was made or assembled here. New Balance owns five factories in New England and one in Flimby, U.K. New Balance employs more than 4,000 associates around the globe, and in 2013 reported worldwide sales of $2.73 billion. To learn more about how New Balance Makes Excellent Happen, please visit http://www.newbalance.com.
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