Sport is a powerful driver of change; it promotes societal inclusion regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation and identity, gender expression, religion, ethnicity, socio-economic backgrounds, or physical and mental abilities. Through equal access and opportunity, sport challenges stereotypes, breaks down societal barriers to foster inclusive engagement, and cultivates collective action. We strive to unite people across borders and bridge divides through sport and its principles of respect and fair play. By opening doors and amplifying new voices, we can shape the future of sport and culture to create a better future in which all voices are welcome and heard.
Access to Play
Humanity wins when everyone has the opportunity to play. New Balance is committed to funding organizations dedicated to bridging social and cultural divides through sport and play-based learning. By creating access, we can unite communities by teaching conflict resolution, team building, cooperation and acceptance across different backgrounds to bring positive change in society.
New Balance proudly supports GLSEN’s Changing the Game initiative for advancing the acceptance of LGBTQIA+ youth in athletics through the development and implementation of inclusive physical education curriculum and sports guidance supporting LGBTQIA+ students. Whether in physical education class or competitive sports, all students, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, have a right to play and feel like they belong. New Balance’s support of Changing the Game: the GLSEN Sports Project helps caregivers, coaches, and school administrators create safe spaces for all student-athletes. New Balance will donate $600,000 to support the program from 2022 through 2025. In a plan projected to impact more than 1 million students by 2025, Changing the Game will begin work in Canada and the UK, eventually expanding globally to non-English speaking countries.
Learn more about New Balance initiatives for advancing LGBTQIA+ acceptance.
New Balance is proud to sponsor the Front Runners New York LGBT Pride Run® in 2022. Since the inaugural race in 1982, the FRNY LGBT Pride Run® has grown to become the largest LGBT sporting event in NYC and one of the largest worldwide.
Boston vs Bullies
Through its presenting sponsorship of The Sports Museum of New England, New Balance has been one of the lead sponsors of the Museum’s anti-bullying initiative, Boston vs. Bullies, since 2018. Through videos and activities, the award-winning educational program leverages the power and example of Boston sports to help stop bullying in our schools and communities by providing resources for teachers, youth leaders, and parents and tools, discussion questions, and activities to get kids actively involved in practicing the skills they need to effectively cope with bullying.
Amplifying New Voices
Diversity within the Athletic Footwear & Apparel Industry is a significant problem, driven by the absence of awareness, access, resources, and representation. Progress demands encouraging, listening to, and amplifying diverse and new voices. New Balance’s initiatives are designed to inspire, discover, empower, amplify and sustain diverse and inclusive talent in under-resourced and untapped communities to create opportunities to open the door for new voices to shape the future of sports culture and our industry.
The collaboration among New Balance, Pensole, and Foot Locker creates a path into the footwear and apparel industry. Today at New Balance, program alumni work full-time in our design and marketing teams.
Since 2017, New Balance and Pensole have collaborated to create a path for the underrepresented voices in our industry. Originating with a master class in footwear design and marketing for a hands-on, intensive footwear, color, and materials immersion program to introduce aspiring designers and marketers to the athletic industry and pairing students with New Balance associates mentors. In 2020, New Balance, Foot Locker, and Pensole created a Co-op program focused on footwear and apparel design, color and materials, and brand marketing. Each year, leading students are awarded 1-year internships at New Balance. The relationship and impact continues to grow and, in 2021, New Balance, Foot Locker, and Pensole launched a five-week master class in design and marketing, “Designing with Sole”, creating a path for the underrepresented voices in our industry, including outreach and support of the Black community and its supporters.
Black Talent in Design & Fashion
New Balance has funded 15 scholarships in 2021 and 2022 to support Black students studying to enter the fashion and/or footwear industry. The Black Talent in Design & Fashion Fund directly supports underrepresented communities with the fashion and design undergraduate programs to ensure they are able to complete their degree without unnecessary roadblocks, including tuition gaps or a lack of access to materials and supplies needed for their technical training.