With the establishment of the Group’s Social and Environmental Affairs (SEA) team in the late 1990s, additional community programmes were put in place to complement brand initiatives and target those countries and regions where we have major sourcing operations.
To select projects that respond to local needs we have set up an internal network of local businesses to exchange best practices and ensure mutual support. This network is managed by the Community Affairs function in the SEA team. Community Affairs is also responsible for managing disaster relief efforts as well as reporting mechanisms so we can analyse needs, evaluate the impact of our work and report on our initiatives.
At the adidas Group headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany, the company’s apprentices regularly organise a charitable event. The Kids Sports Fun Day allows local underprivileged children to take part in an exciting sports day at the company’s headquarters and give the apprentices the opportunity to plan and implement a project by themselves. Here are a couple of examples of local projects.
Since 2010, the adidas Group has partnered with Lebenshilfe Erlangen-Höchstadt e.V. in Germany to support people with disabilities. For more than 50 years, Lebenshilfe Erlangen-Höchstadt has campaigned for the well-being and rights of people with disabilities. The partnership agreement signed with the adidas Group in 2010 creates the framework for the long-term project “Together for strong personalities”.
Through this project, the adidas Group enables financially deprived people with disabilities to participate in leisure activities and to enjoy learning opportunities. The key features of the programme are sociability, recreation and fun. The people with disabilities discover new talents and develop their creative potential. People with and without disabilities meet, get to know each other, and as a result, both gain new experiences. The programme supports participation and inclusion in the community.
The adidas Group has been involved in refugee initiatives for many years. We focus on areas that we can impact in a meaningful way. Our overall approach to support refugees follows our three-pillar model that is based on humanitarian aid, close collaboration with public authorities and external partners as well as volunteers, and the development of possible employment integration.
For example, we recently joined the business-driven integration initiative ‘Wir zusammen’ (engl: us together) in Germany to drive long-term projects that aim to help refugees find their place in society. On top of our monetary donations, we encourage our employees to bring this initiative to life by organising and joining regular sporting events and other charitable efforts to support and integrate refugees into society. This includes employees receiving three additional vacation days on top as a reward and motivation to support these activities. In addition, we are offering a number of short-term internships to 30 refugees to get an insight into our business, retail and logistics endeavours. This will support their integration into the European business environment that will be key for their future life.
On a global level, we have been working with the non-governmental organisation‘Luftfahrt ohne Grenzen’ (‘Wings of Help’) since 2012 to provide and donate products to refugee camps in Syria and Turkey on a regular basis. We also react to current events: when the situation in Europe – especially in Germany – became more and more dramatic in 2015, the Executive Board decided to donate € 500,000 on top of our regular donations to several initiatives and programmes. This includes the SOS Children’s Villages, the refugee aid programme in our hometown Herzogenaurach as well as needs-based donations to support our own company-driven refugee aid activities.
In addition to mere financial and product donations, we have also taken a stand on the refugee situation in Turkey where refugees are looking for work without proper ID cards, passports and work permits and are struggling to find meaningful officially registered and insured employment. In order to address the useful work integration of refugees and create a legal basis for employment and sustainable improvement of the refugees’ situation, we joined other member brands of the Fair Labor Association (FLA), Ethical Trading Initiative and Fair Wear Foundation and co-signed a letter to the Turkish Prime Minister to regularise employment for Syrian workers in September. We were happy to see that the Turkish government published the ‘Regulation on Work Permits of Foreigners Under Temporary Protection’ in January 2016, allowing many of the 2.5 million Syrian refugees to apply for work permits.
Based on the belief that we have the power to change lives through sport, these examples show our efforts to create positive change where we can and provide support wherever possible.
WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME
Sialkot is a small city located in the northeast of the Punjab Province in Pakistan, but it plays a big role in a new project initiated by the adidas Group called ‘Women’s Empowerment Programme’.
For decades, Sialkot has been the manufacturing base for hand-stitched ball suppliers to many well-known international brands, including adidas. But with the market demand shifting to machine-based stitching, many manufacturers had to scale down or close completely, which left thousands of female workers jobless with little chance of new employment due to lack of skill as well as social and cultural barriers. As part of our on-going engagement to protect the vulnerable groups involved in the global apparel and footwear manufacturing industries, including the promotion of rights of female workers, we initiated a project called ‘Women’s Empowerment Programme’. The project kicked off in September 2015 with two objectives:
- Improve the knowledge and skills of the redundant female workers to earn income and find new employment
- Help female workers at our suppliers to have better opportunities in the workplace.
In order to have the biggest positive impact on the local communities, we found the perfect expertise and experience in our local partner, the NGO Baidarie, a non-government and non-profit civil society organisation. Through many activities including enhancing skills in diversified areas of earning a livelihood, establishing connections between trained workers and job providing slots as well as mobilising workers for taking the initiative for micro-entrepreneurship, we, together with Baidarie, aim to improve the lives of 1,000 female workers in the Sialkot area and provide them with better opportunities in the workplace.
QUALITY EDUCATION FOR ALL
For more than 30 years, the adidas Group has sourced footballs from Pakistan.
Sialkot is the centre of the football stitching industry in Pakistan, which has in the past employed under-age workers. To discourage this, an industry-wide initiative – supported by the International Labour Organization, FIFA and UNICEF – resulted in an independent and self-governing committee to monitor the prohibition of child labour.
The issues that contribute to child labour are poverty, unemployment and a lack of education. Since 2002, adidas has funded the local NGO Sudhaar to provide education, school infrastructure and sports programmes in the area’s rural communities.
Programme impact: Since 2002, the adidas Group support has benefited more than 28,400 children enrolled in 138 schools in the Sialkot District. About 27% of the children come from football stitcher families and the rest from other low-income families. Our support makes children feel that they matter as individuals, that people care for their well-being and that there is value in being at school.
In 2012, scholarships were provided to 75 children belonging to the stitchers' families to prevent them from dropping out. Scholarships were provided in kind with the consultation of all stakeholders. It includes school uniform, shoes, stationery items and school bags for all children. This scholarship provision has proved to be a major factor in retaining children of stitcher families in schools.
The adidas Group project has also strengthened sports provision at these schools by forming junior football leagues, providing free coaching and arranging tournaments to boost students’ confidence and improve their skills. At these tournaments, the participating teams wear adidas uniforms and play with adidas balls, just like international players. Some of the adidas suppliers in Pakistan usually make an appearance to show their support. The banners displayed around the pitch reflect messages in favour of children’s rights, particularly the right to education and play. The players come from communities where family incomes are either directly or indirectly associated with football stitching. Tournaments such as these help reinforce the simple idea that “adults should make the balls and children should play only”.
Shahzad Ahmad, the 12-year-old captain of the runner-up team in 2011, said: “Wow, it was great to play such thrilling matches – although we lost in the final. We are continuing our practice and next year we’ll win.” Hammad Akhter, vice-captain of the winning team in 2011: “We enjoyed playing, reaching the final and winning this tournament unbeaten. Our coach threw a party to celebrate this BIG WIN!“
The adidas Fund is a programme managed by the adidas brand from its headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany. More initiatives are also independently run by different local adidas offices around the world.
The adidas Fund drives positive social change by supporting organisations that connect children through programmes and coaches that use sport to teach, amongst others, self-confidence, respect and teamwork that can break down barriers and allow people to live healthier, happier lives.
As Kofi Annan said:
Sport has the power to change the world. Sport brings people together, no matter what their origin, background, religious beliefs or economic status. It has an almost unmatched role to play in promoting understanding, healing wounds and breaking down barriers. When young people participate in sports, they can build up their health and self-esteem, use their talents to the fullest, learn the ideals of teamwork and tolerance, and be drawn away from the dangers of drugs and crime. We must use the power of sport as an agent of social change.
To maximise the impact of our efforts, the adidas Fund works with only a few partners on a long-term basis. The partners we engage with have demonstrated sustainable projects, financial transparency and a sound reputation. It is also key that these partners work at the local level with long-term commitments. We also try to be on-site regularly, to follow up and to assist with our know-how, experience and other means to overcome bumps in the road.
Another important aspect is that the end result matches the original aim of the project, and builds on the latest achievements. Working closely together with our partners on mutual objectives is a process that helps us to continuously develop and improve, ultimately bringing our partnerships to the next level.
adidas supports specific projects in Brazil in cooperation with local partners. One of them is the Ginga Social project. Ginga Social is the result of a cooperation between adidas Brazil and the Brazilian non-governmental organisation Gol de Letra. Ginga Social is a sport-based after-school programme implemented in five Brazilian cities.
In each of the five cities (Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, São Paulo, Salvador and Porto Alegre), adidas partners with a local organisation to offer various team and individual sports, always based on the local demand. Futsal, volleyball, athletics, basketball, judo, jiu-jitsu, dance and capoeira are the most common ones, always complemented by activities transferring life skills and social values. The local project team is trained and monitored by Gol de Letra directly. As part of the programme, sports facilities are refurbished and extended according to local needs.
Today, around 1,500 children are actively involved in the Ginga Social projects of the five cities. Most of them participate in the programme since it was launched. Overall, more than 2,200 children and teenagers directly benefited from the sports activities so far. And since Ginga Social offers sports events, workshops and leisure activities to whole communities and also reaches out to family members in order to give advice on education, health and nutrition, the total number of people that benefited from the programme until now is approximately as high as 10,000.
A recent study concluded that the Ginga Social programme conducted in the five cities has a significant impact on the children’s self-esteem and sense of responsibility; they are less aggressive in their relationship towards other children and are more respectful towards adults. Following these results, adidas Brazil has decided to continue investing in the Ginga Social programme. New projects will start in Brasilia in August 2014 and São Paulo in January 2015.
You can read more about Ginga Social and its activities on their Facebook page.
We also support the "adidas Exchange Programme", through which adidas promotes the exchange and development of key expertise and capacities between social organisations working within the field of sport-for-social-change. The "adidas Exchange Programme" provides workshops and training on the topic in cooperation with FIFA Football for Hope and the Streetfootballworld network.
The programme takes place several times a year on different continents. The next encounter will happen in May 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, with approximately 100 participants from about 40 Brazilian non-governmental organisations that work in the area of sport-for-development.
Ginga Social Project in Brazil
adidas Latin America formed the Social Responsibility Committee in 2010. The Committee’s goals are to promote adidas’ involvement with important local social causes, to support charitable organisations through fundraising and to engage adidas employees in adhering to the adidas values and being part of social activities.
The Committee has joined forces with Success for Kids (SFK), an organisation which operates in many countries, including the USA, UK, Mexico and Panama. SFK is dedicated to empowering at-risk children and adolescents around the world to become resilient productive citizens. Through this partnership, adidas is improving the lives of children in Panama by funding various learning and development programmes. In 2011, adidas Latin America sponsored SFK’s first walk and run event in Panama, in which adidas employees and families also participated.
Other highlights for adidas Latin America include:
- Participation in the 6th Annual Walk/Run race to benefit the Panama Special Olympics
- Sponsoring the FANLYC Foundation walk/run event to support children and adolescents with leukaemia
- Supporting beach cleaning
- Organising a toy and clothes collection for children in need in a remote area of Panama. Several adidas employees donated time to visit the area and present the donated gifts.
Since 1999, adidas US has been a supporting partner of America SCORES. America SCORES is the nation’s largest after-school soccer (football), literacy and service-learning programme, serving more than 6,000 youth in 14 urban, low-income communities. Using the world’s most popular sport as a foundation, America SCORES programmes inspire youth to lead healthy lifestyles, be engaged students and become agents of change in their communities.
Addressing illiteracy and obesity
America SCORES addresses some of the most significant needs facing the USA’s urban youth: illiteracy and obesity. Their programmes use football as a building block for teaching creative writing, leadership skills and teamwork to at-risk youth. To become an America SCORES team member, participants must commit to literacy workshops every other day after school. The workshops help students express their life experiences through poetry. On days they are not writing, these poet-athletes practise football and learn how to translate their teamwork skills from the football field to the classroom and into their communities, helping them grow into engaged, active citizens.
adidas provides football products for kids and coaches, leadership on the America SCORES National Board of Directors, sponsorship of special events, such as their annual Poetry Slam, and adidas athlete involvement.
In 2011, with the help of adidas and the US Soccer Foundation, America SCORES launched several new programmes in Portland, Oregon, where adidas US is headquartered. adidas values the partnership with America SCORES and will continue to support them in their efforts to help even more kids enrich their lives and their communities through football.
The Reebok brand is leading a fitness revolution spearheaded by the belief that fitness has the power to improve people’s mental, social and physical well-being. The goal is to break down fitness barriers and provide tools for people to get fit for life. This is not only our business: it is our mission. This dedication is infused in everything that we do and is apparent in our products, partnerships, employee engagement and our social purpose.
First introduced in 2010, Reebok’s Social Purpose Platform aims to foster a global connection to our belief that the power of fitness can change the world by improving the human condition. We believe that fit people can contribute to fit communities. Based on this belief, Reebok uses philanthropy, innovation and research to address barriers to fitness in the developed and developing world.
In the following please read about a number of activities managed by the Reebok brand.
Despite universally known benefits of fitness, factors such as time constraints and budget cuts have slowly decreased or eliminated physical activity from children’s daily schedules. Lack of exercise can lead to chronic issues such as diabetes, heart disease and many others. In addition to the physical benefits that fitness can bring, numerous studies lay out compelling evidence that moderate to vigorous physical activity stimulates brain function. Benefits include help with memory improvement and improved cognitive ability. Therefore, it is essential to promote healthy habits at a young age in order to set the path for a healthy life.
To help foster these benefits, Reebok introduced the BOKS Programme in 2009, an initiative of Reebok and the Reebok Foundation and the company’s major social purpose initiative. BOKS is an innovative, before-school physical activity programme with a mission to bring access to fitness to children between the ages of 5 and 12. In select underserved areas, Reebok provides staff and funding for the programme. The BOKS programme training and curriculum is also available to all schools at no cost.
BOKS gives children the opportunity to get moving for an hour before school to help boost their academic and physical performance, in addition to their overall confidence and well-being. BOKS classes include fun warm-up activities, running, team-oriented games and BOKS Bits, which are nutritional talks incorporated into each class to increase nutritional knowledge and promote life-long healthy habits. This increased physical activity helps prepare the brain for a day of learning. The curriculum also has BOKS Burst, which are three-minute workout breaks that teachers can use throughout the school day. The programme typically runs two to three mornings a week, before the start of the school day, with class sizes that range from 40 to 100 children.
Over the past six years, BOKS has grown into a community-driven worldwide movement; by the end of 2015, there were BOKS programmes established in more than 1,700 schools in six countries (the US, Japan, South Korea and Canada, benefitting roughly 72,000 pupils.
Programme impact: BOKS’ impact has been measured and evaluated by an independent evaluator, NIOST (National Institute on Out of School Time), which conducted a three-year study of BOKS in the Natick schools, reporting the programme had improved students’ memory and executive function and shaved an average of 16 seconds off their 400-meter run times. Another study, authored by Quincy College Exercise Science Director Wayne Westcott and published in the Journal of Exercise, Sports & Orthopedics, showed that students in Weymouth got fitter and healthier after three 50-minute sessions a week for nine weeks. Additionally, BOKS recently began a long-term study with Harvard Medical School and are working multiple children in the school districts south of Boston, MA. BOKS takes pride in having an adaptive leadership approach. Innovative, real-time improvements are made to the programme in response to the information collected through these measures.
Reebok International is proud to be a national sponsor of the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. In addition to supporting Avon Walk participants' terrific efforts with Reebok merchandise, Reebok supports its commitment to the fight against breast cancer through its line of Pink Ribbon footwear and apparel to benefit the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. Reebok donates a minimum of $300,000 up to $750,000 to the Avon Foundation for Women through the sale of this Pink Ribbon line.
The Reebok Foundation focuses its philanthropy on the BOKS programme and also on charitable programmes in communities where Reebok offices are located, with special emphasis on the Greater Boston area. The Foundation promotes social and economic equality by funding non-profit organisations that help empower youth to fulfil their potential and lead healthy, happy and active lives.
Since 1986, the Reebok Foundation has supported hundreds of non-profit organisations. To apply for a donation from the Reebok Foundation please review the criteria below and click here to complete the eligibility quiz.
- Be public charities that are tax-exempt under paragraph 501(c)(3) of the US Internal Revenue code.
- Empower underprivileged and underserved youth to fulfil their potential by providing them with the tools they need to lead healthy, happy and active lives.
- Serve youth in the Greater Boston area, with priority given to projects that serve inner-city, Boston youth.
- Exhibit strong fiscal management.
We welcome sponsorship opportunities that can help us in our mission. Key areas of focus are: Training, Studio Fitness, Running, Obstacle Course Running and Celebrity/Entertainment.
To submit a sponsorship request, please email Sponsorship@reebok.com.
TaylorMade-adidas Golf Programmes
TaylorMade-adidas Golf’s (TMaG) community relations strategy aims to promote brand awareness through partnerships with non-profit organisations, while improving the quality of life for the people and the programmes these agencies represent. TMaG supports local charitable organisations that champion youth, golf and those less fortunate in all ages.
In 2001, TMaG established the Charitable Contributions Programme to manage the thousands of donation requests received annually from non-profit organisations throughout the United States. The programme provides product donations to qualified charities, as well as offering TMaG products for sale at a significant discount.
Since the programme was launched, TaylorMade-adidas Golf is proud to have supported hundreds of organisations through these partnerships, enabling them to increase profits generated from their fundraising events and surpass their goals. This has helped these organisations to better provide the critical services needed by those who rely on them for assistance.
In 2010, TaylorMade announced its partnership with the non-profit organisation Solutions for Change, which is committed to solving family homelessness in North County, San Diego. TaylorMade CEO Mark King became chairman of the “Finding Our Way Home” initiative to take 200 families – including 400 children – off the street, and pledged a $1 million commitment over a three-year period through a combination of corporate donations and employee involvement and volunteering.
During 2011, TaylorMade supported Solutions for Change through donations of adidas and Ashworth clothing, and by enlisting employees to assist in readying a home for occupancy by a homeless family. Mark King emceed the Solutions for Change fundraiser, “An Evening to Remember with Condoleezza Rice”, which raised $1.3 million through a live auction.
Established in 2008 by PGA golfer and TaylorMade tour player Pat Perez and his father Tony, "Operation Game On" gives returning troops suffering from physical and mental injuries a customised introduction to golf.
During the eight-week golf rehabilitation programme, veterans are hosted at the TaylorMade headquarters, where they receive instruction by PGA teaching professional Jim Flick. Each veteran goes through TaylorMade’s custom fitting process, and receives clubs built to his or her specifications donated by TaylorMade. Veterans completing the programme are able to regain an active lifestyle while rebuilding their self-confidence and hope for the future.
In 1997, the World Golf Foundation established "The First Tee" to improve the lives of young people by providing learning facilities and educational programmes that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf.
TaylorMade has been a partner of "The First Tee" since 2001, and provides financial support and product donations needed to expand the curriculum and development programmes. "The First Tee National School Programme" introduces children to golf and "The First Tee’s" nine core values of responsibility, sportsmanship, perseverance, confidence, judgement, honesty, respect, courtesy and integrity. Over 1.5 million children have been introduced to golf through "The First Tee’s" Life Skills and Golf experience programmes, which have been held in 46 states.
Each autumn, TaylorMade employees partner with local agencies to help brighten the holiday season for local needy families.
During a month-long food drive on the TaylorMade campus, employees donate thousands of pounds of non-perishable food. TaylorMade employees also participate in the Adopt-A-Family project by purchasing gifts for needy families in the community. Angel trees are placed in locations throughout the campus and decorated with angels containing a child’s gift wish. Following the campaign, volunteers deliver the gifts to Adopt-A-Family for distribution to the families.
TaylorMade launched its Community Connections Programme in 2009. The programme is run by employees interested in helping the local community. Their goal has been to select four community events each year and encourage employees to participate by volunteering some of their personal time and implement TaylorMade’s involvement.
TaylorMade’s Community and Charity Opportunities programme was launched in 2009 so employees could share information about and become involved in community and charity events that matter to them.
Through the intranet and the Community Connections programme, employees publicised these causes with instructions on how to make donations or volunteer to help. Through this initiative, TaylorMade employees will continue to support many causes important to their co-workers in the years ahead.
Further TaylorMade community projects from the past are:
Cleaning up local beaches
Hosted by the San Diego Coastkeeper and Surfrider Foundation, TaylorMade volunteers joined forces with other members of the community to remove rubbish and clean up around Tamarack Beach in Carlsbad and at the South Carlsbad State Beach campground.
TaylorMade employees came together by cleaning out their closets and donating their "gently worn" shoes to Soles4Souls, a charity that collects shoes and monies for distribution to those in need. Drop boxes were placed throughout the company headquarters and shoes were collected for various locations around the world.
Renovating the New Haven Youth and Family Services campus
New Haven Youth and Family Services is a residential care facility for at-risk boys between the ages of 12 and 17 in the community of Vista in North San Diego County. In 2010, 185 TaylorMade employees spent the day renovating the centre, including rebuilding decks, painting and landscaping. TaylorMade provided an estimated monetary value of $18,000 of in-kind donations of building supplies and landscaping materials, as well as 1,445 employee volunteer hours.
To learn more about the Charitable Giving programme of TaylorMade as well as about the policies and procedures for submitting a donation request, please click here.