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Message from the adidas Board: Creating Lasting Change Now

“The events of the past two weeks have caused all of us to reflect on what we can do to confront the cultural and systemic forces that sustain racism. We have had to look inward to ourselves as individuals and our organization and reflect on systems that disadvantage and silence Black individuals and communities”, says adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted. “While we have talked about the importance of inclusion, we must do more to create an environment in which all of our employees feel safe, heard and have equal opportunity to advance their careers. As adidas, we will create a lasting change and we will do it now.”

We are announcing today that we will immediately take the following three actions: 

We will invest $20 million in our Black communities. We will increase the funding for our programs that support, empower and elevate the Black community to $20 million dollars over the next four years in the US. Initiatives we’ll invest in include: adidas Legacy, a grassroots basketball platform built for underserved communities; the adidas School for Experiential Education in Design that creates career paths in footwear design; Honoring Black Excellence, an initiative honoring and supporting the Black community through sport.

We will invest in university scholarships for Black employees. Over the next five years, we will finance 50 scholarships each year for Black students at partner schools.

We will increase the number of Black employees. A minimum of 30% of all new positions in the US at adidas and Reebok will be filled with Black and Latinx people. We will also be announcing a target aimed at increasing representation of Black and Latinx people within our workforce in North America. 

Over the last two weeks, our leaders in North America Zion Armstrong and Matt O’Toole have worked in close partnership with our Black employees at adidas and Reebok to identify the actions we will take. They will provide more details and share additional actions at town hall meetings tomorrow in Portland and Boston. They have our full support.  

Black Lives Matter. We recognize the immense contribution of the Black community to our success and that of others. We promise to improve our company culture to ensure equity, diversity and opportunity. We understand that the fight against racism is one that must be fought continually and actively. We must and will do better.