ADIDAS IS MIAMI BOUND: Taking its message of inclusion and diversity to the playing field, Adidas has partnered with World Out Games Miami 2017, a 10-day, multisport human rights and cultural event that gets under way May 26.

The competition will be held in the U.S. for the first time and will bring together lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and intersex athletes from more than 40 countries, including many where homosexuality remains illegal. In the spirit of inclusiveness, the World Out Games are open to all athletes, regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation. Ranging in abilities from beginner to competitive, the assortment of sports includes basketball, track and field, running, soccer, bodybuilding and other events.

“We believe that through sport, we have the power to change lives,” said Adidas North America president Mark King. “We believe in the power of sport and its ability to transcend differences and unite people around hope and celebration. Sport plays a critical role in our culture today and we can harness that influence to make real change for the world. We want to foster a culture in sports that celebrates diversity and provides a safe place for everyone to play.”

As part of World Out Games Miami, the fourth annual Global LGBTQI Human Rights Conference will be held May 26 through May 29. To further discussion and ideas, attendees will include human rights activists, researchers, legal scholars and trade organization representatives. World Out Games Miami will also feature art exhibits, historical tours, a poetry reading with poet Robert Pinsky and a film festival. On June 1, Pulse Points, an artistic-led event that is meant to honor the 49 people who were killed during last year’s shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, will present dance, music, poetry and visual arts.

World Out Games chief executive officer Ivan Cano said, Adidas’ social and environmental commitment to creativity and diversity and its mission to be “the best sports brand in the world” aligns with his group’s mission. “The Adidas alliance will allow us to reach an even greater international audience seeking to champion and celebrate inclusion and equality across a variety of platforms,” he said.

Adidas scored 100 in 2016 and in 2017 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, which rates workplaces on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. Last year the brand added a clause to its athlete contracts underscoring its commitment to its partners regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation. In the past, the company has created special-edition footwear and apparel that draws inspiration from the rainbow flag, a symbol of hope and pride for the LGBTQI community. The brand has made efforts to celebrate pride across its franchises, including Stan Smith and Superstar.

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