Under Armour

Under Armour and Keen are among the latest American brands stepping up to make donations to fight against fallout from the coronavirus.

Early Thursday, the Baltimore-based activewear brand made a $2 million pledge that encompassed a $1 million donation to Feeding America and another $1 million to host a 30-day fitness challenge with Good Sports.

The donation to Feeding America supports local food banks and hunger relief efforts as a result of store closures and quarantines in its hometown of Baltimore as well as other cities where the company has a large presence, including San Francisco and Rialto, Calif.; Nashville; Austin, Tex., and Portland, Ore.

Under Armour is also hosting a 30-day Healthy at Home fitness challenge on its MyFitnessPal and MapMyRun platforms where it will donate up to $1 million in cash and products to Good Sports’ youth sport leagues for anyone who joins the challenge by March 23.

“It’s our mission at Under Armour to make athletes better, and in these unprecedented times we are even more committed to providing our communities with essential resources,” said Patrik Frisk, Under Armour’s chief executive officer. “Through access to nutrition and fitness, we want to support the health and wellness goals that are being challenged at this time.”

On Wednesday, Nike said it would donate more than $15 million to support communities in which its employees live and work. The company also contributed $1.4 million to the China Youth Development Foundation in January to aid frontline workers with medical supplies and equipment.

Other American companies that have pledged support include Facebook, which is setting aside $100 million for a new grand program for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Another company that caters to athletically-minded and active consumers, Keen has come up with a novel way to donate footwear. The company has launched “The Together We Can Help” initiative is designed to enable people to take positive action and build a sense of community in a time of increasing isolation, according to Erik Burbank, global general manager for outdoor, lifestyle and kids.

The brand will give away up to a 100,000 pairs of shoes valuing $10 million. Anyone can go to the brand’s site to nominate anyone else to receive a free pair of Keen shoes it boots. The program is geared for workers on the frontlines and the families at home fighting the coronavirus crisis.  They just need to provide their e-mail as well as the nominee’s e-mail. Once the nominee accepts the invitation to receive a free pair of shoes, they will be shipped to them at no added cost.

The effort is aimed at all people in need as a result of the pandemic including ski lift operators who were unexpectedly laid off recently after the COVID-19 crisis forced ski resorts to shut down. Yoga instructors mandated to close their studios in response to the pandemic and race directors required to cancel their events, and a myriad of people will benefit from Keen’s initiative.

Founded in 2003 by Rory Fuerst, the company remains a private company. The nominees will be able to choose from more than 100 different styles of Keen footwear. A company spokesman declined to reveal annual sales Thursday. In touting the campaign on its home page, Keen notes that the company’s heritage is rooted in its personal and family values, as well as embracing other cultures and ideas and making a positive contribution as responsible citizens of the planet.

Burbank said in a statement, “We believe allowing people to “pay it forward” by providing someone in their community with a free pair of shoes, will help build connection at a time of great need.”

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