HERO’S WELCOME: Foot Locker has taken a $3 million minority stake in Super Heroic, an innovative, tactical play and entertainment company.
Started in 2016 by Jason Mayden and Harshal Sisodia, the Oakland, Calif.-based company aims to inspire children to be more active through play. Foot Locker’s investment brings the total raised by Super Heroic to $10 million since that time.
Foot Locker’s chairman and chief executive officer Richard Johnson said having the two companies come together “to empower kids to play has the potential to be game-changing.” Through its investment, Kids Foot Locker will be the first brick-and-mortar store to carry Super Heroic products in the U.S.
The children’s apparel and footwear business is estimated to be $69 billion with major players such as Stitch Fix joining the fold last year. The percentage of children who regularly participate in high-calorie-burning sports — pretty much everything but walking — has dropped from 26.9 percent in 2014 to 23.9 percent in 2017, according to the Sport & Fitness Industry Association’s “State of Play: 2018” survey. PHIT America, Nike and a slew of other brands and groups are concerned about the rising rates of inactivity among children, many of whom are more inclined to play Fortnite than sports. Through partnerships with youth-oriented groups, some are trying to develop programs to encourage youngsters to get outdoors and get active. Kids in the Game is working with PHIT America as its official partner to manage and implement Go Grant programs, which include school-based activities and introduce youngsters to a life of fitness. On November’s Giving Tuesday, Asics America Corp. donated a portion of sales in its freestanding stores to Right to Play, an organization that helps get kids to lead more active lives.
Along with developing performance-oriented products and new content for its Phase Five, Super Heroics is planning for more Hero Days in the U.S. The company held its inaugural Hero Day — an assortment of games and activities — with the local community, city officials and StreetCode Academy in East Palo Alto, Calif.