NEW YORK, April 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Foot Locker, Inc. is taking a big step forward for the autism community through its latest release of adaptive footwear alongside sports company Puma and Italian sportswear brand Diadora.
In support of the autism community, Foot Locker, Inc. has joined forces with Puma and Diadora to bring two unique sneakers to the market to help raise awareness for autism. The two collaborations are created in tandem with designer Sarath Ton for Diadora and actor Ron Funches for Puma.
"Foot Locker, Inc. is continuously evolving to better serve and be inclusive of all communities," says John Hochadel, VP Commercial Concepts at Foot Locker, Inc. North America. "These collaborations are particularly close to our hearts because they support the mission of one of our employee resource groups, Laced Differently – which aims to create visibility, raise awareness and strive to empower persons with disabilities. We look forward to expanding our collaborations in the future and continue to invest in Laced Differently to empower people of all abilities to express themselves through the love of sneakers."
Diadora's iconic N9002 sneaker receives an upgrade with a custom version designed by artist Sarath Ton – whose brother-in-law Joshua is an autistic adult. The sneaker features shock absorption and comes in a classic black and white motif highlighted with an infusion of multiple colors. The sneaker priced at $175 will be available starting today, April 27th, at 10am EST on footlocker.com, footaction.com and champssports.com. Foot Locker, Inc. and Diadora will donate $10,000 from the proceeds of this collection to Autism Speaks.
"This Diadora and Foot Locker, Inc. autism collaboration is something very important to me. It's dedicated to not only all of the families who include a member who is on the spectrum but to my brother-in-law Joshua who is autistic," says Sarath Ton. "Seeing the energy and love he brings to life is an inspiration to me. His genuine happiness for the little things, whether it be his love for movies and fast food, or talking about girls and singing his favorite songs, is something I try to fold into my everyday life."
"We were very happy to team up with Foot Locker, Inc. and Sarath Ton on this capsule collection. We believe in sport as a way of life, and we know sport is about teamwork, which means we know when to step up for our teammates and when to step aside when it's their time to shine," states Diadora. "We stand by Sarath's side in supporting a cause that he feels very strongly about, and we were happy to provide the right product for him to express himself, the best possible canvas to spark his creativity. This was an enriching experience, as all the best collaborations are."
In addition, the retailer partnered with actor Ron Funches, an advocate for the autism community, for an adaptive Puma sneaker which honors Ron's son and features adaptive laces to ensure anyone who struggles with laces can enjoy the sneakers. The lime green sneaker, Ron's son's favorite color, features noise-canceling headphones on the back heel – a reminder of his son. The sneaker priced at $150 will be available starting tomorrow April 28th at 10am EST on footlocker.com. Foot Locker, Inc. and Puma will donate $10,000 to the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism supporting their mission of helping people and families affected by autism live life to the fullest.
"I am excited and humbled to promote autism acceptance and to celebrate all the things my son has taught me. Thank you, Puma and Foot Locker, for making a dream come true," says actor and advocate Ron Funches.
ABOUT FOOT LOCKER, INC. Foot Locker, Inc. leads the celebration of sneaker and youth culture around the globe through a portfolio of brands including Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Champs Sports, Eastbay, Footaction, and Sidestep. With approximately 3,000 retail stores in 27 countries across North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as websites and mobile apps, the Company's purpose is to inspire and empower youth around the world, by fueling a shared passion for self-expression and creating unrivaled experiences at the heart of the global sneaker community. Foot Locker, Inc. has its corporate headquarters in New York. For additional information please visitwww.footlocker-inc.com.
ABOUT PUMA PUMA is one of the world's leading Sports Brands, designing, developing, selling, and marketing footwear, apparel, and accessories. For more than 70 years, PUMA has relentlessly pushed sport and culture forward by creating fast products for the world's fastest athletes. PUMA offers performance and sport-inspired lifestyle products in categories such as Football, Running and Training, Basketball, Golf, and Motorsports. It collaborates with renowned designers and brands to bring sport influences into street culture and fashion. The PUMA Group owns the brands PUMA, Cobra Golf, and stichd. The company distributes its products in more than 120 countries, employs more than 16,000 people worldwide, and is headquartered in Herzogenaurach/Germany. www.about.puma.com
ABOUT DIADORA Diadora has been writing some of the most exciting pages of Sporting history for more than 70 years. Headquartered in Caerano di San Marco, Italy, it has made performance, quality, and Italian design the key values for its sporting and lifestyle goods. Today Diadora is present in more than 60 countries in the world and is continuing its expansion thanks to a vast array of cutting edge products that are focused on sport performance lines – running, soccer, and tennis; and lifestyle, with the high-end Heritage collection and the Sportswear line, a modern mix of streetwear and Sport DNA.
ABOUT AUTISM SPEAKS Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. We do this through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. To find resources, join an event or make a donation, go to www.autismspeaks.org. Learn more by following @autismspeaks on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
ABOUT THE FLUTIE FOUNDATION Former NFL Quarterback, Doug Flutie, and his wife Laurie started the Doug Flutie, Jr. Flutie Foundation for Autism in 1998 after their son, Dougie, was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. Their personal experience of raising a son on the autism spectrum inspired them to help others with autism on an equally long and challenging journey. Over its 23-year history, the Flutie Foundation has distributed over $15 million to schools and organizations who provide clinical therapies, respite services, recreational programs, social skills training, job supports and more for people affected by autism. The Flutie Foundation also provides education technology tools, adaptive camp scholarships, safety equipment, and direct family support through its partnerships and special initiatives.