The North Face will roll out a patented new footwear technology called VECTIV in 2021. Described as being “born on the trail and rooted in elite athlete insights,” VECTIV tech is designed to promote forward momentum and propulsion and is built to meet the demands of elite athletes in challenging trail running environments such as Ultra trail races. The Flight VECTIV, $199, is scheduled to launch on January 26, 2021.
Foot Locker will donate $1.5 million worth of footwear to pandemic-affected youth communities for back to school, the New York-based retailer said. Soles4Souls will serve as the anchor to the endeavor facilitating donations across 7 countries and reaching an estimated 19,000 students. In addition, Foot Locker has created Collaboraid, a collection of collaboration products benefitting kids in need. Collaboraid’s debut collection includes product by A$AP Ferg, Daily Paper x Crocs, Jen Bartel x K-Swiss and Sophia Chang, among others. To celebrate the collection’s launch, Foot Locker is donating an additional $250,000 to Soles4Souls. "Heading back to school in 2020 is inherently unlike anything our youth have experienced before, and may look very different depending on their location," Dick Johnson, CEO and chairman of Foot Locker, said in a statement. "Whether they continue their studies from home or back in the classroom, the basic needs of our students remain a constant. We aim to provide as many students as possible with a new pair of shoes, so they can look and feel their best going into the new school year.”
OS1st and Brea, CA-based running independent A Snail’s Pace teamed up to donate the compression brand’s Super Hero compression calf sleeves to local medical center Saddleback Memorial Medical Care Center. The sleeves are designed to reduce the effects of long periods of standing and can help relieve pain. “We know that not all heroes wear capes,” Josh Higgins, president of OS1st, said in a statement. “In the fight against COVID-19 the heroes are wearing scrubs and working long hours on their feet.”
Charlotte, NC-based family retailer Rack Room Shoes is commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech by donating $25,000 to the National Urban League civil rights nonprofit. The donation is the first step of the retailer’s five-year, $1 million diversity initiative, announced in June, designed to support the Black community. Other planned elements include internships and mentorships, educational and economic empowerment donations as well as implicit bias training sessions.
According to the weekly Small Business Pulse Survey, small U.S. businesses are increasingly glum about the length of time it will take to recover from the impacts of COVID-19. For the week ended Aug. 15, 48 percent of surveyed small businesses said they expected the COVID-19 recovery to take six months with another 4.1 percent estimating a recovery period of 2-3 months. Those figures compare to 30 percent of small business owners forecasting a recovery period of six months or longer and 25 percent predicting a shorter 2-3 month recovery when the survey commenced in May.
Obituary: Peter McHugh, the longtime advertising agency copywriter and creative director who was honored with 47 Effies, 18 Cannes Lions and 22 One Shoe Pencils during his career, died Aug. 18 after a brief illness. He was 65. He is best known in the sports world for his creation of the “Impossible is Nothing” campaign created for Adidas. The effort included a commercial with Muhammad Ali and his daughter Laila, which was awarded the “Top Marketing Moment” over the last decade by the Advertising Club of New York.