24 September 2020: Foot Locker in Europe today announced its latest commitment to basketball communities with the launch of their “raise the game” programme which celebrates the people, places and institutions throughout Europe which are committed to helping basketball culture thrive.
The launch coincides with the 10th anniversary of Foot Locker’s partnership with the NBA in Europe which has brought basketball closer to European fans and taken the excitement of the NBA to Barcelona, London, Madrid, Milan, Paris, and Rome, through clinics and tournaments in addition to bringing the first regular-season NBA Global Games to London and Paris in 2011 and 2020, respectively. Throughout the 10-year partnership, Foot Locker has opened its doors to legends and players alike and will continue to work closely with the NBA to support the growth of the game in Europe.
As part of the community programme in partnership with the NBA, Foot Locker is embarking on a journey to elevate local basketball infrastructure in key cities throughout Europe including Paris, London, Barcelona, and Milan. The brand has enlisted local talent, including visual artists, grassroots teams, players and local organisations throughout Europe to understand the needs within each community, aiming to provide them with the tools, platform and networks to raise the game in the following years.
Susie Kuhn, VP and General Manager at Foot Locker in Europe commented: “As a brand, basketball has and continues to play a pivotal role in who we are and what we stand for. Through our long-standing partnership with the NBA, we have been able to bring fans and consumers throughout Europe closer to basketball. The launch of our community programme is our commitment to the game, the culture and the people that are invested in sports as a way to inspire and empower youth culture; and the next chapter in our journey to drive progress through the passion, discipline and mentality that only basketball brings.”
Kuhn continues: “The opening of the newly refurbished Paris Jemmapes court today marks the beginning of our programme and we look forward to continuing growing the game with our communities.”
NBA EME Vice President, Global Partnerships, Vandana Balachandar commented: “The past decade of partnership with Foot Locker demonstrates our strong joint commitment to growing the game of basketball and we have achieved some incredible things together over that time. The NBA’s involvement in this programme, centred around court refurbishments, marks the next chapter which will allow us to further engage and support fans, giving local basketball communities a hub to come together and play the game that unites us.”
Tipping off the community initiative is the opening of the first refurbished court today in the ‘BaltiZone’ in Jemmapes Paris, in collaboration with the City of Paris and the 10th district of Paris, alongside the Canal Saint-Martin. The popular neighbourhood champions modernity, combining a focus on sports and contemporary art. The refurbished court has been created alongside graphic designer turned artist, Etienne Bardelli renowned for his installations in Parisian Centre Pompidou & Palais de Tokyo, as well as his collaborations with Hermes. In addition to the court, Etienne has also designed limited edition player kits, which will be donated to “Sons of Jemmapes”, a community-minded group that runs afterschool basketball programs to support the local youth.
Through Foot Locker’s partnership with the NBA, the renowned Clapham Common court, based in the heart of South London, is scheduled to be renovated and relaunched in 2021. Along with the NBA and Foot Locker, the refurbishment project is being led by the national governing body for basketball in England, Basketball England and supported by basketball website, Hoopsfix. Foot Locker has also joined forces with former Brixton Topcats player and artist, Sevian, who is working alongside the brand on the design of bespoke player kits, which will be donated to players in South London.
Sam Neter at Hoopsfix commented: “I couldn’t be more excited about our partnership with Foot Locker and Basketball England that has allowed us to move forward with the Clapham Common basketball courts renovation. It’s going to be the nicest outdoor set up in the country and be huge for the basketball community – it’s a testament to Foot Locker’s commitment to investing in the British game with projects that will have real-world, long-term impact.”
Following Paris and London, the community initiative will continue with the opening of refurbished courts in Milan and Barcelona in 2021 and will bring a series of clinics and events to each city that will offer training with NBA Basketball Operations and coaching staff and workshops.
For more information on Foot Locker’s basketball community programme and to view the brand manifesto film, featuring Sevian, Etienne, Agnés, Hoopsfix, Basketball England and Kader Kam from Da Move Crew visit https://www.footlocker.co.uk/en/content/basketball-hub which will go live on Friday 25th of September.