Culture + Commerce: Foot Locker Backs Grassroots Basketball
Leveraging an increased consumer appetite for local community initiatives dissected in Leaning into Local, American sportswear retailer Foot Locker has launched its ‘Raise the Game’ initiative, celebrating and supporting grassroots basketball across London, Paris, Barcelona and Milan. Foot Locker will provide teams with new kits, refurbish courts and pay homage to local sporting heroes.
The brand consulted with local organisations in all four cities when deciding how best to support grassroots clubs.
In Paris: The updated ‘Jemmapes’ court in Paris’ 10th arrondissement has been created in collaboration with French graphic designer and artist Etienne Bardelli, known for his installations in Centre Pompidou and Palais de Tokyo, and who has designed pop-ups for French luxury house Hermès. Bardelli has also designed player kits, which will be given to after-school basketball club Sons of Jemmapes.
In London: In London, Foot Locker’s Brixton store will raise awareness of a local hero with a memorial to the late Jimmy Rogers, founder of local team Brixton Topcats. Topcats branded merchandise will be available to buy at the Brixton branch, with proceeds going to the club.
Nearby, Clapham Common court will be renovated and relaunched in 2021, an initiative led by the sport’s governing body, Basketball England, and UK basketball news website Hoopsfix. London-based street artist Sevian Witter, who produces portraits of sporting icons and is a former Topcats player, has been commissioned to design basketball kits that will be gifted to south London players.
While full details of initiatives in Milan and Barcelona in 2021 are yet to be disclosed, in addition to refurbished courts and new kits, each city will play host to a series of events that offer opportunities to meet and train with NBA players and coaches.