Most recently, Nike presented a colorful version of their iconic Air Force 1 silhouette that was released in conjunction with longtime TNT analyst Craig Sager’s “Sager Strong” Foundation whose vibrant colors and paisley prints served as a rallying cry against cancer – as well as Sager’s own battle with leukemia. If current eBay trends hold up, the initiative with make well over $100,000 for cancer research.Nike’s MAG is perhaps the greatest example of how the sneaker industry can do good. With the Back to the Future connotations cementing it in pop culture lore, the shoe has served as both a testament to Nike ingenuity, as well as their commitment to finding a cure for Parkinson’s Disease after Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with the condition in 1991.
The 10-day eBay auction of 1,500 pairs of limited edition 2011 Nike MAG shoes topped $4.7 million USD and eventually made $9.4 million after Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, and his wife, Anne Wojcicki, matched the initial efforts.Earlier this month, Nike offered everyone the chance to win a pair of MAGs by purchasing a raffle ticket for $10 USD. Nike raised $6.75 million USD for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.These two charitable products are not the end all, be all of sneaker philanthropy. There are just two of the latest. Here are some prominent examples.
On November 3, 1979, a young Canadian, Terry Fox, wrote a letter to an executive at adidas requesting 26 pairs of running shoes, stating, “I am 21 years old, and I am an amputee. I lost my right leg above the knee two and a half years ago due to cancer. The night before my amputation, a former basketball coach brought me a magazine with an article on an amputee who ran in the New York Marathon in it. It was then when I decided to meet this new challenge head on and not only overcome my disability, but conquer it in such a way that I could never look back and say it disabled me.”