BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS (October 19, 2021) – New Balance announced the establishment of the New Balance Athlete Advisory Board, a specialized collective of professional athletes, company executives & brand associates that will enable strategic decisions powered by shared values, culture and community. The unprecedented group will be a guiding force for change within New Balance and further aid in the important work coming from the internal teams grounded on the principles of co-authorship.
New Balance’s athletes and ambassadors are a representation of the company’s values. From teams, to entertainment talent or athletes, the brand favors a partnership model relationship over a sponsorship and takes a co-authored approach to stories and initiatives.
This group is unique within the industry, the board will be led by former professional baseball player and community activist Curtis Granderson and Olympic Bronze Medal Winner and nine-time National Champion middle-distance runner Emma Coburn as Co-Chairmen. The following Team New Balance athletes will support Curtis and Emma as board members on this monumental integration between a brand and their athletes:
- Professional baseball player Francisco Lindor
- Professional runner Brenda Martinez
- Tennis star Milos Raonic
- Professional basketball player Darius Bazley
Yuron White, Vice President of Performance Footwear, and Romina Bongiovanni, Global Director of Communications & Entertainment, will lead the New Balance executive governance board from a brand perspective and provide a strategic framework for the athletes to operate within.
“We constantly reflect on what has taken us through the last 115 and, most importantly, the work that will take us through the next 115. The goal of the Athlete Advisory Board is to further strengthen this work by bringing in our athletes’ perspective in real time and early on in our planning process,” says Romina Bongiovanni. “We want to be the best version of ourselves versus the biggest version of ourselves. Team New Balance athletes are the drivers of progress within their sport and communities and we want the collective power of this group to influence various aspects of our business.”
The board will meet quarterly to discuss key brand initiatives and issues that are affecting our industry and give athletes a seat at the table to add to the conversation and build plans against key priorities. The first Board Meeting was held in September and topics of discussion included New Balance’s 2022-23 brand vision, DE&I journey, as well as the New Balance Foundation strategies, to name a few.
“As an athlete you want to use your talent to win games. But for most of us, there’s also that need to give back to the community; to use our platform to create positive change. It goes way beyond the game,” Granderson said. “I speak for my fellow board members when I say we’re excited to join the New Balance Athlete Advisory Board to help build something that will have a long-lasting impact for years to come and inspire other athletes to join in.”