New Balance Celebrates Its Shoemaking Heritage

This week, New Balance, the only athletic company that still produces footwear in the United States, launches a national celebration of its domestic manufacturing workforce through an online documentary and awareness campaign.
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BOSTON, June 16, 2009 – This week, New Balance, the only athletic company that still produces footwear in the United States, launches a national celebration of its domestic manufacturing workforce through an on-line documentary and awareness campaign.
“We made our first pair of running shoes in 1938 and have never wavered in our commitment to domestic manufacturing,” says Rob DeMartini, CEO at New Balance. “During this tough economic time, we are proud to showcase the powerful unity of our American workforce and their local community. Our associates have passion and pride in their craftsmanship, and their dedication to their work is why we are able to withstand economic challenges and remain strong. This documentary highlights Skowhegan as our first Maine factory, but tells the success story of all New Balance manufacturing facilities and associates.”

The documentary can be seen at New Balance's website at newbalance.com/USA which highlights the company's domestic manufacturing history, facilities and footwear products. The video can also be viewed on New Balance's Facebook and YouTube fan pages. Later this month, New Balance will invite consumers to share their feedback to win an opportunity to experience Skowhegan shoemaking first-hand. For every entry, New Balance will donate $1 to the non-profit National Center for Craftsmanship (NCC) up to $50,000. The NCC is dedicated to the preservation, enhancement and sustainability of quality craftsmanship from construction and manufacturing to art and handicrafts.

Digital Kitchen, the production company that produced the documentary, spent a week in Skowhegan, Maine filming the company's associates at work and at home as well as the Skowhegan landscape and greater community.

New Balance highlights its commitment to American workers through a national awareness campaign this summer including print, radio and online advertising. Dedicated in-store materials as well as footwear hangtags and box stickers highlight the 993, 1063 and 769 footwear models as either Made or Assembled in America.

“Our New Balance associates have proven that high-quality athletic footwear can be produced competitively in America,” says DeMartini. “We are proud of them and how they have helped us to maintain our unique heritage of domestic manufacturing.”

New Balance has five U.S. manufacturing facilities in Boston and Lawrence, MA and Norway, Norridgewock and Skowhegan, Maine as well as one in Flimby, UK. A quarter of the company's total athletic footwear production is currently made or assembled in the U.S. each year.

New Balance, headquartered in Boston, MA has the following mission: Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host. New Balance employs more than 4000 people around the globe, and in 2008 reported worldwide sales of $1.64 billion. For more information please visit http://www.newbalance.com.
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