Brooks Running announced the launch of Future Run, an initiative to champion youth and help them discover the lifelong benefits of the run and its community. An evolution of the brand’s current community impact work, Future Run aims to reach 1 million young runners in the U.S. with a $10 million investment over the next five years.
Inactivity among kids is rising while budget cuts push schools to reduce or eliminate funding for physical education and activities. Screen usage among youth is up 50% compared to pre-pandemic numbers,1 and more young people are reporting poor mental health.2 Although Track and Field remains among the top sports in the U.S. for middle and high school participation (1M+) and among the lowest annual family spend for any sport,3 barriers to running remain and are more prevalent in certain communities. BIPOC youth make up fewer than 35% of U.S. runners ages 11-18, and girls and low-income youth experienced a significant drop in sports participation following the COVID-19 pandemic.4 Brooks’ Future Run initiative looks to help clear participation obstacles for young runners nationwide.
“At Brooks, we believe the run can change a day, a life, and the world. It is a giver of strength, hope, clarity, confidence, connection, and so much more,” said Jim Weber, CEO at Brooks Running. “With Future Run, we hope to make a positive and lasting impact on the next generation of runners and the future of our sport.”
Physical activity gives children positive benefits that extend into adulthood, including lower levels of depression, higher self-esteem, and increased academic and workplace achievements.5 Since 2015, Brooks has invested more than $4 million in youth running by providing grants and performance running gear to middle and high school track and cross-country teams in North America, as well as through the Empower Her collection, a partnership with DICK’S Sporting Goods benefiting girls running programs through The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation beginning in 2020. Brooks also hosts the top U.S. high school runners in Seattle, Washington, where it is headquartered, to compete in its annual PR Invitational. With Future Run, the brand will continue that work with an expanded vision that amplifies national and regional running programs offering youth—particularly those in underrepresented communities—opportunities to participate.
Later this year, Brooks will launch the 2023 Future Run product collection with shoes and socks in classic varsity color combinations, paying homage to the powerful dynamic of running as a team sport. The collection debut will coincide with the re-launch of the Future Run Team Grants program (previously called Brooks Booster Club). With Team Grants, Brooks will provide financial support and performance running gear to track and cross-country teams at 50 U.S. schools each year. Brooks will also continue its Inspiring Coaches program, which annually recognizes high school track and cross-country coaches who go above and beyond for their athletes.
Brooks plans to expand its new Future Run initiative to markets beyond the U.S. in the coming years.