NIKE Unveils Community Store Plans; Donates Basketball Courts to New Orleans; And Kicks off Celebration with Mayor Ray Nagin, LeBron James and Lisa Leslie
To celebrate NBA All-Star Weekend and Nike’s long-term commitment to rebuilding New Orleans through sport, Nike (NYSE:NKE) will unveil plans for a new community store and host a court dedication and community celebration at New Orleans Park and Recreation’s (NORD) St. Bernard Center on Thursday, February 14th at 2:30pm.
Nike’s Community Store is scheduled to open in April 2008 on Carrolton Avenue. In addition to providing local jobs and management training programs, the store will host an annual grant program to support community-based programs targeting sport opportunities for women and youth.
Mayor C. Ray Nagin, NBA All-Star LeBron James, and WNBA legend Lisa Leslie will be on hand to dedicate one of five basketball courts refurbished in New Orleans by Nike since September 2007. In addition, The LeBron James Family Foundation, with LeBron James, will unveil a renovated playground at the community center. After the dedication ceremony, there will be an exhibition basketball game and a host of other activities for local area youth.
“Our goal is to help bring sport back to New Orleans and help the youth of the city get active and play sports,” said Sandy Pressley, GM of Nike’s GBU South. “As part of our long-term commitment to the city, we are proud to be announcing our community store. Our hope is to help bring employment, activity and commerce back to the community and to help encourage retail investment in the area.”
“On behalf of the citizens of New Orleans, especially our youth, I thank Nike for their commitment to rebuilding first-class basketball courts at our NORD facilities,” said Mayor Nagin. “Our commitment to creating academic and recreational opportunities for youth in our city is ongoing. Partnering NIKE with NORD has allowed the city to renew, rethink and revive key neighborhood playgrounds while also giving our children quality sport facilities.”
“I hope these basketball courts will make a real difference in the lives of New Orleans youth,” said James. “I am very proud to be involved with Nike’s efforts to give back to this community.”
Since 2005, Nike has donated over $7 million in product and cash to New Orleans. Last year, Nike launched the Let Me Play New Orleans program, donating $2 million in product, equipment and play surfaces as part of its rebuilding through sport effort.
Nike’s five donated courts are located at four NORD locations: Sam Bonart, Taylor Park, Stallings-Gentilly Park, and the St. Bernard Center. Made of recycled shoes, the courts were built as part of Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe recycling program, which collects worn-out sneakers and recycles them into new play surfaces. Shoes for these courts were collected at Nike retail locations nationwide by community members eager to assist in the rebuilding efforts in New Orleans.
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