Activewear retailer Brooks Running is putting a spin on the traditional holiday campaign centered around gift-giving, instead encouraging consumers to help clothe runners experiencing homelessness—with help from “Stranger Things” star David Harbour.
Brooks Running is partnering with the national non-profit Back on My Feet—which uses running and other fitness activities as part of a larger process to help those facing homelessness find employment and housing—to help provide up to $675,000 worth of Brooks Running apparel to participants in the program.
Through Brooks Runnings’ “Buy Gear, Give Gear” initiative, the retailer is matching purchases of its shoes, jackets and pants or tights between Dec. 8 and Dec. 14. Brooks Running will ship an equal amount of these purchased items to various Back on My Feet locations across the U.S., “allow[ing] them to outfit their runners throughout 2023,” according to a statement.
The retailer kick-started its “Buy Gear, Give Gear” program—a collaborative effort from agencies M Booth, Curiosity, and BibRave, as well as Brooks Running's internal creative team—with an event featuring the company’s celebrity ambassador, Harbour. The actor surprised a group of Back on My Feet members in New York City on Dec. 3 gathered for their morning run, and, as shown in an Instagram video from Brooks Running highlighting moments from the event, Harbour told the runners about his own journey with running and how it helped reduce his pandemic-induced anxiety before joining the group on their run.
“[It’s] kind of poignant—I grew up [here], and was struggling with addiction on 12th [Avenue] and [Avenue] B,” Harbour says to the group in the video. “But it’s really nice to be back here with such an inspiring group of people.”
Harbour began working with Brooks Running in August. The actor shared in an Instagram video announcing the partnership that he started wearing the brand’s shoes when he began using running as a way to both manage his anxiety and lose weight ahead of the fourth season of “Stranger Things.” Brooks Running tapped Harbour for the brand’s first global campaign, “It’s Your Run,” with Harbour providing the voiceover for a series of video spots.
That campaign shifted the brand’s former “run happy” messaging to instead celebrate every type of runner, even those who aren’t hardcore athletes—like Harbour. And Brooks Running’s partnership with Back on My Feet continues the brand’s new focus on uplifting non-traditional runners.