Having lived in Portland for 10 years now, I have participated in the Portland Pride every year. This year it was something truly special to represent the adidas family with its newly formed LGBTQ group participating in its first community event at the Portland Pride Festival on Saturday and Sunday, June 14th and June 15th. We formed the US adidas Group team with the desire to represent diversity and inclusion not only at work but also within the Portland community. The support and adulation received from the community during the Pride Festival was overwhelming and truly encouraging for us.
Soccer as the theme for this year – it’s World Cup fever, after all!
Staying true to the World Cup fever that has engulfed the world, we chose soccer as the theme for our event. For both days, we had a booth with representatives from the Employee Store, the HR Recruiting Team and several members and allies of the adidas LGBTQ group. The booth was decked out with a flat-screen TV streaming adidas Soccer content, adidas merchandise and several iPads. Festival goers wanting to try their luck at the Plinko game won cool adidas prizes and we collected over 1,000 email sign-ups, making the adidas booth the most popular one at the festival! One of the most common reactions we received from consumers at the festival was that they were very excited to see their favorite brand at the Pride Festival.
An adidas branded Vespa leading the adidas Group employees
The adidas LGBTQ group also participated in the parade on Sunday, June 15th, and despite the timely Portland downpour, it was a blast. The colorful atmosphere at the parade with the entire downtown decorated in rainbow colors was nothing short of electric. The adidas marchers, led by our adidas branded Vespa, VW bus and bicycle, consisted of over 60 high-spirited friends and family, the NetRippers FC (Portland’s only gay soccer club) and several large, inflatable soccer balls for crowd interaction. Walking through downtown to an outpouring of cheers and frenzy from onlookers reiterated the community’s love for the adidas brand.
The love and support received from the tight-knit Portland community is extremely encouraging for us and we look to be more involved in making a positive impact on those that love the adidas brand. We might have won the right to same-sex marriages in Oregon earlier this year, but it was only one of a plethora of issues the community faces including LGBTQ youth education and LGBTQ youth representation in sports. The adidas LGBTQ group aspires to be the leader in bringing about change in communities by representing the LGBTQ youth in their fight for equal rights and acceptance.
The adidas LGBTQ group sincerely thanks all those who participated in the Portland Pride 2014 event and we look forward to your continued support. You can contact us at: LGBT@adidas-group.com.