This past week sports and athletic giants, Nike, New Balance and Bauer, have all joined the fight against the novel coronavirus. In an effort of help support frontline workers in healthcare as well as sectors most severely impacted by the virus, the companies are doing everything from creating face masks for protection to donating to charities. Here is an overview of their efforts.


Powerhouse athletic brand, Nike, is stepping in to do its part to support frontline workers.

According to Business Insider, CEO John Donahoe announced in a conference call on Tuesday that Nike is prototyping personal protective equipment (PPE) — this includes face shields which will help doctors and nurses on the front lines. Nike is currently working on its initiative with healthcare workers at Oregon Health & Science University to figure the best course of action to help aid healthcare workers.

“Based on needs identified by the teams and health professionals at Oregon Health & Science University, our teammates are working right now about how to best help, including prototyping face shields of OHSU and others,” said Donahoe on the call.

At the beginning of March, Nike CEO John Donahoe and his wife, Eileen, along with Nike Chairman Mark Parker and his wife, Kathy,  joined Phil and Penny Knight in a $7 million donation to Oregon Health & Science University to support efforts to combat and treat COVID-19 in Oregon.

“We are operating in unprecedented times, and I would like to express my deep gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Knight, and the leaders at Nike, for greatly augmenting OHSU’s ability to better serve the people of Oregon during this global health crisis,” said OHSU President Danny Jacobs in a university press release.


Earlier this week hockey giant, Bauer, announced that they will be creating face shields for medical professionals.

“Protection that allows athletes to give everything for their team is our heritage. Right now, we’re all on the same team,” the company tweeted out this week. “We’re repurposing our facilities to make face shields so that medical professionals battling COVID-19 can safely continue to help those most vulnerable.”

The Canadian-founded hockey manufacturer is using their facility in Blainville, Quebec to produce the masks. As an existing manufacturer of visors and face masks for facial protection in hockey,Bauer knows a thing or two about mask making.

As a leader and innovator in the hockey equipment industry, Bauer continued with a remarkable act of community by making their designs and supplier information public, encouraging other companies to start producing masks as well.

Bauer representatives report that hospitals world wide have contacted the company since the announcement.


Boston-based footwear company, New Balance, has started developing and manufacturing face masks in response to the ongoing coronavirus crisis and the dwindling supply of medical equipment.

In a release on their website, New Balance states that they have dedicated “a portion of their U.S. manufacturing workforce to develop face masks to address the significant demand for these supplies.” The brand will be producing these prototypes in their Lawrence, MA facility with hopes to scale production in other factories in the near future.

The release went on to say, “The global COVID-19 health crisis has called on individuals and organizations to bring their expertise and resources to solve new and extraordinary challenges.”

New Balance has extended its help efforts by recently pledging $2 million to relief efforts aimed at local, regional, and global communities affected by the pandemic. The funding comes is distributed in non-profit grants for organizations such as Global Giving — a global crowd-funding community, connecting nonprofits, donors and companies in nearly every country — and No Kid Hungry, which works to feed children in the hardest-hit communities.

“We firmly believe it is our civic duty to support our communities in need around the world,” said Anne Davis, managing trustee New Balance Foundation, in the release.

Visit their site here for a full list of where the relief efforts will go.

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