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Nike Commits $3.2 Million to Get Native American and Indigenous Youth Playing Football — and NFL Teams Are Helping

Nike Inc. has committed $3.2 million to introduce Native American and Indigenous youth to football, and has tapped several NFL teams to help.

With the athletic giant’s commitment, which spans five years, Nike said each NFL franchise can receive $20,000 per year “to collaborate with local Indigenous nonprofits and other organizations and fund football-based programs for youth in Native American communities.” Partnering with NFL franchises, the company explained, provides opportunities at national scale to deepen its commitment to Indigenous communities and youth.

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In addition to the financial commitment, the company stated Nike N7 will host a youth sport camp ahead of the 2024 Super Bowl with the Fort Mojave Tribal Nation, done in partnership with the Las Vegas Raiders, to highlight this effort.

In its announcement, Nike also offered an example of this investment being put into action with the Minnesota Vikings. According to Nike, the franchise will use the funds for clinics and more to get Indigenous youth playing football. Also, in addition to equipment donations, Nike said the Vikings will offer experiences for the city’s Native American community, such as attending games and a training camp with VIP access.

Nike has long been dedicated the Native American community, most notably through the release of its annual N7 footwear and apparel collections, which are popular among both elite athletes and the style savvy. Several N7 looks from the brand’s most recent collection are available now via Nike.com, including the Cosmic Unity 3 N7 basketball shoe.

Although this is Nike’s latest philanthropic headline this year, it isn’t the athletic giant’s first. At the start of the year, Nike co-founder Phil Knight earned a spot on The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s list of the biggest charitable donations of 2023. In April 2023, Knight and his wife, Penny, invested $400 million in the 1803 Fund, which is described as “a private equity fund for the people” with a focus on strengthening the city’s Black community.

About the Author

Peter Verry is the Senior News and Features Editor for Athletic and Outdoor at Footwear News. He oversees coverage of the two fast-paced and ultracompetitive markets, which includes conducting in-depth interviews with industry leaders and writing stories on sneakers and outdoor shoes. He is a lifelong sneaker addict (and shares his newest purchases via @peterverry on Instagram) and spends most of his free time on a trail. He holds an M.A. in journalism from Hofstra University and can be reached at peter.verry@footwearnews.com.

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