Three Philadelphia recreation centers received renovations last week, and two of them got murals, all thanks to a partnership among the 76ers, the Sixers Youth Foundation, and Snipes, the international sneaker and streetwear retailer. Snipes has stores across the city and emphasizes reaching underprivileged communities.
Three local recreational centers — the Daniel E. Rumph II Recreation Center, Simons Recreation Center, and Charles Baker Playground — received renovations that included work on five full courts and a half-court, new backboards, rims, nets, and line striping. On the backboards, the Sixers Youth Foundation logo is displayed on one side and the Snipes logo is on the other.
The Sixers and Snipes also partnered with Play for Change and Mural Arts Philadelphia to create new murals at two of the three recreation centers. The murals highlight the need to curb gun violence.
“We are so fortunate to have partners who share the same beliefs as we do at the Sixers Youth Foundation — to create safe places for our youth and give them access to sports in order to build healthy habits,” 76ers chief operating officer Lara Price said in a statement. “What makes this partnership with Mural Arts, Play for Change and Snipes so unique is adding the arts.”
The Sixers Youth Foundation, founded in 2015, is a nonprofit that aims to empower young people and strengthen communities.
Snipes increased its American presence in May of 2019 by acquiring KicksUSA and the rights to 62 stores along the East Coast. It has stores across the city and emphasizes reaching underprivileged communities.
Targeting future generations has been a pivotal point. One way to do that is with streetwear. Snipes stores offer items like new releases of retro Jordans, Nike Air Max’s, Pumas, and New Balances, among other shoes. Snipes also is big on graphic tees, which according to InStyle Magazine have become one of the most trendy styles of fashion, with vintage tributes and sports references at the top of the list.
“Our mission is to move street culture forward in the communities,” Snipes USA president Jim Bojko said. “We specifically target communities where we think we can make a difference.”
Snipes’ adopt-and-adapt mantra is how it adjusts to the differences in American and European street culture. One main difference, Bojko said, is that teenagers and adults in their 20s are more likely to shop as families in America while Europeans often shop as families at a later age.
“They may listen to the same rappers and they may be passionate about the NBA, but it’s a different customer,” Bojko said. “We learned that family may mean something different over here than in Europe.”
Snipes is planning annual toy drives with the Sixers, social-media activations in which players will talk about sneakers, and ticket giveaways to fans who haven’t experienced games at the Wells Fargo Center.
“If you go to a Sixers game, you’ll see our logo on the screen,” Bojko said. “That’s nice, but if you just read that, you don’t know what Snipes is. ... We really like to engage the consumer and have fun with them, and that allows us to explain who we are.”