Foot Locker teams up with Puma and Reebok for annual autism awareness campaign

“Be Seen” this April in Foot Locker, Puma and Reebok’s campaign in recognition of World Autism Awareness Month.

April is World Autism Awareness Month, prompting Foot Locker Inc. to continue its efforts to promote autism acceptance with the “Be Seen” campaign. For the second year, the sneaker conglomerate is using the initiative to create inclusive shoe designs and modeling opportunities for autistic individuals.

This year, the retailer also has partners in its efforts around autism awareness: Puma and Reebok.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), commonly known as autism, encompasses a diverse set of conditions that present challenges in social skills, speech, nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. However, the disorder does not present itself in a singular form. There are many subtypes of autism and each individual with ASD has her or his own set of unique strengths and challenges.

Foot Locker, Puma, Reebok, Autism Awareness Month April
Foot Locker promotes autism awareness in annual “Be Seen” campaign. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

“The CDC recently released statistics (in 2020) showing that 1 in 36 children are being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD),” said John Hochadel, Foot Locker, Inc.’s global VP of footwear development, in a statement. “Even if ASD doesn’t affect you personally or someone in your immediate family, chances are you know someone on the spectrum. We want to help promote inclusion within the autism community — not just for this month, but day in and day out.”

Laced Differently, Foot Locker’s employee resource group, is the inspiration behind the company’s autism initiatives. Initially created in October 2020, the group aims to create visibility, raise awareness and strive to empower persons with disabilities and has since brought these campaigns to life.

“Laced Differently played a large role in our Autism Acceptance Month efforts,” said Hochadel, Forbes reports. “We wanted to make sure that internally this project was managed by people with connections back to the broader autism community while partnering with others across our organization to bring awareness to autism and promote acceptance across our company.”

On April 12, Puma plans to release a new iteration of its Puma RS-X sneaker featuring an inclusive, adaptive lacing system, while Reebok has set April 25 as the release date for new versions of the Reebok Question and Reebok Classic Leather designs. Consumers can purchase the Puma and Reebok brands at

Additionally, both sneaker companies have each committed to donating $25,000 to organizations dedicated to supporting people living with autism.

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