ASICS has announced a new partnership with mental health charity Mind which will see the brand raise funds as well as aim to get more people active.
The brand will help fund support services, including physical activity-based projects, for people experiencing mental health problems, citing the strain of the coronavirus lockdown on the mental wellbeing of millions of people.
The partnership will kick-off with a #SunriseMind campaign to get people moving and to raise funds for Mind. Using sunrise as a symbol of hope, ASICS will be coming together with its athletes - including Eilish McColgan, Noëlle Roorda and Kiryu Yoshihide - to issue an open invitation to people around the world to join their mission to uplift the world. The running brand will encourage ‘everyone who can’, to move at sunrise and capture the positive impact of movement on their mind with a sunrise selfie. It will then make a donation to Mind for every #SunriseMind selfie shared.
Through the partnership, ASICS says it aims to raise awareness about the benefits of physical activity to mental health as well as using the funds raised to support Mind’s research into mental health in sport.
In 2021, ASICS says it will undertake a new research project of its own into the positive impact of sport on mental wellbeing, using cutting-edge biometric technology to capture the true impact of sport on the minds of thousands of participants around the world.
Dr. Brendon Stubbs, an exercise and mental health researcher, based at King’s College London said: “It is impossible to overstate just how significant the impact sport and exercise have on our mind. It’s absolutely vital that people regularly move their body to experience those all-important cognitive and emotional benefits for themselves. Never has there been a more important time to become active and experience the mental health benefits sport and movement bring.”
The initiative forms part of the brand’s wider move to ‘return to its roots’. ASICS is an acronym of the Latin phrase Anima Sana In Corpore Sano, which the brand translates as ‘A Sound Mind in a Sound Body’. Its founder, Kihachiro Onitsuka, aimed to ‘bring hope and lift spirits’ in post-war Japan, which the brand says it aims to do today.
Gary Raucher, EVP Categories at ASICS EMEA said, “We know COVID-19 has put even more pressure on the wellbeing of millions of people. We also know and believe that sport and movement can lift spirits and help people feel better.
“For us, 2021 is about unlocking the unique power of sport to uplift our minds. That starts with encouraging people everywhere to move with us at sunrise and will continue throughout the year as we demonstrate our commitments to our founding philosophy of a sound mind, sound body.”