NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--New sports apparel company, 4POINT4 launched its brand with an innovative athlete endorsement deal tied to U.S. Olympic beach volleyball players and silver medalists, April Ross and Jennifer Kessy. The details of the deal included 4POINT4 designing the official Olympic performance apparel for both Ross and Kessy and, based on their performance, the brand donated sports equipment to developing nations throughout the world.
With the philanthropic dollars generated through Ross and Kessy’s stellar Olympic play, 4POINT4 supported beach volleyball tournaments in Cité Soleil, Haiti – a United Nations-designated red zone area –while the Olympic Games were being played. The “sister city” campaign to have simultaneous volleyball matches in an underserved area of Haiti during the Olympics is all part of the brand’s mission to increase access to play in developing countries.
4POINT4 built the beach volleyball courts in Haiti as well as donated all the necessary equipment, from nets to balls, and uniforms for all the underprivileged children. While the “sister city” campaign spanned the length of the Olympics, the courts and equipment will remain in Haiti year-round, allowing for continued beach volleyball camps and activities on an on-going basis.
The location of the “sister city” campaign in Haiti was chosen in connection to a larger project for which 4POINT4 is a Founding Sponsor, the development of the first-ever professional soccer stadium in Haiti, called Phoenix Stadium. The stadium is being designed by world-renowned architect Carlos Zapata (architect of Soldier Field in Chicago, among many other notable projects) and is set to break ground in the next few months. The stadium will literally be built from the rubble of the 2010 Haiti earthquake and is part of a “commitment to action” to the Clinton Global Initiative.
For Ross and Kessy, the endorsement deal goes beyond just the Olympics. The players will wear 4POINT4 for their FIVB World Tour and have a trip planned to Haiti to see first-hand the impact they are having on the underprivileged youth. 4POINT4 will continue to donate sports apparel and equipment to underprivileged youth on their behalf.
“To be an Olympic athlete you need to be a little selfish and think about your own needs a lot. Now that the Olympics are over, I can't wait to help others and put my needs on the back burner,” says Kessy.
“Having the chance to play sports growing up teaches you all kinds of life lessons, it gives young people confidence and instills in them motivation and drive to be the best one can be, it's absolutely invaluable in my opinion,” says Ross. “The fact that we can help children through the support we are given by 4POINT4 is such a blessing. I really feel like it can be life changing for those kids. And by providing lasting equipment and infrastructure hopefully it will benefit the communities for years to come.”
Kessy and Ross were also compelled to work with 4POINT4 for the buy one give one model of business the brand follows. For all apparel sold, 4POINT4 matches with a philanthropic donation to one of its partner programs around the world. “Even when we aren't wearing the suits in competition we can encourage people to purchase gear on 4POINT4.com and know that a donation of equal kind is being made to an underprivileged child so that they can play and gain all the benefits that sport has to offer,” Ross said.
“This is all about increasing access to play,” said Antony Taylor, Principal, 4POINT4. “The more our athletes play and succeed – and the more people that support 4POINT4 by purchasing our products– the more we can do for sports in the developing world. This goes well beyond just creating great products and apparel – this is about setting up an infrastructure and educating kids in developing countries through sports and wellness.”
Both Phoenix Stadium and the Olympic “sister city” campaign are led in Haiti by sports icon Robert "Boby" Duval, the founder of Foundation L'Athletique D'Haiti (FLADH), a non-profit youth development program that provides less fortunate children with education through sports. The volleyball tournaments were another way that Duval helped hundreds of the poorest children learn life skills through sports. "Sports are the universal language and it is my passion to bring access to sports to children in poor areas," says Duval. "These kids are all equals once they step on the court and they are learning invaluable skills to grow and develop character. I am grateful to 4POINT4 for investing in this underserved area of Haiti and for helping give these kids a chance in life.”
4POINT4 is committed to education and philanthropy at the core of the brand. The name is based on the 4.4 million days library, the most comprehensive collection of knowledge on the history of mind, body and spiritual exercise ever assembled. From athletic equipment to apparel, 4POINT4 takes a portion of every sale and puts it toward supporting less fortunate kids both in sports and education.