New York: Nike, the sportswear giant, will donate more than 140,000 pieces of footwear, apparel and equipment to frontline healthcare workers who are fighting the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic around the world.

In a statement, Nike said it had joined hands with Good360, a nonprofit organisation to make donations. Specially designed shoes ‘Nike Zoom Air Pulse’ for healthcare athletes, were distributed in the US.

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“In recognition of frontline healthcare workers combating COVID-19 around the world, Nike will partner with nonprofit Good360 in the United States and local organisations across Europe to donate more than 140,000 pieces of footwear, apparel and equipment globally,” Nike said on Monday (May 4).

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“The effort is led by messages of gratitude to healthcare professionals. From one athlete to another, Nike athletes recognize the physical and mental resilience of healthcare athletes,” it added.

As many as 30,000 pairs of “Nike Air Zoom Pulse” were donated to hospitals in Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis and New York City. “Unveiled in November 2019, the Nike Air Zoom Pulse is our first shoe designed for the healthcare athlete, an everyday hero.”

“These athletes joined with Nike to help announce the donation of 30,000 pairs of Nike Air Zoom Pulse to health systems and hospitals in Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis and New York City, and within the Veterans Health Administration. An additional 2,500 pairs are being donated to hospitals across Europe, including Barcelona, Berlin, London, Milan, Paris and in Belgium,” Nike said.

“Approximately 95,000 pairs of soccer socks offering mild compression will also be delivered through Good360 for healthcare workers in Los Angeles and New York City.”

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio thanked Nike on Monday. He wrote on his Twitter page, “Stepping up for New Yorkers? Nike Just Did It! Thank you so much for supporting our front line health care heroes and the @NYCMayorsFund (sic).”

According to Nike, it has committed more than $25 million for COVID-19 efforts. “Our Nike family has come together to serve our communities and support our COVID-19 response efforts in communities around the world. Nike’s leaders, employees, the Nike Foundation and Nike have committed more than $25 million to these efforts, including $2 million in employee donations, supercharged by a two-to-one match since mid-March to support community organisations in need,” the company said.