LONDON, ENGLAND (7th December, 2023) – Arsenal and England superstar and Team New Balance Athlete Bukayo Saka returned to his childhood neighbourhood on Wednesday 6th December, to celebrate the opening of the latest New Balance store in Westfield, White City.
Bukayo grew up a stones throw away from the new store and regularly used to visit the Westfield shopping centre. Paying homage to his younger years, Bukayo welcomed children from his former primary and secondary schools to meet him at the New Balance store. The children were selected for the exclusive event, based on academic, athletic and behavioural performance, providing an amazing incentive for pupils to focus on their education and receive the ultimate reward for their hard work.
The event, in partnership with Meta, is part of Instagram’s ‘Elevate’ program which involves partnering with black athletes to support and elevate their voices online, help them connect with their communities and tell their own stories.
When asked about the event, Bukayo said ‘I used to go to Westfield a lot when I was young, so it’s beautiful for me to see a store in there with my face at the front of it now. I wanted to go and do something to celebrate the opening that would be nice for the local community and to involve kids who are growing up in a similar area to me, to hopefully encourage them to have big dreams too.’
The event is also an opportunity to raise awareness of the UK Based charity, Street Soccer Foundation, a sport-for-change charity which uses football as a catalyst to improve the lives of vulnerable and homeless young people across the country. Bukayo has been a long-standing supporter of the charity, most recently donating over 100 pairs of his limited-edition Furon v7 Seven Edition football boots that launched in September.
To leave a legacy of the event, the New Balance Westfield White City store will stock a limited number of the Own Now boots. Only available at select retailers, the boots are highly saught after and will only be available in store for a limited time.
Marco Alvez, Retail General Manager for EMEA at New Balance, said; ‘When Bukayo reached out to us about the new store opening, we were thrilled to host his community event in store. The retail concept of the new store is all about putting people, not products at the heart of the retail experience, meaning the store is built for the community. What better way to celebrate the store opening, than with this event, which perfectly showcased this ethos.’
The London White City store is the second store in the UK to open with this concept, following on from Westfield Stratford City in September 2023. The London White City location will have store hours of Monday – Saturday, 10:00AM to 10:00PM and Sunday, 12:00AM to 06:00PM.
For more information or to find a store near you, visit newbalance.com.