News & Current Affairs
Adidas Launches Safety Initiative for Women Who Run
As part of its renewed commitment to inform and educate men about violence against women, sportswear company Adidas has shifted its focus to women's safety during exercise.
Adidas surveyed 9,000 runners across 9 countries as part of this campaign and found that 92% of women worry about their safety when they are out for a run.
While this isn't news to any woman who runs, the survey has served to confirm this notion. For example, the research indicated that over a third of women (38 per cent) have encountered physical or verbal harassment while jogging, such as unwelcome comments, sexist language, being honked at, or being followed; only 28 per cent of men surveyed felt this way.
The latest advertising campaign from Adidas, dubbed "The Ridiculous Run," backs all of this up by highlighting the lengths to which women will go to ensure their own safety when out for a run. These include wearing only one earbud, covering up, and even jogging backwards to avoid a potentially dangerous area.
It depicts a group of men and women on quads, motorcycles, horses, and cars following a group of women runners through the streets at night to provide protection.
The campaign's target audience is men who may not realise how important it is for women to feel safe exercising alone. In a poll commissioned by Adidas, 62% of men acknowledged the problem, but just 18% said men should shoulder most of the blame for making women runners feel more secure.
Also, Adidas has compiled an "allyship playbook" to help educate male runners on the topic of women's running harassment and to provide them with resources to combat it. Around 250 coaches and captains from the Adidas Runners community have been trained with this playbook to recognise this issue and help make women runners feel safe.
Akin to Strava and Uber, the Adidas app lets you record your workouts and broadcast your progress to friends and followers.
“We believe sport should be equal, and safety is essential to creating that reality. We know from our communities, and our research, that safety is the most discussed topic when it comes to women and running – and unfortunately, women continue to be made responsible for protecting themselves,” says Sina Neubrandt, Adidas Women, GlobAdidasmunications Director.
"Addressing this issue is a marathon, not a sprint and our campaign will not solve this overnight, but if we can encourage more men to understand their role as allies, we can create progress and hopefully, change.”