When times are tough, patriotism is one way to lift spirits. I'm guessing the underperforming retail market is part of the reason (if not the main reason) why New Balance has slapped a red, white and blue logo on its website and debuted a new online video that carries the tagline: "Committed to American workers." In the video, posted after the jump and narrated by motorsports broadcast announcer Dr. Jerry Punch, the Home Depot pit crew of Joe Gibbs Racing is invited to swap jobs for a day with New Balance factory workers in Skowhegan, Maine. The video makes several references to New Balance shoes being U.S.-manufactured. For instance, a worker is shown putting a "Made in the U.S.A." sticker on the shoes, while a Home Depot crew member says he admires New Balance because it keeps American workers employed. Later, New Balance associates are shown switching jobs with the Home Depot pit crew, and performing maintenance on a Nascar race car. The video leaves you with a happy, all-American feeling and this statistic: "1 in every 4 pairs of shoes we sell in North America are made in the U.S." On a larger scale, the brand is kicking off a national awareness campaign this summer that will include in-store materials and footwear hangtags. So, even if you missed the online video, you won't miss the "Made in the U.S.A." messaging when you're buying New Balance shoes.
—Posted by Elena Malykhina