Sperry the iconic American footwear brand known for creating the original boat shoe, was born on the water, and the water is Sperry’s unique space to play and contribute around social and environmental issues. We recently introduced a new brand purpose platform, All For Water, Water For All, which expresses the brand's commitment to protecting our waterways, as well as its declaration that all people are welcome on the water and should have access and the ability to enjoy it.
In order to introduce our new brand platform to consumers, and to get the brand actively involved in some important causes, Sperry partnered with Claima, the innovative podcast and creative content company committed to inspiring the next generation of BIPOC creatives and entrepreneurs, to place the Black experience with water on a national stage and create storytelling that would educate and inspire a more equitable environment in the water space.
By sharing these important stories, we hoped to spark new dialogue and understanding, and ultimately work towards creating an environment where everyone, everywhere, feels welcome on the water.
Together with Claima, Sperry created a limited 3-part docuseries, “Reclaim Your Water.” Directed by prominent filmmaker and outdoor enthusiast, Faith E. Briggs, “Reclaim Your Water” spotlights three Black and Brown entrepreneurs connected to and inspired by water and how each reclaims what was once weaponized to build community and create change. The films were rolled out in July and August, and were featured on Sperry’s website and social media channels, as well as those of Claima and the featured community leaders.
The goal of this project was to create a conversation about the inequities and issues communities of color face when thinking about the water. To that end, Sperry also offered financial support to the three featured organizations, Tankproof, Slim Pickins Outfitters and Ebony Beach Club. Each group was given a grant of $15,000 to fund their efforts in creating a more equitable environment on the water, including instructional fishing, paddling, swim and surf events. Sperry also encouraged their consumers to donate directly, offering an additional donation at checkout on Sperry.com from July 11 to Sept. 5. The consumer donations, 1,246 in total, raising an additional $1,970, went to Tankproof, a non-profit offering free swim lessons to children in underserved communities.
The feedback received on the project from the creators, the subjects of the documentaries, and the community, have been heartfelt and have reinforced our belief in the project. The goal of the program has always been to raise awareness and start a dialogue, rather than drive to retail and sell products.
As director Faith Briggs put it, “The ‘Reclaim Your Water’ project celebrates the hard-won resilience of individuals who, in spite of longstanding systemic obstacles, choose to make a life and seek joy around water. “We hope that this docuseries inspires and invites others to follow a similar path and amplifies the work these communities are doing to rewrite the narrative of Black people in a space weaponized against us.”
The project generated over 10B earned media impressions and over 10.4B total social impressions across platforms including Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Just as importantly, it funded swim lessons in 3 cities, 15 hours of surf lessons, and 18 on-water events.