How Doernbecher Freestyle was born

As the Creative Director of Global Brand Presentations for Nike, my role is to create, direct, produce and stage product and marketing presentations internally and externally to retailers, Sales Associates and media among others.

I was invited to join the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation board 10 years ago to bring this experience and a fresh perspective to some past fundraising events, hoping to raise awareness and more funds for the hospital.

It was my then 15-year-old son, Connor — an avid sneaker collector — who proposed the idea of connecting Nike’s creative footwear design teams with OHSU Doernbecher patients. Six kids were selected to actually design athletic footwear that would be sold at Nike-owned retail stores and online at Doernbecher Freestyle was born. After a number of sketches, material sessions and prototypes we hold an event each year to feature the Doernbecher patient designers and unveil these six very unique shoes that essentially reflect each kid’s personal story.

After the unveiling, the shoes are offered for sale in New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland. and more, and to the world online. The results are incredible, with all proceeds going directly to Doernbecher. The kids all say how much they love giving back to a place to which they owe so much. It is a moving experience.

Nike is a company that lives by innovation. The OHSU Doernbecher vision, their research and innovation saves kids’ lives. It is a natural partnership. My colleagues at Nike (more than 6,000 employees touch this project) and I are extremely proud to support one of our nation’s finest children’s hospitals.

Michael Doherty
Creative Director of Global Brand Presentations for Nike

One response to “How Doernbecher Freestyle was born

  1. what a great thing Michael Doherty and Nike have done to raise money for Doernbecher Childrens Hospital.
    My son Ryan spent many days in that hospital and the care was tremendous, our family cant say enough good things about Doernbecher.
    Michael thank you and Nike for all your efforts.

    KC Anderson

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