Protege® Footwear Makes A Pledge to the Youth

Pro athletes Deion Branch and Roger Mason, Jr. help launch special "giveback" campaign

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., Aug. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Protege®, the affordable footwear and apparel collection available exclusively at Kmart® and, takes its "giveback" philosophy one step further with the Protege Movement, a social campaign featuring a public service pledge championed by Roger Mason, Jr. (New York Knicks) and Deion Branch (New England Patriots).



Declaring September "Protege Month," the campaign's Protege Pledge aims to rally young men to give back to their communities and can be digitally signed on the Protege Facebook Page. The campaign will live online through a website displaying the Pledge, along with videos and links to the brand's Facebook and Twitter pages. On September 2, from 12 p.m.—2 p.m. EDT, Mason, Jr. and Branch will tweet live utilizing the hashtag #protegemvp, to discuss the Pledge and ways to give back.

"Growing up, I'm thankful to have been surrounded by great male role models," said Roger Mason, Jr. "I'm proud to be a part of the Protege Movement, to help guide the next generation."

In addition to the Pledge, Kmart will donate $1 for each eligible pair of Protege shoes purchased through December 31, 2011 split equally between the Amateur Athletic Union of America (AAU) and Boys & Girls Clubs of America, with a minimum donation of $100,000 to each charity. Protege is also a sponsor of the Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend, engaging over 100 African-American men each weekend.

"Since the launch of the Protege brand, our team has been committed to giving back to the communities we serve," said Nick Grayston, president of Kmart's footwear division. "And now through the Protege Movement, we have a great opportunity to help encourage young people to make a difference, and continue to support the message of giving back."

Join the Protege movement and sign the Protege Pledge by visiting or

About Protege
Protege is a "giveback" brand designed to empower the community and give hope, inspiration and confidence to the youth who wear the product. Protege has assembled some of the athletic sportswear industry's best creative talent to build a unique collection of practically priced, high quality, proven on-court professional athletic footwear and apparel products for the growing tween and teen market segments. For more information, visit the company's website at

About Kmart

Kmart, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corporation (Nasdaq: SHLD), is a mass merchandising company that offers customers quality products through a portfolio of exclusive brands that include Jaclyn Smith, Joe Boxer, County Living, Route 66 and Smart Sense. For more information, visit the company's website at or the Sears Holdings Corporation website at


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