When I started with Gowalla back in February, I made a short list of "Future Partners." There were some ambitious 'stretch' targets and some personal favorites, brands that I personally admire and had hoped to find the right way to work together with. Since then, we've had the chance to work on unique and creative campaigns with some of our 'stretch' targets (NBA, CNN, USA TODAY, National Geographic, Charlie Crist in FL... etc.) and there are some really exciting ones on their way in the next few months as well. But, today, we are announcing a partnership with one of my personal favorites and a brand I have admired and supported from the first day I heard about the work they were doing: TOMS Shoes. Thanks to TOMS' ongoing partnership with AT&T, we are giving away 1,000 pairs of TOMS, the chance to go on a trip to Argentina with TOMS, and thousands of discount codes on Gowalla over the next 2 weeks. For all the details check out the official Gowalla Blog.
My personal passion for TOMS isn't just because they are my default shoe of choice and I have worn my current white pair to the brink of disintegration, but because of the much bigger story they are telling. For each pair of TOMS purchased (and given away through Gowalla) there is going to be a pair of shoes given to a child in need some where around the world. "One for One" is the mantra of social change that is being pushed forward by TOMS and their team. And, since 2006, they have sold over 1,000,000 pairs of shoes, and this fall are going to be delivering the 1,000,000th pair of shoes to kids in need.
If you don't have a pair of TOMS and tried on the social change that comes with your purchase, there are two things you can do today:
1) Go out with Gowalla and try and win a pair or a discount code
2) Go to www.TOMS.com and pick out a pair.
We need more companies that understand the opportunity for impact that they have, not just in one time "check it off the list" charitable contributions, but with a true understand and integration into the very soul (or in this case sole) of their company's mission. And when I find companies that understand that and build sustainable models around that, I am not just going to be a consumer, but an advocate.