By Claire Wanja
BATA Shoe Company has entered into a partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to support the conservation of lions.
Through a conservation campaign dubbed #Footprintsforthewild, the KWS – Bata partnership will strive to control human-carnivore conflict by collaring lions because the initiative resonates well with the long-standing Safari brand and supports tourism.
The partnership includes rehabilitation of Mt. Longonot National Park trails, Nairobi Safari Walk benches and development of story boards at the Ivory Burning Site in Nairobi National Park.
In addition, a joint marketing campaign will be carried out at 136 Bata stores as well as tourism exhibitions, both locally and internationally. The partnership will also include periodic joint conservation activities, for instance, World Lion Day celebrations.
The initiative is expected to trigger customers to purchase Safari boots with part of the proceeds going to lion conservation.
The KWS – Bata partnership rides on the long history of the Bata Safari Boot which was inspired by the early safari expeditions to observe and record wildlife and landscapes particularly in Africa.
In the late 1960s, Bata challenged itself to develop an African outdoor brand. It was in the same period that the Acacia tree and lion were incorporated to the logo.
“Safari” brand was launched in Kenya in 1963 and quickly became one of Kenya’s best-selling shoes, popular with locals and tourists.