November 5, 2021 

WNBPA celebrates birthday with multi-year Pepsi partnership

WNBPA emphasizes community and mental health with new initiative

On Nov. 4, the WNBPA announced a multi-year deal with Pepsi Stronger Together to establish community-based change regarding women’s health and mental wellness. The partnership establishes community initiatives in all 12 WNBA markets.

Pepsi Stronger Together is a PepsiCo initiative created in May 2020 to “empower and engage communities around the country by providing tailored programming and resources,” according to the partnership press release. Since 2015, the greater PepsiCo has been a league sponsor.

The WNBPA was chartered in 1998 and marked the first labor union for professional women athletes. Over its 23 years, it has amassed a laundry list of influential initiatives, from their work getting out the vote to anti-racism action in last year’s “Wubble” to their highly impactful 2019-2020 CBA negotiation.

The deal celebrates the union’s birthday. It launches with a $50,000 pledge to Los Angeles’ chapter of Girls on the Run, which aims to get young women outside and active. The Los Angeles Sparks and WNBPA President and Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike will lead the initiative.

“Our work together is driven by our shared mission to profoundly impact public health and wellness and inspire greatness as trailblazers for the next generation of strong, confident and phenomenal women across the program,” said Ogwumike.

In addition to the donation, Pepsi Stronger Together and the WNBPA will sponsor the Los Angeles County Girls on the Run’s upcoming 5k races. They will be providing hydration and equipment for the hundreds of girls racing.

WNBPA leadership told Forbes that the decision of what organizations and activities to support was a “democratic process.”

OneTeam Partners, a marketing and media organization that partners with the WNBPA, NFLPA, MLBPA, and more, was an integral part of the planning and strategy of the birthday initiative.

The partnership kicked off with a Nov. 3 event in Los Angeles, attended by the President of South Division PepsiCo Beverages Derek Lewis, WNBPA Executive Director Terri Carmichael Jackson, Executive Director of Girls on the Run of Los Angeles County Molly Snow, Ogwumike and others.

WNBPA
Terri Jackson, Molly Snow, Derek Lewis and Nneka Ogwumike pose for a photo during the Pepsi Stronger Together announcement. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)

In addition, Ogwumike and Seattle Storm legend and WNBPA Vice President Sue Bird discussed the association, mental health, and recent initiatives during a session of Nov. 4’s Citizen by CNN 2021 conference.

The association has obviously made its mark over its 23 years. And the Stronger Together partnership illustrates they’re just getting started.

Written by Gabriella Lewis

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