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Nationwide Initiative, Highlighted by Two Black-Owned Businesses from Each of the NBA Finals Team Markets, Featured across ESPN and The Undefeated
Sharks Mark Cuban and Daymond John of ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ to Mentor Both Businesses on ESPN Platforms
ESPN, in collaboration with ABC, the NBA and The Undefeated, today announced the #ChampionBlackBusinesses initiative as part of ESPN’s “Rise Together” campaign unveiled earlier in the NBA season. #ChampionBlackBusinesses will elevate Black-owned businesses and their stories, and cement the importance their imprint has on their communities, across ESPN platforms during The Finals and beyond.
“We are incredibly humbled and proud to help tell the story of athletes fighting for not only the championship, but also social justice, and it has inspired us to extend our platform to the champions of the Black community who continue to fight for each other,” said Emeka Ofodile, Vice President of Sports Marketing, ESPN. “By highlighting these stories of determination, leadership and perseverance, we want to show that we can all win when we rise together.”
“Black-owned businesses have long been staples in the communities they serve and are making a profound impact in cities where we work and play,” said Danielle Lee, NBA Chief Fan Officer. “We are excited to partner with ESPN and the Undefeated to help elevate the voices and stories of Black-owned businesses and business owners in Miami and Los Angeles, furthering our collective commitment to create greater economic opportunity and equity in the Black community.”
As part of the initiative, ESPN will spotlight two specific Black-owned businesses from the two NBA Finals team markets through custom features. The two chosen businesses will be revealed later this week via two unique films highlighting each business’ impact on their respective community. The films will debut and live on ESPN’s digital and social media channels as well as The Undefeated – ESPN’s multiplatform content initiative exploring the intersections of sports, race and culture. Additionally, through a collaboration with ABC, Sharks Mark Cuban and Daymond John from ABC’s Shark Tank will mentor both businesses on ESPN platforms. Ultimately, the 2020 NBA Champion will unlock the opportunity to run their city’s respective feature across ESPN linear networks.
To raise awareness and provide nationwide exposure to additional Black-owned business communities, ESPN will be asking fans throughout the 2020 NBA Finals to use the custom #ChampionBlackBusinesses hashtag across branded social channels to shout out their favorite Black-owned businesses. Upon the conclusion of the Finals, ESPN will release an aggregated list of the Black-owned businesses from the #ChampionBlackBusinesses hashtag on The Undefeated’s website.
For more information, please visit www.theundefeated.com/championblackbusinesses.