On June 1, ESPN will debut programming for Fifty/50, a monumental initiative surrounding the 50-year anniversary of Title IX. Disney Advertising is proud to announce that Champion, Gatorade and Google have signed on as initiative sponsors, collaborating with ESPN to highlight the civil rights journey of women across the sports and cultural landscape.
“The Fifty/50 initiative marks a significant milestone for women's sports, and we are proud to take this moment to celebrate the advancements of women across the industry,” said Deidra Maddock, Vice President, Disney Advertising Sports Brand Solutions. “We are ecstatic to have such a dynamic slate of sponsors on board to join us in our efforts of continuously pushing the narrative forward.”
As part of its ongoing commitment to increase visibility and coverage of women’s sports Google has funded the production of five W. Studios short films. The films present a diverse line up of creators and content that speak to viewers from a place of authenticity and boldness, all directed and executive produced by women. Each film will premiere on ESPN’s linear network, and then live on ESPN’s YouTube channel.
"We’re incredibly proud to once again partner with ESPN to help produce more longform content that features the stories of incredible female athletes," said Kate Johnson, Director of Sports Partnerships, Google. "ESPN's Fifty/50 initiative is just one of multiple ways we’re partnering with the WNBA and ESPN to increase visibility of women’s sports and we hope others will join us in investing in women’s sports beyond just this monumental moment."
To kick-off what Disney has dubbed “Fifty/50 Month,” ESPN will host an event at The Paley Center for Media in New York City on June 1 where moments and memorabilia from notable women in sports history will be highlighted. Each sponsor has created uniquely interactive activations to connect with sports fans as they navigate the space. Champion will provide a look at how women’s athletic apparel has evolved over the years, offering customized hoodies for attendees while Gatorade will construct three, seven-foot LED billboards that will illuminate the event to highlight the brand’s multi-year Fuel Tomorrow initiative to help ensure everyone – including girls – has equal opportunities to play sports and realize their potential; and Google’s activation will provide new ways for fans to engage with the stories told in the W. Studio short films.
“Champion stands for inclusion in sports and we’re proud to partner with ESPN's Fifty/50 initiative to honor the civil rights journey of women and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the passing of Title IX," says Maria Teza, Senior Vice President Champion North America. "We see women as a cause for celebration, not a cause. That’s why we’ve been supporting and championing women to feel unapologetically confident in their style and in their game since launching the world's first sports bra in 1977, while empowering all women in sports to play by their own rules."
The celebration of Title IX’s 50th anniversary will continue on ESPN with long-form reporting, documentary storytelling, podcasts, features, vignettes, digital, social, and more. Champion, Gatorade and Google will all have visibility in one of the most anticipated pieces of content premiering in June, 37 Words. Guided by acclaimed directors Dawn Porter and Nicole Newnham, the four-part series charts the spectacular transformation that 37 words have inspired in American culture, as well as the many ways in which the spirit of this bold law has yet to be fully realized.
“At Gatorade, we believe unequivocally that young girls should have the right to equal opportunity in sports and we’re proud to partner with ESPN to celebrate the profound impact that the historic passage of Title IX has had on female athletes,” said Brandi Ray, Gatorade Head of Consumer Engagement. “We also recognize there’s a long way to go, and we’re dedicated to ensuring Gatorade continues to drive meaningful change and help close the gender gap in sports.”
Accompanying this documentary will be a Digital Live Show, entitled Fifty/50 After Show, co-sponsored by all three brands. Additionally, Champion will have custom integrations in a Get Up episode and select SportsCenter episodes throughout June. Google, Champion and Gatorade will have feature integrations in the 2022 ESPYS and will be tagged within all Fifty/50 and 37 Words consumer marketing efforts.
Kristen Smith | Kristen.T.Smith@Disney.com