Whether the mainstream media continues to discuss it or not, this is still a detrimental time in the fight for justice and equality for Black people around the world.
That said, the NBA is following through with its promise to stay committed to the cause, most recently partnering with ESPN for the #ChampionBlackBusinesses Initiative. As part of the ESPN’s Rise Together campaign, unveiled earlier in the season, the NBA, ABC, and The Undefeated are joining the network in an effort to promote Black-owned enterprise. “#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,” a press release states.
ESPN will spotlight two Black-owned businesses from the two NBA Finals team markets. In separate films, the network will highlight each business’ importance and impact in their respective communities.
“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,” the press release notes.
ESPN’s Sports Marketing VP Emeka Ofodile said in a statement: “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. 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,” the NBA’s Chief Fan Officer Danielle Lee added.
Be sure to use the hashtag #ChampionBlackBusinesses to show your favorite Black-owned business some love during these difficult times. At the end of the NBA Finals, ESPN plans to release an aggregated list of the businesses fans highlighted.