Michelob ULTRA $100M Pledge Shifts Marketing to be Gender-Inclusive

Michelob ULTRA has committed $100 million to make its marketing gender-inclusive, with the goal of increasing the visibility of women in sports.

Women beer drinkers may have more good news to celebrate as beer brands like Michelob begin to pay more attention to their marketshare. (Photo by Elevate on Unsplash)

As one of the top selling beer brands in the country, Michelob ULTRA believes that every athlete deserves to experience an equal level of joy in sports. But women’s sports don’t always receive the same level of coverage in the media, which is a critical factor in ensuring that female athletes are paid equally. That’s why Michelob ULTRA is committing $100 million over the next five years to increase visibility for women’s sports through:

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Naomi Osaka’s Play Academy Branches Out to LA and Haiti

Play Academy with Naomi Osaka is expanding to Los Angeles and Haiti to continue to change the lives of girls through play and sport.

Play Academy with Naomi Osaka was launched in 2020 to create real change in the lives of girls. (Image credit: Nike)
Play Academy with Naomi Osaka was launched in 2020 to create real change in the lives of girls. (Image credit: Nike)

Announced in August of 2020, Play Academy with Naomi Osaka was created in partnership with Laureus Sport for Good with the goal to help change young girls’ lives through play and sport. Building on its work in Japan, Play Academy is expanding to Los Angeles and Haiti, collaborating with local sport-based organizations that are helping encourage a new definition of movement for the next generation of girls.

Essential to Play Academy is Osaka’s personal experiences as an athlete, set by a rich transcontinental heritage that has shaped her views on sport, racial and gender equality and mentorship. With a mission so close to her heart, Osaka wanted to champion those causes in communities she knows and is deeply connected to – starting in Japan, where she was born, and continuing to Los Angeles and Haiti, where she currently lives and where her father is from, respectively.

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Girls Leadership Celebrates 12 Years with “Power of Voice” Benefit

On Wednesday, March 10th, girls, funders, parents, activists, and leaders all over the country gathered for Girls Leadership’s 12th anniversary celebration. The “Power of Voice” Benefit featured honorees and speakers Billie Jean King, Marley Dias, Meena Harris, Samhita Mukhopadhyay, and Suni Harford.

The all-ages event opened with Alicia Menendez, television host and past intern with Girls Leadership, offering thanks and celebration to the event’s sponsors. Menendez also introduced the theme of the evening, “power of voice,” which honors women’s suffrage and collaborative efforts for social and gender justice.

Following an introductory video from the Co-CEOs, Takai Taylor and Simone Marean, J-Rey Soul (who you might know from the Black Eyed Peas and The Voice: Philippines) performed an original song in honor of Girls Leadership.

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Join the First Virtual National Girls and Women in Sports Day

The Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) will be hosting the first ever online event celebrating National Girls & Women in Sports Day.

The Women’s Sports Foundation will celebrate their achievements and goals to make sports a more inclusive space during their virtual National Girls & Women in Sports Day event. (Image credit: Women’s Sports Foundation)

In honor of the 35th annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) – a national day of observance recognizing the importance of equal opportunities in sport for girls and women – the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) will host virtual events to engage girls across the country and legislators on Capitol Hill. Powered by WSF, this annual day of celebration and advocacy inspires girls and women to play and be active, to help realize their limitless potential. Now more than ever, with the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, social justice movement and political tumult, staying mentally and physically healthy and resilient, is vital. These WSF events are designed to empower, encourage and inspire all girls, women and leaders to realize and focus their power to #LeadHerForward.

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Dance Equity: Extra Tough Times for Women Dancers in COVID

Northfield, IL | November 19, 2020 Dance Data Project® (DDP) today announces the social media campaign, Connecting the Dots – #YesThisIsAnArtsStory, designed to draw attention to the catastrophic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on women in dance and the performing arts in general. The campaign will begin on Monday, Nov. 23 and run for three weeks, ending on Friday, Dec. 11.

Dancers Terez Dean Orr and Ben Warner perform Poetry of Being by Nicole Haskins. (Photo by Keith Sutter, courtesy of Smuin Contemporary Ballet)


“While NPR, and business publications such as the Wall Street Journal and Forbes have documented the asymmetric impact of the pandemic on women economically, we haven’t seen similar work by arts reporters, looking at the industry as a whole,” said DDP President and Founder Liza Yntema. “Our campaign is designed to ‘connect the dots’ between layoffs and furloughs at the lower tier of performing arts not for profits where women typically work, the already existing gender pay gap, and the crushing pressure women feel due to child and elder care duties resulting in what is being termed the ‘Shecession’.” 

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Sports 4 Life Delivers Big Benefits for Girls of Color

Sports 4 Life is a national initiative co-founded by the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) and espnW. It was established in 2014 and seeks to increase participation of girls of color in youth sports. It has so far impacted over 60,000 girls of color, and its recently released report shows gains in girls’ leadership, self-esteem, confidence and perseverance resulting from their participation in the program.

(Photo Credit: Sports 4 Life)


2020 has been defined by the COVID-19 pandemic and calls for racial justice. Improving the physical and mental health—and leadership capacities—of girls of color is one way to help them navigate COVID and beyond. The WSF and espnW (“a voice for the woman who loves sports”), Sports 4 Life partnership is funding local sports programs, filling in the gaps to access and opportunity that often confront girls of color.

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Phaidra Knight Elected President of Women’s Sports Foundation

New York, N.Y. (September 30, 2020): The Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) announced today its president-elect and two new members joining the Board of Trustees. World Rugby Hall of Famer Phaidra Knight was voted in as president-elect, and is joined by newly-elected Board members Brett Goodman and LaChina Robinson. Knight has been serving as a WSF Trustee since 2018, and now Goodman and Robinson join the elite group of cross-sector experts that help guide the Women’s Sports Foundation’s operations as well as its mission, to unlock the possibilities in every girl and woman through the power of sport.

Phaidra Knight was voted in as president-elect of the Women’s Sports Foundation, and is joined by newly-elected board members Brett Goodman and LaChina Robinson. (Image credit: WSF)

“We are thrilled for Phaidra and excited to welcome Brett and LaChina – amazing professionals who are fellow game-changers in our fight for gender equity in sports,” said WSF CEO, Deborah Antoine. “Each brings a wonderfully diverse range of knowledge and experiences to WSF, and we look forward to working together, and advancing our mission, to unlock the potential of girls and women in sport and in life.”

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Black Leaders Call for $1 Billion Decade-Long Investment in Black Girls

On September 15, the 57th anniversary of the 1963 Birmingham, Alabama church bombing that killed four Black girls, a group of prominent Black women launched the Black Girl Freedom Fund. The group’s open letter and social media campaign mark the beginning of a one-billion-dollar effort championing Black girls and their families.

Image Credit: Black Girl Freedom Fund

The open letter from the Black Girl Freedom Fund notes that while Black Lives Matter attracts strong philanthropic support, “Black girls and young women still remain adultified, victimized by violence, and erased from the very same social justice movement for which they continue to risk their lives.”

The letter demands that Black girls receive the attention and support they deserve:

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Sports 4 Life Grants Aim to Increase Sports for Girls of Color

Sports 4 Life, a national initiative co-founded by the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) and espnW (“a voice for the woman who loves sports”), was established in 2014 to increase participation of girls of color in youth sports. Recently, Sports 4 Life announced their 2020 grants which will help African American and Latino girls overcome barriers to sports participation.

Twenty-five organizations based in 13 states and Washington, D.C. received the awards which totaled $175,000. The grants aim to augment and diversify sports opportunities for more than 7,700 middle and high school girls, and included funding for programs representing 23 different sports.

(Photo Credit: Sports 4 Life)

The impetus for Sports 4 Life is the recognition that the benefits of participation in sports—which include improved physical and mental health, as well as better grades and improved leadership skills—often disproportionately exclude African American and Latino girls. Historic racial injustices lie at the root of disparities in access to sports participation, and these gaps have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Platforms for Good: Summer Sanders and Plan International USA

On February 20, 2020, global development organization Plan International USA announced its newest Ambassador, Summer Sanders Schlopy.

An Olympic athlete and most decorated U.S. swimmer in the 1992 Olympics, Summer is known for using her platform for good. She rose to precedence as a member of Stanford’s swimming team, taking on the 1992 National Championship and Olympic Games. In Barcelona, Summer became the most decorated U.S. swimmer with one bronze, one silver, and two gold medals.

summer sanders
Summer Sanders Schlopy joins Plan International USA as their newest celebrity ambassador. (Photo Credit: Outside Online)

In the early 1990s, Summer turned to television, commentating the NCAA Swimming Championships for CBS Sports, and hosting MTV’s surf-and-sun competition show Sandblast. Her numerous television accolades include correspondent, co-host, and host for a range of sporting events, TV series, and competition shows.

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