ESPN And The NBA Continue To ‘Champion Black Businesses’ For A 4th Year

ESPN And The NBA Continue To ‘Champion Black Businesses’ For A 4th Year

The NBA and ESPN, one of the league’s television partners, will participate in the fourth installment of the Champion Black Businesses initiative, founded in 2020.

The initiative showcases Black businesses across all of ESPN’s platforms during and around the time of the highly viewed NBA Finals.

In an effort to make up the losses sustained by Black businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which began in 2020, the NBA, ESPN, Andscapeand ABC will use the bright lights of the NBA Finals to spotlight Black-owned businesses and foster sustainable community impact.

Each company receives a 30-second film about their brand’s story which is broadcasted across ESPN platforms during the Finals. All of the businesses will be included under the hashtag #ChampionBlackBusinesses in hopes that fans will engage with the initiative and take time to learn about each brand.

In addition, each business will have the opportunity to receive one-on-one mentorship with Shark Tank‘s Mark Cuban (who owns the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks), Robert Herjavec, and Barbara Corcoran.

“Champion Black Businesses continues to evolve and grow, and we’re excited to launch Year 4,” ESPN’s Vice President of Sports Marketing Emeka Ofodile said in a release. “Black businesses are the heart of local communities across this country, and we’re committed to leveraging the power of our sports media platform to drive positive impact in those communities. Seeing the impact this program has made in the past three years fuels us to do more, and we can’t wait to get to work with our 2023 businesses.”

Some of the companies included in this year’s initiative include  Rock City Pizza, a pizzeria in Boston that pays tribute to the city’s music culture,  Oldvine Florals, a floral shop in Los Angeles, NiLu Gift Store, a gift shop featuring local artisans in Harlem and Straw & Wool, a store for hat lovers in Phoenix.