When it comes to empowering women in sports, it takes more than just a spotlight in a brand campaign. It’s about the brand’s core values and their commitment to breaking down barriers to level the playing field for women. These action sports brands are working to empower and advocate for women through initiatives to support girls and women in sport.
In 2019, Nike launched its Dream Crazier campaign highlighting female athletes who have inspired generations of athletes to chase their dreams. Narrated by Serena Williams, the campaign shares the bold message that crazy dreams are worth chasing and achieving no matter who you are. Through its Gurls Talk Made to Play Fund, Nike supports women who are changing the lives of girls in their communities by giving them leadership training and funding for their projects impacting girls under the age of 14.
In May, Nike waived performance reductions for pregnant athletes for 12 months after harsh criticism for being too short to allow a mother to recover from giving birth.
With the She Breaks Barriers initiative, adidas is focusing on removing gender stereotypes and creating visibility for female athletes. In March 2019, adidas launched @3StripeLive, the first-ever globally live-streamed series of girl’s grassroots sports on Twitter. The brand also partnered with the Global Sport Institute (GSI) at Arizona State University to examine how to overcome barriers and explore what these mean for women in sport.
For the Now Is Her Time campaign, adidas partnered with Pharrell Williams to highlight women activists and artists that champion causes rooted in gender, sexuality, sexual rights, race, and equality.
In 2018, Reebok launched the #BeMoreHuman campaign, which encourages people to be the best possible version of themselves, as well as celebrating women who contribute to bringing positive change to the world. Reebok also created limited-edition shirts featuring inspirational messages to support The Movemeant Foundation and The Women’s Strength Coalition.
In 2018, the World Surf League announced that female surfers would get the same prize money as male surfers. While it was a breakthrough for women in the sport, Roxy launched the “Make Waves, Move Mountains” campaign to celebrate the empowerment of women in action sports. Professional surfers like Stephanie Gilmore helped promote a message of strength and support to young women of any age, sport, or dream.
We think Burton said it best, “Women’s empowerment isn’t just ‘you go girl’ and exciting marketing campaigns. It means supporting athletes when it really counts.” The brand supports women who spend their lives pushing boundaries and recently changed female athlete contracts to better support and protect women during and after pregnancy.
Burton’s nonprofit foundation, Chill, gives young girls opportunities to participate in sports that they may not have been able to do on their own. It also reinforces life skills like respect, persistence, and not giving up.