Professional basketball players aren’t the only ones bringing awareness to issues facing the Black community, like systemic  racism and police brutality. Companies and brands standing with the Black community are committed to bringing attention to the issues, too. ESPN is partnering with the NBA and the Undefeated to #ChampionBlackBusinesses during the 2020 Finals.

The co-branded community-based initiative is focused on spotlighting bars, restaurants, barbershops, retailers, and other Black-owned businesses in the hometowns of the Western and Eastern Conference champs. These local establishments typically see a boom in foot traffic from fans cheering on their teams, but currently find themselves empty as a result of the pandemic. In response, ESPN is using its platform to share the stories of Black businesses that have persevered through the highs and lows of entrepreneurship and what it means to be a symbol for their community during a fight for social justice.  

With the Finals matchup between the LA Lakers and the Miami Heat now set, ESPN will announce which Black-owned business from each city has been selected to be featured in a pair of 30-second spots on their social media platforms. When the buzzer sounds in the last game of the best-of-seven series, the network will debut the film spotlighting the businesses from the winning city on air after the 2020 NBA Champions are crowned.     

Just like the NBA, there can be only one winner when the dust settles, but the  #ChampionBlackBusinesses initiative is about raising awareness for all entrepreneurs of color. Shortly after the Finals, the Undefeated will release an aggregated list of other Black-owned businesses.  

Tune in to the NBA Finals and rise together in support of Black-owned businesses. Click here to learn more.