The LA Clippers have decided to partner up with the "female first" dating app Bumble, and will now be featuring a small badge displaying the company's logo on the left shoulder of official team jerseys, which they're calling "empowerment badges."
The partnership conveniently coincides with the beginning of Women's History Month, and it appears as though the Clippers are trying use this bit of sponsorship as a full-fledged gender equality campaign. According to a statement on the team's official NBA website, the deal aims to bring together "two organizations with strong female leadership who support and invest in promoting gender equality." Bumble's Founder and CEO, Whitney Wolfe Herd, also voiced her support for the campaign. “It’s an honor to partner with an organization as progressive and compassionate as the Clippers," she said. "Like us, they know generating awareness for diversity and gender equality is critical to business success.”
Gillian Zucker, who serves as the president of business affairs for the Clippers, is the only female president in the entire NBA. “From our players on the court to our leadership team, we are proud to stand with Bumble and do our part to emphasize that diversity and gender equality in the workplace is essential to organizational excellence," Zucker said. "Bumble’s message and technology provide a platform for women in new and non-traditional spaces and it’s important to the Clippers that we innovate and reach our fans wherever our fans are."
Not everyone is buying into the suddenly woke Clippers, as reactions online have been skeptical at best. This partnership marks the 20th NBA team to sign a jersey sponsorship deal, with that number only expected to grow.