Thursday is International Women's Day and both the Lakers and Clippers are celebrating strong female leadership, albeit in different ways.
On Wednesday night, Jeanie Buss, the controlling owner of the Los Angeles Lakers watched as the Lake Show defeated the Orlando Magic, 108-107, for their sixth win in their last seven games.
Buss has had a tumultuous year: last winter she fired her brother Jim Buss the team's president of basketball operations along with the team's longtime general manager Mitch Kupchak. Days later, she hired family friend Magic Johnson and has worked diligently on trying to turnaround one of the league's more historic franchises.
The Lakers will likely miss the playoffs for the fifth year in a row, but will be guaranteed their most wins since the 2012-2013 season. Regardless of their record, the Lakers are trending in the right direction, and they are guided by one of the most powerful women in sports.
Down the hallway at Staples Center, the Clippers are gleaming from ear-to-ear, fresh off their announcement of a global partnership with the dating app Bumble.
On Tuesday night, the Clippers wore a Bumble patch on their jerseys for the first time, a branding move that marks the beginning of a multi-year agreement between two companies that have strong female leadership in male-dominated businesses.
The Bumble patch is known as the "Empowerment Badge," and is meant to inspire and advance gender equality in sports. In the year of the #MeToo movement, and Frances McDormand's "Inclusion Rider," during her 2018 Oscars speech for Best Actress, the badge will serve as a powerful reminder to include different perspectives and backgrounds in the workplace.
The partnership will also extend to youth by expansion of the Clippers’ community initiatives to strengthen the skills, confidence and knowledge necessary for young women to achieve their full potential.
Bumble’s partnership with the Clippers was inspired by the NBA’s global footprint and the recognition that the Clippers are one of the most progressive organizations in sports and entertainment, led by the NBA’s largest female leadership team, which includes Gillian Zucker, the only female to hold the title of president among NBA teams.
“Never before has a major professional sports team partnered in this way with a female-driven brand like Bumble,” said Whitney Wolfe Herd, Bumble Founder and CEO. “It’s an honor to partner with an organization as progressive and compassionate as the Clippers. Like us, they know generating awareness for diversity and gender equality is critical to business success.”
“Through Steve Ballmer’s leadership, the Clippers have a clear commitment to diversity and equal opportunity,” said Zucker, Clippers President of Business Operations. “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. 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.”
Bumble prioritizes investing in partnerships with companies who share its brand values. Moving forward, Bumble will continue to commit marketing dollars to working with brands that have strong female representation in executive management, as well as an emphasis on mentoring the next gen of female rising stars.
To view the debut of the “Empowerment Badge” click HERE.
Since its launch in 2014, Bumble has grown to become one of the most relevant social networks worldwide. Today, Bumble, the "female first" app with over 26 million users, connects people across dating, friendship, and professional networking. No matter the type of relationship, women make the first move on Bumble. Bumble recognizes the importance of relationships and how crucial they are to a healthy, happy life. They've built their platform around kindness, respect, and equality – and their users play an important part in that. Bumble holds its users accountable for their actions and has zero tolerance for hate, aggression, or bullying. Bumble is available in 144 countries. Since 2014, Bumble has facilitated over 440 million women-led first moves and over four billion messages sent. Bumble is free and available in the App Store and Google Play.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.