The Chicago Bulls will host the organization’s second annual Pride Night in partnership with BMO Harris Bank on Saturday, Jan. 4 when the team takes on the Boston Celtics at the United Center. The night will feature special national anthem and halftime performances by the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus, along with Pride-themed in-game graphics and entertainment, a pregame player address, a Pride-inspired BMO Artist Hat Series giveaway by local artist and LGBTQ advocate, Nina Palomba, and an “Inspire With Us” shirt and tote, designed in collaboration with BOY MEETS GIRL® for purchase in the Madhouse Team Store.
“At the Bulls, we celebrate diversity and inclusion and aim to create a culture of appreciation for who you are,” said Michael Reinsdorf, Chicago Bulls President and Chief Operating Officer. “Hosting Pride Night is an in-season highlight of our year-long Pride efforts with the LGBTQ community in Chicagoland and a great way to get the whole organization involved from our players and coaches to front office and fanbase.”
As part of the night’s celebration, the Bulls will host 100 people from community partner Center on Halsted (COH), a nonprofit dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and well-being of LGBTQ individuals in Chicagoland. Center on Halsted provides resources and support to 1,400 people per day and 45,000 people per year.
This year, Pride Night will tip off a month-long effort with COH where Bulls front office employees will volunteer serving lunch and playing Bingo with seniors and serving dinner to COH youth. As part of the team’s season-long NBA All-Star 2020 community initiative, the league will also support these COH programs with All-Star branded gear and giveaways.
"Center on Halsted is honored and proud to partner with the Bulls on the second Pride Night, as we continue to advance full equality and celebrate diversity within our communities," said Modesto Tico Valle, CEO Center on Halsted.
The Bulls are again partnering with BMO Harris Bank on this year’s Pride Night. Since June 2016, the Bulls and BMO Harris Bank have partnered on a float in the city’s annual Pride Parade, with Benny the Bull, the Luvabulls, the Incredibulls, and Bulls and BMO Harris Bank staff marching alongside the parade. The Bulls have participated in the Chicago Pride Parade since 2013.
"At BMO we focus on the importance of diversity and inclusion for our customers and our colleagues,” said Paul Dilda, Head of Deposits, Segments and Customer Acquisition, BMO Harris Bank and U.S. Employee Resource Group Pride Executive Sponsor. "In December we became the first bank to implement the Mastercard True Name feature that enables individuals to use their true first name on their debit and ATM cards. We are proud that our customers can be at ease knowing that the card they use daily reflects their authentic identity.”
New this year, the Bulls partnered with Chicago born Stacy Igel’s NYC brand, BOY MEETS GIRL®, a purposeful, edgy and contemporary athleisure brand on a Pride-inspired t-shirt and tote, which will be featured as the Pride Night Item of the Game. The “Inspire With Us” collaboration is available exclusively under the Chicago Bulls Private Label, 1966 in the Madhouse Team Store with a portion of sales benefitting Center on Halsted.