Thunder Fellows and Wilson Announce Partnership

OKLAHOMA CITY, June 14, 2021 – The Thunder Fellows Program today announced Wilson Sporting Goods Co. will be joining as a supporting partner where the two will collaborate on the program’s curriculum in data and analytics, unlocking new career opportunities for Black youth in Tulsa and creating a pipeline to professional roles in sports, entertainment and technology.

“As we continue to stand up the Thunder Fellows Program, this partnership with Wilson will allow us to tap into both the people and processes that have made them leaders in the sports industry,” said Cedric Ikpo, Executive Director for Thunder Fellows. “Wilson shares our dedication to carving out substantive career paths for Black youth in Tulsa, and we are thrilled to work alongside them on this journey.”

Through the partnership, students participating in Thunder Fellows will have the opportunity to earn internships and job placements related to data and analytics with Wilson. Wilson will also coordinate a dialogue and mentorship opportunities between their executives and students in the program. In addition, for each Thunder Fellows cohort, the highest performing student will receive a custom Wilson “Game Ball” at the conclusion of the program.

"Joining the Oklahoma City Thunder, CAA and Google to bring mentorship and career opportunities to Black youth in Tulsa is incredibly special to Wilson," said Amanda Lamb, Director of Marketing, Wilson Team Sports. "Young people are the future of sports – both on and off the court – so it's important that brands in and around the sports industry open up pathways for new voices to excel and lead."

Among the educational opportunities the program will provide is the ability to participate in Wilson Data Demo Days, which will give the students a Wilson-centered creative problem to solve, culminating in a presentation of their findings, solutions and ideas to Wilson leadership and industry executives.

The Thunder Fellows Program is an initiative supported by the Oklahoma City Thunder and Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Located in the Historic Greenwood District of Tulsa, also known as Black Wall Street, the Thunder Fellows Program is expected to host its first class later in 2021.

Wilson’s partnership with Thunder Fellows is a continuation of their investment in the Tulsa community, as the brand recently announced its Black Wall Street x Wilson collection, inspired by the 100th anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre.

Artists Eddye Kaye Allen, Tyler James and Ebony Iman Dallas explore the past, present and future of the Greenwood District, a.k.a. Black Wall Street, through a collection of limited-edition basketballs. The collab is expected to drop in July on and locally in Tulsa at Silhouette Sneakers & Art. Proceeds will benefit the local Tulsa YMCA.


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