Wizards announce partnership with Pepsi Stronger Together

The second iteration of Pepsi Stronger Together expands support to those in need while building bridges between community, education, and sustainability

ORLANDO (October 27, 2020) – Pepsi today announced the expansion of Pepsi Stronger Together - its series of grassroots initiatives that provide support to communities across the nation - with the help of long-time friend Shaquille O’Neal through the Shaquille O’Neal Foundation. The NBA Hall-of-Famer, known for his generous spirit and community contributions, will provide strategic guidance and programming support. The latest iteration of Pepsi Stronger Together is bringing tailored resources to Miami, Orlando, Memphis, and Washington, D.C. by working with those cities’ NBA teams and charitable organizations to build stronger communities from within.

Pepsi Stronger Together (pepsistrongertogether.com, @pepsistrongertogether) was conceived with the idea that now, more than ever, we must foster a sense of connection and belonging, starting by investing locally. Following today’s announcement, programming will continue to roll out through 2020 in key cities. Activations will be tailored regionally and will provide a range of resources including student mentorship programs, support for HBCUs, sports and recreation, domestic violence counseling, and fostering conversations between communities and local law enforcement through the Close the Gap (CTG) Foundation.

Pepsi, a brand with our own small-town origin story, has built deep roots in communities of all sizes across the U.S. - whether through feeding families in need, supporting frontline workers, or celebrating local heroes - and we are now showing up to prove that we are, in fact, stronger together.

“This program might be one of the most substantial and important steps in helping our local communities to become stronger together,” said Shaquille O’Neal, CEO of the Shaquille O’Neal Foundation. “There has never been a more important time to look inward and focus on these grassroots initiatives, and I’m excited to join forces with Pepsi to help those in need.”

Pepsi initially launched Pepsi Stronger Together in May of 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, engaging its network of partners in the South - including AdventHealth, Howard University, and the University of Maryland Medical System hospitals - to shine a spotlight on essential frontline workers in a variety of industries. The brand also donated meals to the communities where Pepsi employees live and work.

“Pepsi Stronger Together is just the beginning of what will become an even bigger and more dynamic program for our associates, our partners, and our communities - allowing us to lead by example and put our words into action,” said Derek Lewis, President, South Division, PepsiCo Beverages North America. “Organizing programming under the areas of community, education, and the environment will help focus our efforts with our partners while serving those who can benefit from it most. And having such a strong list of partners and supporters – The Shaquille O’Neal Foundation and the Orlando Magic, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami HEAT, and Washington Wizards, who care so much for these issues - is a dream come true.”

Details of how Pepsi, the Shaquille O’Neal Foundation, and its partners will be activating Pepsi Stronger Together in the following communities in the coming weeks are below:

Washington, D.C.

• Pepsi and the Washington Wizards will be refurbishing basketball facilities at the Navy Yard, providing a safe and updated court on which local youth can play.
• They will elevate the work and profile of a local artist by making the court a canvas on which to paint a mural.
• They will continue to build upon the Washington Wizards “Crucial Conversations” series with 5 additional episodes for local high school students, tackling relevant topics such as the importance of voting, racial injustice, post-high school education options, and mentorship. Talks will be led by players for the Washington Wizards, local celebrities, and the CTG Foundation.

About Pepsi Stronger Together
Pepsi Stronger Together is a national initiative to empower and engage communities around the country by providing tailored programming and resources that bring people together. It was conceived with the idea that now, more than ever, we must foster a sense of connection and belonging, starting by investing locally. Launched in May of 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic - engaging its network of partners in the South to shine a spotlight on essential front-line workers in a variety of industries - Pepsi Stronger Together was expanded in October of 2020 by partnering with NBA teams and charitable organizations to foster, among other things, community, and police relations.

Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Convenient Foods and Beverages by Winning with Purpose. Under this vision, Pepsi Stronger Together is continually evolving the program to respond to the cultural moment and meet the needs of communities across the United States. Stay up to date at pepsistrongertogether.com, where visitors can engage in conversation and learn about the latest community initiatives and how to give back. Follow the conversation on social media at @pepsistrongertogether.


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