USC Athletics Partners With Black Girl Sunscreen
USC Athletics is partnering with Black Girl Sunscreen, a local black female-owned company, to amplify the conversation about sun safety for student-athletes of all skin tones.
The sponsorship, which was developed during February's Black History Month and unveiled during March's Women's History Month, is focused on the USC women's track and field team. It is believed to be the first corporate sponsorship in the nation dedicated specifically to a collegiate women's track and field program.
"We are thrilled to announce this partnership with Black Girl Sunscreen that will directly support our distinguished women's track and field program," said Mike Bohn, USC's Director of Athletics. "As we strive to be the most student-athlete centered program in the country, it's imperative to have sponsorships that represent our diverse student-athlete body. At the intersection of Black History Month and Women's History Month, this is a wonderful opportunity to recognize a local black female-owned company that symbolizes female empowerment and has played a significant role in furthering the conversation surrounding sun safety for people of color. We are grateful to Black Girl Sunscreen for their support of USC student-athletes."
"One of Black Girl Sunscreen's many passions is supporting young women who are doing phenomenal things," said Shontay Lundy, creator, owner and founder of Black Girl Sunscreen. "Sponsoring the USC women's track and field team was a no-brainer for Black Girl Sunscreen. Black Girl Sunscreen is eager to make a difference in the lives of these talented young women by providing funds for scholarships and supplying them with sunscreen products to keep their skin protected from UVA/UVB rays, skin cancer and other sun damage effects as they compete in outdoor track meets."
Education about wellness and skin care for people of color has lagged for decades. Black Girl Sunscreen realizes the importance for athletes, especially those with deeper skin tones, to wear SPF on a daily basis to fight the risk of sun damage. Although melanin protects against a certain percentage of UV rays, people of color are susceptible to skin cancer, hyperpigmentation, sun spots and premature wrinkles.
"Over the decades, sunscreen has been made for and marketed to people with fair complexions, leaving people of color out of the sun care conversation," said Lundy. "Because of the lack of sunscreen products and education for black people, myths such as 'Black people don't need to wear sunscreen' have run rampant throughout our community. Black Girl Sunscreen was created to change that narrative. By partnering with such an established and loved institution as USC, Black Girl Sunscreen is trailblazing a path for other black-owned and female-led brands to partner with schools, foundations and companies to make a difference in the lives of young women and further the conversation around sun safety for people of color."
"This partnership with a local black-owned company stresses education, women's empowerment and entrepreneurship," said Cameron Wong, senior director of partnership development for USC Sports Properties, a division of Playfly Sports. "These qualities fit what USC Athletics is all about. We are delighted, through this sponsorship, to help a local minority woman-owned company get recognition and stands as a very unique sponsorship for collegiate women's track."