The Los Angeles Clippers basketball team partnered with Bumble, the "female first" social networking app with more than 26 million users, to promote gender equality, according to a press release. As part of the deal, the team’s jerseys will feature Bumble’s “empowerment badge” shaped as a hexagon with three horizontal bars inside it. The badge is part of the #StrongerWithHer hashtag initiatve encouraging visitors to the Clippers' website to download a hexagon similar to the one on the team's jerseys, write in the name of someone they are stronger with and share it on social media.
The partnership includes youth outreach as part of the team’s community initiatives to strengthen the skills, confidence and knowledge of young women. The Clippers have the NBA’s biggest group of female leaders, including Gillian Zucker, who is the only woman president among the association’s teams.
In other Bumble news, following last month’s mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, FL, that left 17 people dead, the app this week banned gun photos from its social media platform, except for users in military or law enforcement. Bumble also donated $100,000 to March for Our Lives, the organization founded by the survivors of the Parkland massacre. Bumble is free to download from the App Store and Google Play.
With the Bumble partnership, the L.A. Clippers are seeking to cement the team’s place in promoting the advancement of women and to drive awareness of the team among the growing app's audience. Bumble said it has built its social network on the ideals of kindness, respect and equality, which includes zero tolerance for hate, aggression or bullying. By working together, Bumble and the Clippers can promote this message to a wider audience. For Bumble, the news suggests the app is looking to ramp up its presence at a time when women are looking for alternatives to male-dominated businesses of all sorts.
The Clippers and Bumble partnership comes amid the growing social awareness of gender inequality that has gained momentum in the past two years with the annual Women’s March and revelations of widespread sexual harassment in the media industry. Bumble, which started out as a dating app where women initiate contact, differentiates its platform with the idea that women initiate any relationship formed through its network, including friendships, dates and professional networking.
The owner of the L.A. Clippers, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, has helped the team move past the scandal that led to the banishment of prior owner Donald Sterling, who was booted from the NBA in 2014 for making discriminatory remarks about blacks in a recording that was made public by gossip site TMZ. Sterling later lost an appeal to regain control of the team after his estranged wife took control of the family trust and approved the sale.