The National Football League (NFL) announced its partnership with the Contract with Black America Institute (CWBA), an economic inclusion-focused initiative led by artist and entrepreneur O’Shea Jackson, also known as Ice Cube. The CWBA and NFL partnership enhances the NFL’s dedication to increasing economic equity and partnerships with Black owned businesses.
The collaboration focuses on identifying League-wide opportunities in the financial, tech, and production sectors, with a concentration on increasing direct and indirect spend to national Black businesses to help close America’s racial and economic wealth gap.
“For more than a year, the CWBA Institute has been working closely with the NFL on identifying resources to build stronger, more substantive economic partnerships with the Black community,” says Ice Cube. “Our team at CWBA, including my longtime business partner and entertainment lawyer Jeff Kwatinetz, and advisors Ja’Ron Smith and Chris Pilkerton, are focused on building corporate partnerships with measurable economic growth outcomes for Black communities across the country. We believe this is a giant step in the right direction.”
Driven by a strong internal commitment to diversify the NFL’s business partnerships with organizations like CWBA, the League has spent and allocated $125 Million with Black-owned and -operated businesses such as Ariel Investments, CityFirst/Broadway Bank, Cover Communications, and Fearless Technology during the last year.
“City First Bank is pleased to have formed a strategic partnership with the National Football League and Contract With Black America,” says City First Bank President & CEO Brian Argrett. “This partnership supports and accelerates each organization’s commitment to ensuring that minority businesses have access to capital and opportunities to fuel their growth. Partnerships like this are critical to driving equitable economic change within the Black community as well as supporting the growth of City First Bank and other Black-led and Black-owned financial institutions that deploy capital for economic growth and empowerment.”
“Our partnership with CWBA is another reminder that partnering with intentional organizations is critical to everything we do at the League,” says NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “Black businesses play a major role in our country’s economic prosperity. We understand these businesses have not always had the opportunity for exponential growth, so we are pleased to have partners like Ice Cube and his organization, CWBA, in a continued, collective push toward greater economic inclusion.”
Building off of its long-standing Business Connect program, which works to afford minority, woman, LGBTQ+ and veteran-owned businesses Super Bowl & Draft opportunities, the NFL looks to continue to expand and diversify its vendors through strategic national partnerships.