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NBA, WNBA Selling Face Masks for Hunger Relief Organizations

Brock Fritz

Professional basketball teams have some of the strongest brands in the world.

The NBA and WNBA are hoping to use those brands to provide protection during the COVID-19 pandemic and raise funds for hunger relief organizations.

The leagues announced Friday that they have teamed up with online retailer Fanatics for cloth face coverings that feature logos of all 30 NBA teams and 12 WNBA teams.

“As a global community, we can all play a role in reducing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic by following the CDC’s recommendation to cover our nose and mouth while in public,” said Kathy Behrens, the NBA president for social responsibility and player programs. “Through this new product offering, NBA and WNBA fans can adhere to these guidelines while joining in the league’s efforts to aid those who have been directly affected by COVID-19.”

The face coverings, which are manufactured by FOCO and Industry Rag and intended to be worn in public, will be offered in adult and youth sizes on NBAStore.com and WNBAStore.com. All proceeds will go toward communities in need, through Feeding America in the United States and Second Harvest in Canada.

“This support will help Second Harvest redistribute enough food to provide millions of meals to Canadians over the coming months,” Second Harvest CEO Lori Nikkel said.

For every Industry Rag face covering purchased, the company will donate one to Second Harvest and Feeding America. FOCO is making a donation to the hunger relief organizations.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has upended food bank operations causing shifts in distribution models and volunteer opportunities,” Feeding American executive vice president and chief operating officer Katie Fitzgerald said.

Companies and teams across the sports landscape have shifted their focus to helping limit the coronavirus outbreak. Michael Rubin, the executive chairman of Fanatics, announced March 26 that the company was halting all production of MLB jerseys at its Easton, Pa., factory to make masks and gowns for hospitals and emergency management personnel.

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