BLACK ACCELERATION INITIATIVE

At Nike Communications, we are committed to a sustained approach to racial justice and equality, especially as it relates to the PR and marketing industry. We recognize the disparities and lack of equity Black entrepreneurs face daily and are dedicated to showing our long-term support to the advancement of Black businesses. We created the Black Acceleration Initiative to accelerate opportunities for the next generation of impactful Black companies on the rise.

Through the Nike Communications Black Acceleration Initiative eligible companies will be able to receive the following services:

  • Traditional PR, Influencer Marketing and Social Media support
  • A dedicated team of agency members who will provide everything from mentoring and strategic counsel to reporting of program results
  • One on one mentorship with an executive team member
  • Access to agency network of editors, influencers, industry contacts, celebrities, and other relevant talent
  • Opportunity for brand partnerships with current agency clients where applicable

Timing: The duration of the pro bono work will be dependent upon the business’s needs and will be agreed upon between both parties. All applications must be submitted by Friday, October 22nd, 2021.

Eligibility: To be eligible for Nike Communications Black Acceleration Initiative, you and your business must meet all of the following criteria:

  • You are eighteen (18) years of age or older as of the date the application is submitted
  • You identify as Black or African American
  • You are an owner of the business
  • At least 51% of the business must be owned, controlled or operated and managed by Black owners
  • Business must be based in the United States and incorporated as a legal entity under the laws of any state within the United States
  • Business qualifies under one of the following categories:
    • Early Stage Business: Your business has launched in the past 12 months and you are working to grow a customer base
    • Mid-Stage Business: Your business has been operating for at least 2 years, you have a solid customer base and you are looking to scale your business
    • Growth Stage Business: Your business has been operating for at least 5 years, has a solid customer base and at least 10 full-time employees and/or has raised at least $500K in funding to support the launch of your business

How Recipients Are Determined: Nike Communications will determine, at its sole discretion, whether an applicant meets the eligibility criteria to participate in the pro bono program or to qualify for a particular category. Agency may, at its discretion, reclassify an applicant to a different category if applicable. Agency’s decisions regarding eligibility are final and binding.

The Application: To understand your business goals and needs, we request to receive the below information about your company, which can be submitted to blackacceleration@nikecomm.com in a format of your choosing:

  • Company overview
  • Description of products or services, including:
    • Market or category overview, including competitors
    • Key product differentiators
  • Marketing & communications objectives, including:
    • Brand essence & RTBs
    • Brand ambition
  • Key markets in which products or services are available
  • Target consumer(s)
  • Timing of program and/or campaign launch

Any marketing & communications support materials available.

How To Apply: To apply, applicants must submit their application via blackacceleration@nikecomm.com. No other method of entry will be accepted.

  • All entries must be received by the end of the application period (October 22nd, 2021) to be valid.
  • Limit one (1) entry per person/email address/business.
  • Applicants must fully complete, submit, and email all information requested in the application, as directed, during the application period in order to be eligible.
  • All entries must include a valid e-mail address and phone number of the applicant.
  • By submitting an application, you represent that the materials submitted are original and have been created by you and/or that all necessary rights have been secured and disclosed in the event they were developed by others.

If you have any questions about the Nike Communications Black Acceleration Initiative, please reach out to blackacceleration@nikecomm.com.

Testimonials from 2021 Black Acceleration Initiative Recipients

“The Nike Communications BAI program was a true blessing to SOSS®! The amazingly dedicated, committed, and helpful team that we were able to work with had a seismic impact on our growth, really showing that with PR, the possibilities are endless. Our industry exposure is continuing to grow, and we have finally secured the market validity that our brand and products deserve. Thank you Nike Communications for this experience and your commitment to the success of Black-owned businesses!” - Vernon G. Yancy, Founder & CEO of SOSS, Inc.

“The generosity, time, and resources that the team poured into me and my business was INCREDIBLE. The program went beyond mentorship to actual tangible outcomes that still produce results for us to this day. Love, gratitude, and appreciation to the Nike Communications family.  You are forever part of my story.”  - Rocky Collins, Founder and CEO of CALI HNDSME

“I am so grateful for the ACCESS I received from my participation in the Nike Communications BAI program.  The amount of knowledge the mentors have and are willing to share is invaluable.  Most BIPOC owned brands just need ACCESS, and we can take it from there. Big thank you to Nike Communications for doing the work and providing that access.” - Aamira Garba, Owner of LoveLee Wine