PepsiCo will donate $1 million to youth soccer programs in underserved communities over the next three years as an extension of its partnership with UEFA Champions League.
Last year, the company pledged $570 million over five years to racial justice causes. In March, it committed $40 million to support 4,000 Black and Hispanic students in community college programs.
The youth soccer initiative, “Team of Champions,” is intended to “help create transformational change for Hispanic and Black communities.” MLS player Javier “Chicarito” Hernández of the L.A. Galaxy lent his support to the program in his first move as a PepsiCo athlete.
Around a quarter of MLS players are Black, largely because the league attracts players from all over the globe. U.S.-born Black players account for around 9% of the league.
PepsiCo joins the numerous brands that made over $35 billion in racial justice commitments in 2020, though only a fraction of those were sports-focused.
- Jordan committed $100 million to racial justice initiatives, and Nike added another $40 million.
- Nike, Target, Chipotle, and Chevrolet are among the many companies that contribute to youth sports initiatives.
- Bud Light directed its “Thursday Night Football” ad spend to highlight Black-owned businesses.
PepsiCo has expanded its soccer sponsorships in recent years, and now partners with both the men’s and women’s UEFA Championship Leagues and several MLS teams, including New York City FC, the Orlando Pride, and FC Dallas.