Last week LUNA Bar announced an added incentive for the 23 players chosen to represent the U.S. Women’s National Team at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. In a time where gender and racial equality is oft-discussed, the nutrition bar company under the Clif Bar umbrella helped push the conversation forward by awarding an additional $31,250 – the disparity in roster bonuses awarded to the men’s team – to each player selected to participate in this summer’s marquee soccer event.
Announced not-so-coincidentally on April 2nd, Equal Pay Day, LUNA said their promise wasn’t to award females and the USWNT for their fight and for bravery – instead it was a promise because they deserve it. Fresh off the heels of several USWNT players suing U.S. Soccer claiming gender discrimination, a brand has stepped up and put their money where it matters most – into the hands of those helping to lead the fight for equality. The USWNT, who recently celebrated their own role models during a SheBelieves Cup game, continue to be role models for others in the fight for both gender and financial equality.
For some brands, perhaps you’d consider the donation of over $700,000 to equality advocates a short-term, attention-grabbing opportunity to ride the wave of good publicity, but for LUNA, it’s a continuation of their support of females making a difference in their communities. In 2000, LUNA created the first all-female traveling film festival, LUNAFEST, to celebrate and champion film projects lead by women in an attempt to amplify the voices of stories that needed to be told. Today, talented female filmmakers are showcased in over 175 LUNAFEST screenings across the country with 100 percent of proceeds going to charities.
On LUNA’s section of the Clif Bar site, visitors are provided more details on LUNA’s commitment to equality and their U.S. Women’s National Team pledge, including the video above, as well as information on negotiating tactics from Rebecca Roux (Executive Director, USWNT Players Association), Christen Press (current USWNT player), and Julie Foudy (former USWNT player, Olympian, and current author, ESPN broadcaster).
As we get closer and closer to the FIFA Women’s World Cup, expect more brands to look for opportunities to attach themselves to female empowerment through the USWNT and their male contemporaries. Recently, Proctor & Gamble, through Secret deodorant, launched a campaign with players like Landon Donovan and Tim Howard where they announced $1 would be donated to Girls Leading Girls with every purchase of Secret Outlast.
LUNA’s commitment to the equality fight is a great example of a brand taking a stance on social responsibility through an endearing CSR program. Not every brand can afford the opportunity to take a stance on social or environmental issues, but for LUNA, if you’re going to stand for something as a company, then you have to fight for something as a company – their pay gap promise certainly goes a long way in illustrating their long-term commitment.