INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Pacers, the Indiana Fever and Nike take play seriously, announcing their partnership to launch Game Growers, a new program that invites girls across the country to create the inclusive, meaningful experiences in sport that they deserve, starting in Indiana. The Game Growers program gives eighth grade girls the opportunity to work in pairs to develop ideas and collaborate with participating WNBA and NBA teams to inspire more girls in their community to play and love sports.
“Nike is joining forces with the WNBA and NBA to invite girls across the country to help us change the game,” said Caitlin Morris, General Manager of Nike Social & Community Impact. “We know that kids who play do better in every way – physically, emotionally and academically – yet this generation, and girls in particular, are the least active in history. We want girls today to be game changers and problem solvers, and Game Growers helps amplify their voices, lifts up their ideas and equips them to succeed – on the court and in life.”
By age 14, girls are dropping out of sport at twice the rate of boys. According to a 2018 study from the Women’s Sports Foundation, nearly 40 percent of girls don’t participate in sport, versus 25 percent of boys. Game Growers enables eighth grade girls to share their ideas for how to make sport more fun, starting in their hometown.
“We do believe that We Grow Basketball Here in Indiana,” said Pacers Sports & Entertainment Sr. VP/Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Todd Taylor. “It’s natural that we would partner with Nike to further grow the game especially among young women. The Pacers and the Fever are proud to be at the forefront of this initiative.”
Game Growers Timeline
- Program tip-off is Oct. 18, 2019 at 7 p.m. EST with a conversation and co-stream hosted by former collegiate basketball player Keke Sevillian and featuring Sky Katz, actress and rapper; A’ja Wilson from the Las Vegas Aces; and Terri Jackson, Director of Operations for the Women’s National Basketball Players Association. Tune in to @Nike YouTube or @WNBA on Facebook. To sign up to stream the conversation, go here.
- Teams of two eighth grade girls can apply now until Nov. 15, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. PST at www.gamegrowers.com.
- Game Growers participants will be notified by Dec. 15, 2019 and will earn a chance to develop their idea to get more girls playing sports in partnership with a WNBA or NBA team and Nike; they’ll also have the opportunity to attend the Game Growers Training Camp at Nike World Headquarters in January 2020.
- Selected Game Growers Game Plans will be shared during the Game Growers Showcase at the 2020 WNBA Draft in April.