In a world where only 5% of sports media coverage goes to women, Milk (yes, real dairy milk!) is redirecting the spotlight to women with the launch of 26.2. A powerful, experiential initiative, 26.2 is not only a commitment to sponsor this year's female marathon runners but an effort to generate awareness for the many gender inequalities in sport and a part of Milk’s larger pledge to feature ONLY women across campaigns. In addition to a continued partnership with Girls on the Run International, an organization dedicated to empowering young girls through physical activity - Milk’s 26.2 program seeks to highlight the stories, triumphs and experiences of real women runners across OOH, print and digital media.
After sponsoring women runners at the 2022 Marathon in NYC, this year Milk aims to extend support even further, sponsoring every woman running ANY marathon who signs up for Team Milk. From first time marathon runners to ultra marathoners, Milk’s 26.2 program will hero everyday female runners' journeys, provide female-centric training resources, and include a sponsorship tour, delivering on-site support for any women running marathons in Denver, Chicago and New York Marathons. Additionally, for every woman that signs up for Team Milk, Milk will pledge a donation in support of our Every Woman Sponsored fund with the goal of raising up to $1,000,000 USD to-date. This funding will enable the non-profit to enhance their suite of curricula to further address the root causes of gender inequality.
Launching on International Women’s Day, 26.2 aims to bring awareness to the pervading and persistent inequalities when it comes to gender in sport. Guided by compelling insights that demonstrate the prevalent discrepancies in sponsorships, support and spotlight, Milk is launching a 360° campaign dedicated to female athletes, beginning with runners. From a dominant full page spread in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Denver Post (Milk’s sponsorship cities) to a Times Square Takeover, Milk is leveraging the most powerful media outlets to hero female runners of all shapes and sizes. Milk’s message is clear - 5% is not enough - and you will see this reflected in the creative.
In addition to larger than life OOH, digital and print media, Milk will also be launching a social media campaign to not only highlight current athletes but bring awareness to the generations of females in sport before us that never received the support and acknowledgement deserved. From college athletes, to current professionals to famous icons, Milk will be tapping female leaders across sport genres to help bring visibility to the power of women. .
“For far too long female athletes have been overlooked and under supported. Our hope is that 26.2 is a reminder that Milk is not only a powerful performance beverage for ALL athletes but an ally when it comes to equality in sport,” says MilkPEP CEO Yin Woon Rani. “We recognize that equality doesn’t happen overnight but without bold change, progress cannot happen. While we are launching creative on International Women’s Day, our goal is to be a pillar of support to female athletes year round, which is why we are dedicated to featuring only women in 100% of our campaigns this year. While we may not be able to bridge the gap alone, we are devoted to doing our part.”
"We’re excited to celebrate the many incredible female-identifying athletes on International Women’s Day—but we also recognize that gender equality takes more than just one day of recognition," adds Eliza Florendo, Associate Creative Director at GALE. "The most rewarding part of this initiative has been meeting so many amazing women and hearing their individual stories, from happy, to challenging, to triumphant. Milk’s mission is to support and spotlight them throughout their journey to the finish line—and we’re delighted to be a part of that."
26.2 is an equalizer - while the numeric marathon distance is the same for every runner - no matter the gender, when it comes to sponsorships, support, and visibility, women start much further behind. Every woman who devotes the time, strength, pain and training to get across the finish line deserves to be celebrated. This is why Milk is sponsoring every woman… because every woman is a champion. Milk will be there for everything from the training, to the run to the recovery because when it comes to 26.2… You’re Gonna Need Milk.
To sign up for Team Milk and learn more about Milk’s commitment, visit www.GonnaNeedMilk.com/26.2.