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PepsiCo’s Lifewtr inks partnership deal with LeBron James

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By Webb Wright | Junior Reporter

July 13, 2022 | 4 min read

The deal is being positioned as a fusion of James’s passion for philanthropy and Lifewtr’s brand mission of supporting underrepresented individuals and communities.

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LeBron James has signed a multi-year partnership deal with LIFEWTR / Golin

Bottled water brand Lifewtr has announced its first-ever athlete partnership deal with NBA superstar, philanthropist and newly-minted billionaire LeBron James. The multi-year partnership will be aimed at “championing underrepresented voices and helping individuals and communities flourish,” per a statement from Lifewtr.

James’s long philanthropic history, according to the PepsiCo-owned Lifewtr, aligns snugly with its own ambitions. “​LeBron James’s unwavering dedication to uplifting individuals and communities mirrors our mission at Lifewtr to help people thrive,” Zach Harris, vice-president, water portfolio at PepsiCo Beverages North America, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to work with him to further the Lifewtr brand’s commitment to helping underrepresented voices flourish.”

James founded the Lebron James Family Foundation (LJFF) in 2004 with the goal of providing under-resourced individuals and families “with the fundamental resources, wraparound supports and family programming they need for success in school and beyond,” per the organization’s website. The LJFF later partnered with the public school district in James’ hometown of Akron, Ohio to give birth to the ‘I Promise’ program, which operates a school, an affordable housing program, healthcare services and other support networks.

Describing itself as a brand with a “passion for creating change,” Lifewtr has launched a number of recent campaigns aimed at supporting underrepresented individuals and communities. In April of 2021, for example, the brand partnered with actress, producer and writer Issa Rae for ‘Life Unseen,’ a campaign that sought “to raise awareness of the systemic disparities that continue to stifle equitable access and exposure across the arts, celebrate the work of diverse creatives and help cultivate new opportunities for the next generation,” according to a statement from the brand. More recently, in early February of this year, the brand announced a TikTok campaign and NFT launch – both an extension of its pre-existing ‘Black Art Rising’ initiative – aimed at promoting Black artists.

The new partnership deal is an extension of an endorsement deal that James signed with PepsiCo back in March 2021, and which marked the end of his 17-year long partnership with Coca-Cola Co. As part of that endorsement deal, James was the face of PepsiCo-owned Mtn Dew’s first-ever energy drink last year.

Lifewtr said in a statement that its new partnership with James “will include the debut of dedicated programming that will be announced later this year.”

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