Nike and the NFL are partnering for a $5 million grant multi-year initiative that is dedicated to growing girls flag football in high school athletics. The brand announced on Tuesday that state athletic associations will receive a donation up to $100,000 in products, including uniform, socks and other accessories.
The donations will be given out based on the discretion of each state's governing interscholastic or athletic association.
Beginning on Feb. 2, states that already have girls flag football programs are eligible to receive a donation. The states that currently have girls flag football programs at the high school level are Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada and New York. Every high school girls flag football team in Florida will receive uniforms and sports bras. The state has lead the way in the sport with over 300 teams within the state.
Nike hopes to encourage other states to provide girls flag football programs at the high school level.
Troy Vincent, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations, commented on the importance of the sport:
"The expansion of girls flag football is essential to the growth of the game and preservation of the values it has contributed to society for decades. Girls flag demonstrates that football is for all, and the greater the participation, the stronger the game, and the more young women can build the transferrable skills football provides for achieving success in life
There are 1 million fewer high school female athletes than male athletes, mainly due to football, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations. With this initiative, Nike is looking to help close that gap. The brand is also launching a film through their "Stronger Than One" series that is focused on highlighting women and young girls who are "blazing paths forward in football."
Women featured include Katie Sowers, the former assistant offensive coordinator of the 49ers, Broncos Strength and conditioning coach Emily Zaler, Washington Offensive Assistant Jennifer King, NFL Network Lead Analytic Analyst Cynthia Frelund and NFL Network Anchor Colleen Wolfe.