CHICAGO (July 11, 2022) – The National Women’s Soccer League, in partnership with Nationwide, announced today details around the 2022 Nationwide Community Impact Program, a season-long, civically-focused initiative promoting community partners and advancing local service projects chosen and led by each NWSL team. At the conclusion of the 2022 season, the program will culminate with the Nationwide Community Impact Award, where one club and its partner will be recognized for their exemplary commitment off the field at a postseason ceremony.
The program officially kicked off this month with appreciation games scheduled that will recognize each club’s community partner during a home match.
The Orlando Pride have chosen to represent and partner with Special Olympics Florida, with midfielder Gunny Jónsdóttir serving as the team’s ambassador. Just last month, Exploria Stadium – the home of the Pride – served as the site of the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games Opening Ceremony. Members of the Pride spent time during the week of competitions supporting the athletes, including at the soccer events, which saw Orlando’s own OCA Eagles win gold in the 7v7 Division 1 Unified Soccer event. On Friday, July 8, the Pride welcomed the gold medalists to the match against the Houston Dash, welcoming and honoring the team at halftime of the Pride’s 1-0 victory.
“Giving back to the community is a foundational component of the NWSL, led by our exemplary players, fans, staff and stakeholders,” said NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman. “We saw incredible participation and excitement around last year’s Nationwide Community Impact Program from all of our clubs and fans, and we’re excited to build on that this season.”
“It was great to see the teams and player ambassadors embrace this platform in its first year and engage fans with unique community partnerships,” said Ramon Jones, Nationwide’s chief marketing officer. “Nationwide looks forward to continuing its support and promotion of the many important causes that will be highlighted by each club this year.”
At the end of the season, one team-community partnership will be selected as the winner of the Nationwide Community Impact Award. Their efforts will be honored during the 2022 NWSL Championship weekend in October, with the winning community partner receiving a $25,000 donation from Nationwide to further their organization’s efforts. In addition, each participating community partner will receive a $5,000 grant.
Last year, OL Reign won the inaugural award in support of the Black Future Co-Op Fund, a new paradigm for philanthropy uplifting Black-led solutions that ignite Black generational wealth, health, and well-being.
A full list of player ambassadors, community partners and team appreciation nights can be found here.