The Los Angeles Sparks and Anthem Blue Cross announced today a multi-year partnership aimed at serving under-resourced communities through social justice initiatives, health and wellness activations, and athlete advocacy. The New York Liberty, Indiana Fever, and Atlanta Dream are also partnering with Anthem’s sister companies to make a positive impact in their respective cities.
Founded in 1996, the Los Angeles Sparks are one of three original franchises in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). The Sparks have won three WNBA Championships (2001, 2002, 2016), have qualified for the playoffs in 20 of their 24 seasons and remain the only active team in the league to win back-to-back titles. The Los Angeles Sparks are dedicated to ensuring each home game at Staples Center has a championship level entertainment experience while showcasing the best female athletes from around the world on the court.
Anthem Blue Cross has been serving the health insurance needs of California residents since 1937 and together with its branded affiliates, provides health care services to more than 8.2 million health plan members in California, including a broad network of more than 65,000 providers.
As part of the partnership in LA, Anthem Blue Cross will become the presenting partner of the Sparks Health and Wellness community pillar, the Spark the True You campaign, and Keeping Kids in the Game, an Anthem program providing youth and their families virtual experiences, as well as tickets and transportation to Sparks home games when fans can return to arenas. The participating youth will also have the opportunity to learn how to optimize their health from Sparks Director of Sports Medicine and Head Athletic Trainer Dr. Courtney Watson and Sparks Strength and Conditioning Coach Kelly Dormandy.
“Anthem has been part of the California community for more than 80 years. We are proud to partner with the LA Sparks to address health and social inequities prevalent in our communities. Together, we will work to make a measurable impact – through education, awareness and community health and engagement initiatives – on the health of individuals and families in and around Los Angeles,” said Beth Andersen, President, Anthem Blue Cross commercial plans.
“Anthem’s commitment to addressing health inequality and food insecurity directly aligns with the Sparks organizational values,” Sparks Interim President and COO Natalie White said. “We are proud to join Anthem Blue Cross and the three other WNBA franchises to ensure the impact of this program is maximized across all four markets.”
These partnerships directly align with Anthem’s work to address long-standing racial and health inequities, and in a truly unique partnership element, whenever the four teams meet during the WNBA season, both teams will come together to host joint community activities that make an impact on health challenges in their respective cities, such as food insecurity and mental health.