Everlast Unveils ‘First Is Strong’ to Honor Triumphant Women Trailblazers Who Have Forged Their Owns Paths Through Boxing
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar 5, 2020--
Everlast, the preeminent brand in boxing since 1910 and the world’s leading manufacturer and licensor of boxing, MMA, and fitness equipment, has revealed the next wave of industry trailblazers to be celebrated in Be First, a global campaign challenging consumers to carve their own path to success. In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, ‘First Is Strong’ spotlights the powerful and inspiring stories of boxing promoter Kathy Duva, Everlast athlete and boxing world champion Heather Hardy, and journalist Kris Herndon as the linchpin of this iconic campaign.
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Everlast Introduces Next Wave of Industry Trailblazers in Global ‘Be First’ Campaign (Photo: Business Wire)
“We couldn’t be more proud to honor this group of extraordinary women and help them share their triumphant journeys with the world,” said Chris Zoller, VP of Marketing and Product Development at Everlast. “Kathy, Heather, and Kris each exemplify the incredible strength required to push forward in the face of adversity and truly embody what it means to Be First. Their stories are inspiring not only to other women, but to everyone, and we are humbled to have them as a part of the Everlast family.”
As the centerpiece of the campaign, Duva, Hardy, and Herndon share their stories of how they leaned on the power of boxing to overcome the systemic hurdles that many women encounter throughout their lives, both professionally and personally.
- Kathy Duva is a boxing promoter at the top of a male-dominated industry with the success of her company, Main Events. This June, Duva will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, making her just the third woman to be elected. In addition to her own success, Duva is paying it forward to the next generation with an all-female executive board and grooming her daughter to one day take over the business.
- Former World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight champion and Everlast athlete, Heather Hardy has staked her claim in the industry with many “firsts” including being the first woman to fight at Barclays Center and the first woman to fight on a national television broadcast. But her journey wasn’t always easy. Growing up, Hardy had to confront the stereotypes of being a “tomboy,” fighting the pressure to comply with outdated societal gender roles. As an adult, she honed her boxing skills while homeless and escaped an abusive relationship which led her to become the first woman to be signed to a long-term contract by Lou DiBella.
- Kris Herndon is a journalist and boxing enthusiast who was sexually assaulted while going for a run in her local neighborhood. She tried various methods of therapy before finding that boxing was the therapy she needed to retake control of her mind and body. In support of the 1 out of 6 American women who will be the victim of attempted or completed rape, Herndon shares her story to show other victims that they are not alone and that despite how hard it may be, they can in fact heal.
To further propel the mission of this campaign, Everlast has launched a petition for the removal of the word “female” on the World Boxing Council (WBC) and the World Boxing Organization (WBO) championship belts. This petition urges these sanctioning bodies of boxing to see all competitors as equal, without the need to qualify one’s gender when naming them a champion. Join Everlast in supporting the ‘First is Strong’ fight by signing the petition here and sharing on social with #changethebelts.
To view the stories of these women and other Be First athletes, visit www.everlast.com.
The preeminent brand in boxing since 1910, Everlast is the world’s leading manufacturer, marketer and licensor of boxing, MMA and fitness equipment. From legendary champions Jack Dempsey and Sugar Ray Robinson to current superstars Dustin Poirier and Deontay Wilder, Everlast is the brand of choice for generations of world champion professional athletes. Built on a brand heritage of strength, dedication, individuality and authenticity, Everlast is a necessary part of the lives of countless champions. Based in Manhattan, Everlast’s products are sold across more than 75 countries and 6 continents. For more information, visit www.everlast.com.
About Be First:
The Be First campaign is a representation of the well-known boxing term “Be First,” which is associated with dictating the pace of a fight by making your opponent follow your lead. The campaign encapsulates this idea, encouraging people to carve their own paths, and dictate the pace of their life, goals, and personal journey. Through vivid storytelling, Everlast continues to inspire a diverse, global community to do things their own way, with a spirit of strength, dedication, authenticity and individuality.
Since launching in September 2018, Everlast’s Be First campaign has featured several trailblazers in the fight sports community and beyond including Deontay Wilder, heavyweight champion; Mikaela Mayer, Everlast’s first female boxer; Jesselyn Silva, an at-the-time 13 year old phenom known by her fans as Jesszilla, with aspirations of competing in the 2024 Olympics; Patricio Manuel, the world’s first professional male boxer who is transgender; Jinji Martinez, the only above-knee amputee fighter to ever beat a fully bodied person; and the Balderas family, growing from humble beginnings in Oaxaca, Mexica to undefeated prospects.
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