Athlete empowerment brand Uninterrupted is launching a collaboration capsule with Angel City Football Club, the first majority female-founded, female-owned and female-run pro football club.
London-based illustrator and animator Elena Gumeniuk designed the “UN x ACFC Write History” collection, which is comprised of co-branded T-shirts and hoodies in black and gray that bear a graphic on the back of a quill pen with an angel wing for a feather.
The collection launches on April 26 ahead of Angel City FC’s first home game on April 29 at Banc of California Stadium, where the collection will also be available.
“We have a strong history of storytelling with women’s soccer stars, as well as on the men’s side, but this partnership is especially built to showcase what’s being built in our backyard of Los Angeles,” said Uninterrupted general manager Jimmy Spencer. “Uninterrupted focuses on empowerment and storytelling around the most engaging people and stories in sports. We stand with all athletes, but we do have a focus to amplify the voices of women on and off the field. This isn’t about driving revenue; it’s about promoting equity amongst not only athletes but for all women, too.”
Angel City FC was established in July 2020 by a team of founders including Academy Award-winning actress and activist Natalie Portman; technology venture capitalist Kara Nortman; media and gaming entrepreneur Julie Uhrman, and tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist Alexis Ohanian. The team is owned by the likes of Serena Williams, Abby Wambach, Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss, Candace Parker, Lindsey Vonn, Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy; actors Eva Longoria, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Chastain and Gabrielle Union, and multi-Grammy Award winner Christina Aguilera, and more.
“Portman heard about the lack of payment for female soccer players,” said Katie Eaton, Angel City FC’s vice president of commerce and fan experience, referring to the U.S. Women’s National Team’s (USWNT) class-action equal pay lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) that was settled in February for a total of $24 million. The 28 national team members, including current Angel City FC player Christen Press, filed the suit in March 2019 under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, accusing the USSF of “institutionalized gender discrimination.”
Eaton continued, “When [Natalie] was hearing these stories she said, ‘I’m going to launch a team to make it better.’”
To lead the team, she assembled an all-star group of founders and owners, including “women that played the game and made it better for women on and off the field,” Eaton said. The club has 99 active investors, has sold more than 15,250 season tickets, which is more than at least two pro men’s teams in Los Angeles, and sold 18,000 tickets so far for their season opener on April 29.
“Because of our ownership group, a number of brands came to work with us, but we wanted to be thoughtful of who we align with,” Eaton said. “We started talking with Uninterrupted about this time last year. What’s important to us is important to them. It felt like the most perfect fit for our first collaboration.”
To support this capsule, the partners produced legacy videos on Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy and Angela Hucles Mangano, a few of the biggest stars in women’s soccer, as well as former USNWT members (Hamm and Foudy are U.S. women’s national team 99’ers) who are now Angel Club FC founding investors.
“Uninterrupted is taking the lead on content, but we helped facilitate,” Eaton said, adding that the partners are in talks for a potential long-term partnership.
“For so long, we have seen a lack of storytelling in women’s sports,” Spencer said. “It’s no wonder we’ve felt a lack of attention and attachment to the stories of women as athletes, too. But that is absolutely changing because the stories have always been excellent and the people always vibrant and interesting — and now there are more platforms built specifically to showcase this, like ours at Uninterrupted. More exposure, more representation and more women in leadership will continue to lead to opportunities in media, business, leagues and more. It translates to success for everyone. When you invest in women, the return is massive both for the investor and the athletes.”