This past weekend, Crown Royal Regal Apple paid tribute to Sue Bird, the G.O.A.T., and her self-expressive, trailblazing feats that inspired millions on and off the court in advance of the 2022 WNBA All-Star game. The respected whisky company teamed up with Franchise to honor Bird, her ties to Seattle, the underserved areas she has championed on and off the court, and her lasting impact on sports simply by being herself and motivating a new generation of leaders to do the same.
This past Friday, Crown Royal Regal Apple delivered Bird flowers at a star-studded event in Chicago to celebrate the long-awaited release of Franchise Issue 7. In between all the dramatic events on the court, the event debuted the magazine’s most recent issue, which featured Bird on its cover and was created by artist Chris Lloyd. The limited-edition Crown Royal Regal Apple x Franchise gear that will be available at thisisfranchise.com and the behind-the-scenes content in the magazine commemorating Bird’s game-changing career was also revealed to attendees at the event.
“This game has given me more than I could ever imagine. I’ve worked so hard to get to this level and I really want to give back and support the communities that have had my back all this time,” said Bird. “Our fans live and breathe basketball and inspire me every day to bring my own style to the court. That’s why this partnership means so much to me. We’re celebrating the freshness of the game and the people who make it special.”
The Atlanta Dream and the Chicago Sky are recent additions to the company’s sponsorship of women’s basketball teams and players. Apple also promotes the changemakers who dominate the sport on and off the court. The unique content emphasizes how Bird has influenced basketball and its culture and empowered upcoming trailblazers.
“Crown Royal Regal Apple is all about self-expression, on and off the court,” said Nicky Heckles, Vice President of Crown Royal. “Like Sue, we are proud to champion and encourage trailblazers everywhere to stay fresh and give back to the communities they influence and serve every day.”
With branding from Crown and Franchise Issue 07 and Bird’s distinctive autograph, the Franchise collaboration’s green Crown Royal Regal Apple bag honors Sue Bird, #10, and her final season. Fans over the age of 21 may purchase this one-of-a-kind masterpiece from a limited run of 200 bespoke items at thisisfranchise.com, along with the most recent issue of the magazine and the ingredients for the Royal Dime, a specially crafted Sue Bird x Crown Royal Regal Apple cocktail.
Crown Royal will contribute $20,000 to the Black Future Co-op Fund, or $100 for every piece manufactured. The Black Future Co-op Fund is the first Black-led nonprofit in Washington State and is ideally situated to drive revolutionary change with Black Washingtonians. This is accomplished in part by the organization’s ‘We See You’ grants, which recognize the crucial work carried out daily by Black leaders on behalf of Black Washingtonians.
“We have seen how truly impactful the player-activists in Seattle have been in the Black community, with Sue and her teammates — past and present — working to amplify Black women’s efforts and be a force for change,” said T’wina Nobles, Chief Executive Officer at Black Future Co-op Fund. “We greatly appreciate the support of Sue and Crown Royal Regal Apple to lift up and invest in the Black Future Co-op Fund, helping us to create for ourselves a new model of philanthropy that ignites Black generational wealth, health, and well-being throughout the state.”
As a culmination of the legacy she is leaving behind, Crown Royal Regal Apple will continue to publish entries from Bird’s diary on social media for the rest of this final season to share behind-the-scenes content and acknowledge the impact she has had and will continue to have on the game’s culture.