This past March, New York Life once again served as the title sponsor for the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament. As in previous years, New York Life used this sponsorship opportunity to serve the local community by partnering with the Boys & Girls Club in the tournament’s host city. This is a continuation of a broader, long-standing relationship between New York Life and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, built on a shared mission of providing community-level support to those who need it most.
This year’s tournament took place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, so the company had the chance to work with a clubhouse in its own backyard: The Madison Square Boys & Girls Club’s Navy Yard Clubhouse. One of six Madison Square Boys & Girls Club locations, the Navy Yard Clubhouse serves young people in Downtown Brooklyn by providing a variety of social and recreational programs.
“The people here want a better way for their young people...They want opportunities for them. And we're very, very happy to provide those services.” —Stan King, Director of Madison Square Boys & Girls Club
“The people here want a better way for their young people,” explains Stan King, Director of Madison Square Boys & Girls Club. “They want opportunities for them. And we're very, very happy to provide those services.”
However, the unique challenges of the past two years have made it difficult for the Navy Yard Clubhouse to serve as many kids as it once did, and the pandemic continues to have a deep, lasting impact on children and teens who have suffered loss, isolation and stress. These negative impacts have disproportionately affected youth in communities like the Navy Yard and its surrounding areas.
New York Life tasked itself with creating renewed excitement around the club, as a way to reinvigorate the community pride that has long defined the Navy Yard Clubhouse. To do this, they chose something simple and practical: basketball jerseys. The Clubhouse had expressed a need for new jerseys for its basketball teams. So, instead of merely replacing the old jerseys, New York Life helped create an iconic new look to serve as a rallying point for members. They partnered with Awake NY – a popular NY-based streetwear brand – to create one-of-a-kind jerseys that capture the youthful, optimistic energy of the Clubhouse.
The jersey design was revealed during a midcourt ceremony at halftime of a first-round ACC Tournament game. Several Navy Yard Clubhouse members and staff were in attendance, in addition to representatives of New York Life. A few weeks later, a pep rally was held at the Navy Yard Clubhouse, during which all the members got to try on the jerseys for the first time. As a keepsake, each member received a custom Awake NY t-shirt featuring the new Clubhouse logo.
In addition to the jerseys, the New York Life also donated a new, much-needed lighting system for the Navy Yard Clubhouse gym, helping to provide a space of which the community can be proud for years to come.
King expressed his gratitude to all the partners that made this moment possible. “They're making our mission come true, and really making this a special place for our young people.”
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