JCPenney and Muhammad Ali Announce a Long-Term Strategic Partnership that Features the G.O.A.T. as the Amplifier for JCPenney’s Goodwill Mission and Community Initiatives

JCPenney today announced that it has partnered with Muhammad Ali Enterprises, appointing the global icon as its Goodwill Ambassador. Through the long-term charitable partnership, Ali’s Six Core Principles will be integrated into JCPenney’s community initiatives and utilized to uplift JCPenney’s corporate mission to live by James Cash Penney’s Golden Rule. The partnership will kick off on Nov. 30 with the ‘Be The Greatest’ campaign in honor of Giving Tuesday.

To kick off the partnership, JCPenney has engaged the nonprofit Step Up to serve as the inaugural charitable partner. In celebration of Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving on Nov. 30, JCPenney and Muhammad Ali will launch the ‘Be The Greatest’ campaign to inspire people to lift others up and be their best selves.

Step Up propels young women facing system barriers to pursue their dreams of success by empowering them to become confident, career-focused, and ready to join the next generation of leaders. Step Up’s purpose fundamentally aligns with Ali’s Six Core Principles and JCPenney’s values. Ali’s monumental life and journey were fueled by Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Spirituality, and Respect. These Six Core Principles were the foundation of his activism and today, serve to inspire greatness in others. The ‘Be The Greatest’ campaign is an evergreen initiative that will tap into Ali’s guiding principles and aim to inspire JCPenney associates and customers to make a difference in their communities.

‘Be The Greatest’ kicks off this holiday season with a virtual livestream event featuring a surprise guest from Muhammad Ali Enterprises, members of the JCPenney community, and Step Up leaders, students, and alumni. The occasion will be marked by a $100,000 donation to Step Up from JCPenney.

“I have always believed that Muhammad belonged to the world,” said Lonnie Ali. “The principles by which he lived are more relevant than ever in 2021. I know that Muhammad would be honored to see his Six Core Principles illuminated by JCPenney and extended to the young women of Step Up.”

“We are incredibly honored to partner with one of the most influential humanitarians of all time to inspire greatness in others,” said Andre Joyner, senior vice president and chief human resources officer at JCPenney. “Muhammad Ali’s Six Core Principles are a natural extension of JCPenney’s founding principle of the Golden Rule—to treat others as we would like to be treated.  We’re excited to launch ‘Be The Greatest’ with Step Up, especially during this season of giving.”

JCPenney has supported Step Up since 2018 by providing grants for their Young Luminaries program, prom dress shopping sprees, associate mentoring opportunities, and most recently a virtual panel in association with International Women’s Day and JCPenney’s Women’s Initiative Networking Group of Success (WINGS) Business Resource Team.

The partnership was created by Authentic Brands Group (ABG), a brand development, marketing, and entertainment company, which owns Muhammad Ali Enterprises in partnership with Lonnie Ali as trustee of the Muhammad Ali Family Trust (MAFT).