By: CEO of Nuun Hydration, Kevin Rutherford (@Clean_Lantern)
At Nuun Hydration, our mission is simple: To Inspire More Movement.
Movement is not exclusive to a particular sport, pace, race or gender. It’s a universally celebrated expression of the human body. It is this mission that motivates every single teammate at Nuun to “walk the talk” and chase our individual pursuits of movement. It is a driving force for us to create and constantly improve our hydration products, which ultimately provide the tools for every single person to reach for their own personal best.
At Nuun Hydration, we believe that businesses with meaningful missions can and should act as positive change agents. As a sports nutrition company, we have focused on an initiative to “level the playing field” by helping to enable underserved athletes to reach their athletic aspirations. Among the many examples of such support, our commitment to our sponsored female athletes rings extraordinarily loud.
As of May of 2019, Nuun Hydration has already offered annual sponsorships to more female athletes than any other year in the company’s history. We are dedicated to leveling the playing field for women in sport by providing the resources needed to pursue their athletic dreams.
This past weekend, on Mother’s Day, a New York Times article, written by Lindsay Crouse, highlighted a gap on contracts with support for female athletes through their pregnancy. The story was centered around two of Nuun’s inspiring athletes: Kara Goucher and Alysia Montano.
As we learned in Lindsay’s article, early in their careers these Olympians endured financial, physical and mental hardships when they faced the reality of a “career-ending-event”…when they became pregnant. Both stories were heart-breaking and eye-opening.
There is a clear flaw in the system when female athletes are dropped from sponsorship contracts upon announcement of their pregnancy. At Nuun, we have always continued to support our athletes whether or not they podium, PR or become pregnant. We’ve never included termination clauses that would allow us to back out of our supported sponsorship of a partner in sport. When we consider our company mission, we recognize that the pursuit of movement has its ebbs and flows, and we stand behind our sponsored athletes despite “performance hindering” circumstances.
Though we have always supported female athletes through their pregnancy, Nuun believes it to be our responsibility to up-the-ante when it comes to setting an industry example. Therefore, effective this week, we will proactively and enthusiastically introduce a new clause in our contracts that explicitly formalizes our ongoing support of all female athletes throughout the duration of our term timeline, including through pregnancy. Our hope is that the allegiance begins here and spreads like wildfire across the industry as a best-practice for brands signing women in sport. Nuun’s addition of its contractual clause is one small step for leveling the playing field for female athletes, but we believe that a more hopeful future for women in sport begins now.
Our call to action: Join us in unwavering support of women chasing their athletic dreams while also raising our next generation of superstars.