Like Jordan Brand, adidas is intensifying its investment in WNBA players.
The Los Angeles Sparks’ Chiney Ogwumike headlines the ConqHER campaign, a collaboration between Eastbay and adidas. Ogwumike, through her achievements, attitudes and ambitions, exemplifies the ConqHER ethos.
The No. 1 pick in the 2014 WNBA Draft out of Stanford University, Ogwumike was named Rookie of the Year, and an All-Star, for her first professional season with the Connecticut Sun. Even after missing the 2015 WNBA season due to a micro-fracture injury in her right knee and the 2017 season because of an Achilles injury, Ogwumike returned to All-Star form in 2018.
Ahead of the 2019 season, she decided to take her talents to Los Angeles, requesting a trade to the Sparks. In LA, she has blossomed into a rising media star at ESPN, becoming the first Black woman to host a national radio show.
Ogwumike, clearly, models how to break barriers. In fact, she understands how identities that can act as barriers should instead be seen as blessings. As she explains in a promotional video:
Because of what I was blessed to be born with, you know, being Black, female, the child of immigrants that came to the U.S., I never expected to be in a position where I’d be a broadcaster. And I think a lot of athletes never expected to be in a position where they’re advocating in front of cameras, constantly, for their communities. But these are the responsibilities we feel because we have something valid to say too.
Through the Eastbay x adidas ConqHER campaign, Ogwumike further articulates the values at the root of her success, as well as the values that will contribute to successes for an ever-widening spectrum of female athletes.
What ConqHER means to her
Conquer means more collaboration. And I think for so long the idea of women is that we have to be competitive with each other. I don’t think that’s true anymore. I think it’s more so we have to be collaborative with each other. And that’s how we conquer.
Being a part of the WNBA has been fantastic. Being a part of the media has been an ability for me to amplify those women that I am a part of in the WNBA. That to me is conquering something. It’s expanding our reach.
On using her voice and speaking her truth
When you have something to say, it’s one thing to say it and another for people to listen. To actually listen. That’s the challenge. For people who may not look like, think, talk or act like you, to really hear you, to really see you.
Don’t wait: to make your move, to follow your dream, to make your voice heard. Because someone will always be there to tell you, ‘No! You’re not ready or qualified or the norm.’ So, I’m gonna speak. And speak loudly. And I hope there’s someone behind me who’s not gonna wait their turn too.
Her message for the next generation
I would just tell them, ‘Your dreams are valid...No one should put you in a box. You can have it all.’ A lot people think that in order to be great you have to do one thing and do it as well as you can. Well, naturally, women are versatile. We are great multitaskers. And so, I think we’re not just one dimensional anymore when it comes to our aspirations professionally. You can literally have it all and you can do it all. The limit does not exist — be limitless.
To learn more about how Ogwumike ConqHERs all, both on the court and off, check out the adidas ConqHER collection at Eastbay.