Hi, everyone. I cannot believe it, but the 2020 Power Plays Gift Guide is here!!!!!
First of all, I need to thank Eleana Gudema for doing the heavy lifting to help get this together. Due to my ongoing, never-ending move, this would NOT have happened if not for her hard work. I’m so grateful.
Secondly, a friendly reminder that Power Plays subscriptions make a great gift.
Okay, friends. The structure of this guide is loose and I am already feeling guilty for the great organizations I am sure I accidentally left off, but this email is almost too long for me to send out and my credit card already has a virtual hole in it, so let’s do this. Happy gifting!
Buy these gifts to help support causes related to the Black Lives Matter movement
The proceeds from these sales go to help Black communities:
Breaking T — which will get multiple shout-outs in this guide — sells Say Her Name T-shirt ($38), and the proceeds go to the Breonna Taylor Foundation, a foundation started by Taylor’s family to support causes close to her heart, such as youth programs and scholarships for students pursuing careers in health care.
Phenomenal Woman is selling Justice for Breonna Taylor t-shirts ($45), and those proceeds also go to the Breonna Taylor Foundation.
Chicago Local 134 — the official supporters group for the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars — have a Black Lives Matter t-shirt ($25) and a Black Trans Lives Matter t-shirt ($25.00) for sale. All their proceeds go to the Brave Space Alliance, which describes itself as “the first Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ+ Center located on the South Side of Chicago.”
Chiney Ogwumike and Lisa Leslie teamed up to create the Front & Center t-shirt ($26) and donate 100% of their profits Lebron James’s More Than A Vote non-profit.
Finally, we have the Athletes Unlimited x Playa Society End Racism t-shirt ($30). Net proceeds will be donated to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
You can also buy this merch, empowering messages included
There is so much more merch to come:
We are huge fans of Breaking T here at Power Plays. As we reported earlier this year, their 4 Stars Only Adult t-shirts ($28) broke sales records in March, and their Bet on Women t-shirt ($28) made it into Dick’s Sporting Goods stores around the country this fall.
Speaking of collaborations we adore, I’m obsessed with this Playa Society x Ari Chambers Shatter The Ceiling long-sleeve shirt ($30). In fact, I highly recommend all of the Playa Society merchandise, especially the Playa Society Use your Game for Good T-shirt ($30).
Do you have any money yet, left? I CERTAINLY HOPE SO, we have five more categories to go.
Give cash directly to organizations
Most of this guide is about getting STUFF. But sometimes it’s best just to give cash. Here are few groups you might want to support:
HoodSpace Chi, a new non-profit founded by Sarah Gorden, a pro soccer player for the Chicago Red Stars, which helps girls of color find their space of flow through yoga, meditation, and sport.
Play Like a Girl, a charitable organization which uses the power of sports and active play to inspire young women and help introduce them to STEM fields.
Black Girl Hockey Club, one of my favorites, is a non-profit focused on making hockey more inclusive for Black women and their family, friends and allies.
Women’s Sports Foundation, the legendary organization founded by Billie Jean King in 1974, that, among other things, funds crucial research and provides game-changing grants to those pursuing opportunities in women’s sports.
Back on my Feet, an organization that combats homelessness through the power of running and other crucial resources. Due to the pandemic, this is a particularly crucial time to support Back on my Feed’s work.
Transathlete, run by the incomparable Chris Mosier, an invaluable resource that helps everyone find information about trans inclusion policies throughout the sports world.
Athlete Ally, an organization that aims to end homophobia and transphobia in sports.
You can also directly support athletes’ individual #brands
We don’t know what is happening with live event tickets right now, so sometimes it’s tough to know how to properly support the athletes we love so much. Thankfully, Power Plays have you covered. These products are all directly associated with and/or profit individual athletes.
It’s no secret how much I love the WNBA’s Arike Ogunbowale, which means I might have to splurge and treat myself to this Arike Metal Crewneck ($45) from the Arike Ogunbowale Shop.
USWNT stars Kelley O’Hara, Alex Morgan, and Allie Long have a line, Beat Everybody, with fabulous merch, including this Goals Mask ($10).
You simply *cannot* go wrong with Marina Mabrey’s This Is My Kitchen t-shirt ($26). I love WNBA players so much.
Obsessed with this Satou Sabally Masterpiece t-shirt ($30), a “custom design by Xavier Walker celebrating Satou as the unicorn of pro hoops.”
Sarah Gorden of the NWSL is back on this list with her Air Gorden Tee ($30), a genius design. Proceeds go to HoodSpace, Gorden’s charity.
As always, support the media that supports women’s sports
Obviously, this is a category near and dear to my heart, but I particularly want to focus on the top two sites on this list, which have been a lifeline for me the past few months, as family stuff and my never-ending move have made it hard to keep up with all the women’s sports news:
The Next is your 24/7/365 home for women’s basketball news and analysis. There is nothing this comprehensive out there, from the college to the WNBA to the overseas news you need. Subscriptions are $72/year or $9/month.
The Equalizer, meanwhile, has been covering the women’s soccer world more extensively than any other outlet since 2009. The Equalizer recently launched an Equalizer Extra program, which is a steal at $59/year or $5.50/month.
Once you’ve got those two covered, there are plenty of other ways to support media we love! In terms of podcasts, NWSL Analitica and the Southside Trap Podcast both have patreons you can support, as does Winsidr for WNBA news and Erica Ayala’s Founding4Podcast on women’s hockey.
Subscribe to The Athletic by following a link in an article about women’s sports, that way The Athletic knows what brought you to the site.
The IX Newsletter emails you daily links and analysis about all the major women’s sports. It’s yet another invaluable resource, brought to you by the team that brings you The Next.
There are so many books you need to buy and read
“We Ride Upon Sticks” by Quan Barry ($24.79); a novel about a 1989 high-school field hockey team desperate to make it to the state finals, that has rave reviews from Vulture and NPR and Oprah and many, many others.
“Sports Women Legends Alphabet Book” (19.95); the PERFECT way to introduce kids in your life to 26 legends of women’s sport. I just purchased this for my little cousin. Don’t tell her.
“One Life” by Megan Rapinoe ($25); um, this is Megan Rapinoe’s autobiography, need I say more? Okay, if I must say more, it’s the first Power Plays Book Club selection for 2021, so purchase for your favorite Power Plays subscriber.
“Fast Girls: A Novel of the 1936 Women’s Olympic Team” by Elise Hooper ($15.63); a novel about being a female Olympian in pre-war America.
“Girls Running: All You Need to Strive, Thrive, and Run Your Best” by Melody Fairchild and Elizabeth Carey ($18.35); a young adult nonfiction book written by Power Plays reader Elizabeth Carey that offers guidance and tools to young adults on their running journey.
“A Still Quiet Place for Athletes” by Amy Saltzman ($22.95); a workbook written by another Power Plays reader — this community is so incredibly talented — that helps athletes develop mindfulness skills that will help them achieve peak performance.
While we’re here, I might as well highlight the other Power Plays Book Club selections from 2020: “Sum it Up” by Pat Summitt ($17.00); “Futbolera” by Dr. Brenda Elsey ($24.95); “Course Correction: A Story of Rowing and Resilience in the Wake of Title IX” by Ginny Gilder ($20); “Loving Sports When They Don’t Love You Back” by Jessica Luther and Kavitha Davidson ($24.79); “Tigerbelle: The Wyomia Tyus Story” by Wyomia Tyus ($14.67).
If you have any cash left — check the couch cushions — here are a few other miscellaneous items you will love
Look, I am quite literally running out of room in this e-mail, so I’m going to quickly list a few other things that caught our eye: