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J.C. Penney and Muhammad Ali Announce a Long-Term Strategic Partnership

The initiative kicks off with the “Be the Greatest” campaign this holiday season in partnership with Step Up charity.

J.C. Penney has announced 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.  

J.C. Penney 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. Step Up’s purpose fundamentally aligns with Ali’s Six Core Principles and J.C. Penney’s values. Ali’s monumental life and journey were fueled by Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Spirituality and Respect.  

“I have always believed that Muhammad belonged to the world,” says 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 J.C. Penney and extended to the young women of Step Up.” 

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

“We are incredibly honored to partner with one of the most influential humanitarians of all time to inspire greatness in others,” says Andre Joyner, senior vice president and chief human resources officer, J.C. Penney. “Muhammad Ali’s Six Core Principles are a natural extension of J.C. Penney’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.” 

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

The partnership was created by Authentic Brands Group, 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. 


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