July 1 - 2021
Coffee Geography Magazine
What do two childhood friends and the NBA have in common? If you asked BLK &Bold co-founders Rod Johnson and Pernell Cezar that question just 5 years ago the answer would be simple: they both wanted to make an impact on traditionally underserved youth. Today, just ahead of BLK & Bold’s 3-year anniversary, their impact makes a big move as they announce an official beverage licensing partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA).
“Hoop dreams and backyard pick-up games” have turned into a formal partnership with the NBA where “BLK & Bold will co-brand, co-market, and collaborate [with the NBA] on the overall development and accessibility of BLK & Bold [products],” according to co-founder and CEO, Pernell Cezar. That’s only scratching the surface of the partnership, though. The first order of business? A brand new coffee blend in official NBA branded Eastern and Western Conference-inspired bags.
The Warm Up is a smooth medium roast blend with a combination of beans from Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee, and Central America. The flavor profile includes smooth caramel and fruity notes. All in all, this roast is an ode to helping you start your day like an All-Star.
Continuing the For Our Youth pledge, BLK & Bold is donating 5% of all proceeds to their pledge partners and the NBA is joining in by matching that contribution as a result of The Warm Up sales. Not only does this further BLK & Bold’s impact, but it also furthers the impact of everyone who purchases The Warm Up as part of BLK & Bold’s vision is to make impact accessible. With this NBA partnership, they’re doing that twofold.
An exciting part of the launch for co-founder and CMO, Rod Johnson, is that this is the new “foundation for how we [BLK & Bold] can get creative in the future.” Johnson made sure to note that the bag is a “big part of the experience” as the creative team didn’t hold back by any means. There are two bags that shoppers can choose from: a blue Eastern Conference and red Western Conference bag.
Each one dons the logos of different NBA teams from the respective conferences along the sides. In addition, customers can expect an exclusive limited edition trading card with bundle purchases of The Warm Up via blkandbold.com. This was truly a moment to reach and bring the best to the table, and both co-founders are proud of what they’ve been able to create.