Becky Hammon knows a few things about breaking barriers and repping gender equality on and off the basketball court. Eight years ago, the Olympian and WNBA standout joined the San Antonio Spurs as the NBA's first full-time female assistant coach. As 2022 began, she became head coach of the WNBA's Las Vegas Aces.
And this month, Hammon brought her expertise to "She's Connected by AT&T," an initiative that spotlights the multi-dimensional nature of female athletes and supports their efforts to blaze new trails with startups and nonprofits.
In a three-minute online film from marketing agency Wasserman and Playmaker director Shirley Williams, Hammon discusses the importance of mentorship, discipline and keeping a positive attitude. She also coaches Rian, a talented high-schooler, one-on-one, sharing smooth moves and sage advice:
Here's a :15 edit:
Hammon says companies like AT&T "are leading the charge to inspire change in the view of gender roles and that men and women can do anything they put their minds to. I'm proud to be able to mentor girls like Rian so they can become the change we want to see."
She adds: "An important mentor later in my life has been Dr. Rene Rochester, who is the first African American to earn a Doctor of Education degree with a concentration in Health Education from the University of Texas. She's taught me that nothing can stand in your way, and she should be an inspiration to us all."
Chiney Ogwumike, Sue Bird, Maria Fassi and Alex Morgan have appeared in previous "She's Connected" installments:
A key sponsor of the WNBA, AT&T believes "She's Connected" can help transform a cultural landscape where less than 10 percent of media coverage focuses on women's sports. As if that weren't disheartening enough, by some estimates, female leagues, teams and athletes receive less than 1 percent of all corporate sponsorship dollars. (Of late, brands such as AT&T, Buick, Michelob and Degree have launched programs to close such gaps.)
"She's Connected" runs across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Twitch—plus Bleacher Report and Just Women's Sports.
Below, AT&T's Sabina Ahmed, the company's assistant VP, sponsorships and experiential marketing, discusses the campaign's role as an agent of change:
Muse: What inspired AT&T to launch the program?
Sabina Ahmed: As we began to think about how AT&T could use its brand and scale to positively impact women in sports, two words came to the forefront: authenticity and action. We have started to see an uptick of brands sponsor a variety of teams and leagues, but we saw a white space that allowed us to take an action-oriented approach to directly invest in the lives of these athletes from a financial and otherwise beneficial perspective—providing products and services, mentorship, etc.
Through our work with leagues like the WNBA, and coming onboard as an inaugural WNBA Changemaker, AT&T's work is focused on raising the visibility of women in sports and entertainment to prove value in a way that challenges other brands to follow suit.
Can you describe some "She's Connected" accomplishments?
First and foremost, we have worked with incredible athletes to support them in and out of their professional careers. In regard to last year's series, we provided Chiney with a litany of products and services to keep her connected during the pandemic as she became the first Black woman to co-host a national radio show on ESPN. We became the first media partner with Alex Morgan when she launched her company TOGETHXR. We helped Maria Fassi to connect with Nicole Anderson, the president of the AT&T Foundation, for guidance and support as she worked to start a foundation, which is now up and running.
Lastly, Sue Bird utilized her platform to highlight an organization she was passionate about, The TransLatin@ Coalition. As such, we provided an array of products and services to keep them connected on the ground as they continue their fight for equality.
How did Becky get involved? Had she worked with AT&T before?
As a longtime member of the community in San Antonio—where AT&T used to be headquartered—we had always wanted to work with Becky Hammon. With her storied career, she has worked to uplift women and pave her own, unchartered path. That is why she is an incredible fit for this program, and why we wanted to give her the microphone to tell her story in her words.
Can you talk about making the latest film?
Everything she shared in her piece and with her mentee Rian, she embodied and brought to set. She was easygoing but fierce. She was professional but fun. Not to mention fly and fabulous. Rian was beyond grateful to spend a day with someone she sees as a mentor, and we were so grateful to have been able to have a hand in making that happen.
Executive Producer: Shawn Rubin
Director: Shirley Williams
Line Producer: Janette Lynott
Senior Post Producer: Manny Muñoz
Creative Strategist: Lauren Porter
Senior Creative Strategist: Victoria Chiang
Production Manager: Edrei Hutson
Director of Photography: Jonny Kapps
B - Camera: Brent Strong
1st Assistant Camera: Matt Caballero
2nd AC / DIT: Robert Burns
Gaffer: Ralph Lopez
Key Grip: Rocky Montez
Makeup: Donna Horner
Sound Engineer: Dave Novak
Production Assistant: Sari Wyss
Associate Post Producer: Yemi Abayomi
Editor: Terrence Williams
Motion Graphics: David Hall
Sound Mixer: Glenn Matullo
Colorist: Sean McPherson
AVP, Sponsorships and Experiential Marketing: Sabina Ahmed
Director, Sponsorships & Experiential Marketing: Bill Moseley
Director, Sponsorships & Experiential Marketing: Andrea Wilson
Sr. Manager, Marketing: Deborah Buentello
Corporate Communications & Sponsorships: Rhiannon Richards
Corporate Communications & Publicity Strategy: Alyssa McGovern
Lead Public Relations Manager: Dominique DiPietro
Social Media, Sr. Strategy Manager: Rachel Jenkins
Sr. Brand Marketing Manager: Shelby Bessellieu
Senior Director, Brands: Thelma Hughes
Associate Director, Brands: Andrew Mullen
Associate Director, Brands: Alyssa Little
Senior Manager, Brands:: Hillary Wyse
Associate Manager, Brands: Grace Halpern
Director, Brands: Jamie Burns
Manager, Brands: Trevor Rutledge