After a strong close to its 2022 season, the New York Liberty is looking for bigger and better in 2023. Next year’s schedule was announced on Nov. 30 as the team also spotlighted Black women-owned businesses in Brooklyn. The Liberty’s mascot, Ellie, paid a visit to each of the businesses, getting a courtside view of their unique excellence.

“It was a fun day for Ellie,” said Liberty chief brand officer Shana Stephenson. “Ellie really took all of Brooklyn in.”

The Liberty announced its schedule with a lighthearted video campaign. The four businesses are part of The Social Justice Fund’s Brooklyn EXCELerate program, a character-based loan program that supports Brooklyn’s BIPOC business owners following the pandemic. Led by Liberty governor Clara Wu Tsai, The Social Justice Fund focuses on racial justice and the economic recovery of Brooklyn post-pandemic. 

“Everything that we do from the marketing side has to check off three boxes. How do we show up in the community? How do we amplify what we’re doing on the court? After all, we’re a basketball team. Culture is the third big part of who we are as an organization,” says Stephenson.

This campaign was a way for the Liberty to meet its tenets in a creative way. The four businesses are Donna Prescott Beauty, Jones Family Touch Day Care, The Amulet Factory and Therapy Wine Bar 2.0. Fans can get a glimpse of each business on the Liberty’s social media platforms and video will run next season on the jumbotron. 

“I thought how fun would it be if we got Ellie to go visit some of these businesses and allowed us to amplify and raise awareness,” said Stephenson. “Through this campaign, introducing our community of fans to these businesses.”

Donna Prescott Beauty in Crown Heights offers luxury salon services, hair extensions and luxury wigs. Ellie is seen preening with a new ponytail. Samantha Beckford’s Amulet Fairy on Flatbush Avenue is a self-care center with crystals, aroma therapy soundbaths and community events. Jones Family Touch Day Care in East Flatbush has been serving the community for 20 years. Finally, Ellie wound down at Angela Terry’s Therapy Wine Bar 2.0 in Bed-Stuy. 

“We love to showcase these businesses and women in our community,” said Stephenson. Liberty season kicks off on May 19 at the Washington Mystics. The first home game is May 21 versus the Indiana Fever.

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