JCPenney and Muhammad Ali Announce a Long-Term Strategic Partnership that Features the G.O.A.T. as the Amplifier for JCPenney’s Goodwill Mission and Community Initiatives

The strategic initiative kicks off this holiday season with the ‘Be The Greatest’ campaign in conjunction with Step Up who has been selected as the Inaugural Cause Partner

LEWISVILLE, Texas – (November 18, 2021) – JCPenney today announced that 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.

To kick off the partnership, JCPenney 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, JCPenney and Muhammad Ali will launch the ‘Be The Greatest’ campaign to inspire people to lift others up and be their best selves.

Step Up propels young women facing system barriers to pursue their dreams of success by empowering them to become confident, career-focused, and ready to join the next generation of leaders. Step Up’s purpose fundamentally aligns with Ali’s Six Core Principles and JCPenney’s values. Ali’s monumental life and journey were fueled by Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Spirituality, and Respect. These Six Core Principles were the foundation of his activism and today, serve to inspire greatness in others. The ‘Be The Greatest’ campaign is an evergreen initiative that will tap into Ali’s guiding principles and aim to inspire JCPenney associates and customers to make a difference in their communities.

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

“I have always believed that Muhammad belonged to the world,” said 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 JCPenney and extended to the young women of Step Up.”

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

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

The partnership was created by Authentic Brands Group (ABG), 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 (MAFT).

About JCPenney
JCPenney proudly serves customers at more than 650 stores across the United States and Puerto Rico and at the Company’s flagship store, JCPenney is one of the nation’s largest retailers of apparel, home, jewelry, and beauty merchandise with a growing portfolio of private and national brands. Guided by the Golden Rule, JCPenney employs more than 50,000 associates worldwide and has served customers for over 119 years, playing a vital role in the communities it serves. For additional information, please visit and follow JCPenney on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

About Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali is one of the most influential athletes and humanitarians of the 20th century and has created some of the most legendary moments in sports and civil rights history. More than 50 years after he emerged as a Gold Medalist in Boxing at the 1960 Rome Olympics, Ali’s legacy extends beyond the ring and he continues to be widely recognized as one of the most celebrated and beloved icons of all time.

His incomparable work ethic, signature boxing techniques, and fearlessness towards standing up for his beliefs, all contribute to the legend that is Muhammad Ali. Among his countless awards and accolades, he was named Sports Illustrated’s “Sportsman of the Century,” GQ’s “Athlete of the Century,” a United Nations Messenger of Peace, and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Amnesty International Lifetime Achievement Award. Muhammad Ali’s legacy is celebrated across cultures and continues to inspire today’s most influential athletes, artists, musicians and humanitarians around the world.

Follow Muhammad Ali on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Media Contacts:

Haley Steinberg – VP, PR & Corporate Communications, Authentic Brands Group

Michelle Ciciyasvili – Director, PR, Authentic Brands Group/Muhammad Ali


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