Inspired by the WNBA's #OrangeHoodie campaign and the attention that it brought the league, Michelle Wie West has worked with the LPGA to design the #HoodieForGolf campaign to spread more awareness for women's golf and amplify women's sports.
"We wanted to create this hoodie to help elevate the visibility of women's sports," Wie West said in an official statement. "More importantly, this is an opportunity to raise money for two charities that are working to change the face of golf and increase participation and representation of girls of color."
The cotton-candy pink and magnetic blue tie-dye hoodie with LPGA branding and logo were expected to be released Monday, but that was moved up after Golden State Warriors players Damion Lee and Kent Bazemore were seen wearing them on April 14. Wie West's husband, Jonnie West, is director of basketball operations for the Warriors.
Within three hours of the photos being shared on social media, the first batch of hoodies sold out. Since last week, the hoodies have sold out twice and will continue to be restocked.
All LPGA proceeds from sales of the limited edition hoodie will jointly benefit the LPGA Renee Powell Fund and the Clearview Legacy Foundation.
The LPGA Renee Powell Fund provides needs-based grants to LPGA/USGA Girls Golf programs to increase participation by girls in Black communities through access, instruction, equipment and additional resources to introduce girls to golf and keep them in the game.
Renee Powell, the head golf professional at her family-owned Clearview Golf Club, was the second Black woman to play on the LPGA Tour. After returning home from World War II, Powell's father, Bill, encountered racial discrimination on the golf course and decided to build his own course. In 1946, Bill became the first Black person to start a golf club when he founded Clearview in East Canton, Ohio. In honor of its 75th anniversary, the Clearview Legacy Foundation started a campaign to endow Clearview and preserve its important role in history.
"To me, it is so important to blend history with future and that is exactly what the hoodie project does," Powell, an LPGA member since 1967, said in an official LPGA statement. "I am not only honored but more than that proud to be a change factor in what this game looks like. Only when little girls see someone that looks like them will they feel confident and comfortable to jump in and try something different."
Last year, the WNBA's #OrangeHoodie campaign gained 16.4K mentions on Twitter with more than 623 million potential impressions. LeBron James, Trae Young and Naomi Osaka were among those sporting the hoodies, and the WNBA continued to gain popularity and television viewership rose on a regular basis afterward.
Wie West said that within the coming weeks, many professional athletes, celebrities and influencers will be seen sporting the hoodies including PGA Tour, MLB, NFL and WNBA players. Above anything, Wie West expressed how inspired she is to hear from various people on her social media accounts who want to be like Bazemore and Lee and sport the hoodies to support women's golf.
"My DMs have been flooding in with moms wanting to buy it for their kids and just people that are so excited to support our tour. It feels so great, and that's what's so great about this hoodie," Wie West said. "When I talk to my friends on the PGA Tour, when I talk to just people on the street, they love our tour. They are so supportive of our tour. They are so impressed by how we play. So hopefully this hoodie is an easy tangible way for people to show their support."