After more than 125 years as one of sport's most iconic snacks, Cracker Jack is adding a new face to its roster, with the introduction of Cracker Jill to celebrate the women who break down barriers in sports. Tapping into the brand's rich history with America's favorite pastime, Cracker Jill comes to life through five different representations on a series of special-edition bags, which will be available at the start of this year's baseball season in professional ballparks across the country and through a donation of $5 or more to the Women's Sports Foundation.
"We are constantly inspired by the many women who are making history by breaking the mold, and we want to celebrate their achievements while supporting the progress," said Tina Mahal, vice president, marketing at Frito-Lay North America. "Cracker Jack has been part of sports for over a century, as records were made and rules changed. We've been so inspired by how girls and women are changing the face of the game, so in this spirit we introduce Cracker Jill to show girls that they're represented even in our most iconic snacks."
To extend its impact, Cracker Jack is donating $200,000 to the Women's Sports Foundation (WSF), a national non-profit that conducts research and advocacy and supports community programming, to help girls and women across the country reach their potential in sport and life. To further support the Foundation's work in gender equity, Cracker Jack is encouraging fans to donate to WSF via this link. As a thank you, Cracker Jack will send a Cracker Jill bag to fans who donate $5 or more, while supplies last.
"Our Foundation is an ally, advocate and catalyst to help unlock the possibilities in every girl and woman through the power of sport," said Danette Leighton, WSF CEO. "Representation matters - it encourages and inspires the next generation. It's wonderful to see Cracker Jill come to life, emphasizing the power that representation can have by celebrating women who've broken barriers."
One of the most well-known ways Cracker Jack is woven into sports culture is through the seventh inning stretch, where the lyrics of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" include "buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack." Tapping into this cultural cornerstone, the Cracker Jack brand partnered with award-winning artist Normani to reimagine this iconic song, updating the lyrics to include Cracker Jill and celebrate the tenacity and grit of women and girls in sports. Fans can listen to the song and watch the music video here.
"As a young girl, I remember being inspired by athletes and artists who looked like me," said Normani. "They made me believe that I could also achieve greatness as I watched them break barriers for women. I'm proud to be part of a campaign entrenched in inclusivity and empowerment because it's vital for young girls to see themselves represented and join in on the celebration of the achievements made by the women before them."
The barrier-breaking spirit of Cracker Jill was brought to life by artist and model Monica Ahanonu, an expert in color theory and a trailblazer for Black artists. Her colorful portrait illustrations resonated with the campaign goal of highlighting and celebrating women in sports through strong, determined and vibrant Jills. These unique depictions of Jill also celebrate the remarkable diversity throughout the country, as the five Jills were inspired by the most represented ethnicities in the U.S., per data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Truly embodying the campaign's mission, the team behind this initiative is led by women and underrepresented creatives. In addition to Ahanonu, the Cracker Jill campaign is fueled by powerful female and non-binary voices, including the "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" creative director, Ro Haber, the entire film crew, and the Cracker Jack team.
This collection of Cracker Jill packaging was created to coincide with the opening of the 2022 baseball season, but the intention is for Jill to continue to join Sailor Jack as a member of the team roster and part of the brand ethos.
To learn more about Cracker Jill and to donate to the Women's Sports Foundation, fans can visit CrackerJill.com.