This week, NBA team Los Angeles Lakers announced its partnership with vegan brand Beyond Meat. The collaboration is part of the vegan brand’s “Go Beyond” campaign which aims to engage sports fans nationwide with the idea of eating plant-based foods. “We are excited to welcome Beyond Meat as a new sponsor of the Los Angeles Lakers,” Tim Harris, Lakers President of Business Operations, said. “They are an innovative and forward-thinking company with established and successful relationships with NBA players around the league. Anytime we can align with a company that is looking to improve the wellness of our players, as well as our fanbase, we think it’s a very good fit and we look forward to a great relationship with Beyond Meat.” As part of the partnership, throughout the 2019 and 2020 season, Beyond Meat will connect with Lakers fans through various promotions and opportunities to experience its plant-based meat.
The partnership kicked off with a Beyond Meat truck serving vegan burgers outside of the Lakers’ solar-powered training facility in El Segundo (where Beyond Meat is also based). “As an LA-based company, we are excited to team up with one of LA’s most iconic brands to engage our local community and further amplify awareness of our delicious plant-based meats that serve both body and planet,” Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown said.
To help promote Beyond Meat, Lakers center JaVale McGee—who transitioned to a plant-based diet in 2016—was at the launch event. “Shifting to a plant-based diet has been a literal game changer,” McGee said. “And I’m excited to have my two favorite LA brands partnering to make plant-based eating not only delicious, but accessible.” In 2018, McGee joined the Lakers after playing for the Golden State Warriors who won the NBA championship that year—a victory McGee, on his part, attributes to his plant-based diet.
Several NBA players are involved in the plant-based company’s Go Beyond campaign, including Brooklyn Nets’ Center DeAndre Jordan who joined the company in July at a NYC location of Dunkin’ to kick off the launch of its now nationwide menu option Beyond Breakfast Sausage Sandwich.