Cracker Jack Debuts 'Cracker Jill Spotlight Squad'

Cracker Jill asks fans to spotlight women athletes, bringing on more visibility and funding.

The newly debuted spotlight squad.
The newly debuted spotlight squad.
Cracker Jill

PLANO, Texas -- Now in its third year, Cracker Jill, a purpose-driven campaign from Cracker Jack that aims to elevate and support women athletes, is introducing the Cracker Jill Spotlight Squad – five women athletes participating in five different sports on the global stage this summer led by legendary sprinter Allyson Felix. The Spotlight Squad furthers Cracker Jack's commitment to inspire the next generation of girls by raising the visibility of high-achieving women athletes to serve as role models.

To illustrate the importance of women role models in sports, Cracker Jack conducted a survey among 700 US teenagers and found:

  • Only 1 out of 10 (12%) US teenagers can name a single women's professional athlete competing on the global stage this summer.
  • Nearly 1 in 2 (45%) US teenagers cannot name a single women's professional athlete.
  • Teenage girls are 45% less likely to envision themselves being a professional athlete.
  • Teenage girls are 37% more likely to have quit sports.
  • Teenage boys are 1.8x more likely to currently play a sport.
  • 1 in 4 girls (28%) who have played sports would be motivated to continue playing if there was more visibility of women's sports.

To help bring more visibility to women athletes, Cracker Jack will encourage fans to use their own social media spotlight to share the stories of the Cracker Jill Spotlight Squad through its "Cracker Jill Share Your Spotlight Sweepstakes" starting June 12. Five participating fans will be selected to have a $10,000 donation made in their name to an organization that supports the next generation of boundary-breaking women athletes, as well as $500 to fuel their own sports endeavors.

The inaugural Spotlight Squad includes a diverse representation of athletes across numerous sports to inspire young women to see themselves and feel empowered to stay in the game they love. This group of exceptional women athletes who will be guided by accomplished athlete Allyson Felix includes:

Ashleigh Johnson, Water Polo: Ashleigh Johnson is a world-renowned water polo player and a four-time World Aquatics Champion. Passionate about furthering diversity and equity in aquatics, Ashleigh deeply believes in the impact of learn-to-swim programs, especially those that ensure that underrepresented communities have access to swimming opportunities.

Jennifer Lozano, Boxing: Born in the border town of Laredo, Texas, Jennifer earned the nickname "La Traviesa" (The Troublemaker) from her grandmother. She began boxing at nine and has competed in some of the biggest championships in the world.

Kennedy Blades, Wrestling: Kennedy Blades is a world-renowned American wrestler. She has won multiple national and international titles, and at age 12 was the first woman to win a state title in Illinois. A Wyoming Seminary graduate, she is currently a student at Arizona State and ranked top five in the nation.

Lindsey Zurbrugg, Wheelchair Basketball: Lindsey's journey in wheelchair basketball began after she sustained a spinal cord injury from an undiagnosed birth defect at the age of 13. She made her mark on numerous teams while earning two collegiate national championships and success on the world stage. Her passions include teaching young athletes about nutrition.

Noelle Lambert, Para Track & Field: After graduating cum laude from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Noelle tried her hand at the 100-meter sprint, where she quickly set a new women's record. Noelle says her accident is the best thing that ever happened to her as she is now able to help others by sharing her experience. She currently holds the US record in the long jump in her classification.

In addition to delivering $50,000 in donations to non-profits through its sweepstakes this year, Cracker Jack is donating $200,000 to the Women's Sports Foundation (WSF) for the third consecutive year to support WSF's mission to help girls and women play, compete, and lead – in sports and beyond – without barriers. To date, the partnership between Cracker Jack and WSF has invested a total of $600,000 to help expand access and opportunities for more than 29,000 girls and women in sports.

For more information on Cracker Jack and the Cracker Jill Spotlight Squad visit