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Cracker Jill asks fans to spotlight women athletes via social media to bring more visibility to future role models; Five participating fans will be selected to have a $10,000 donation made in their name as well as $500 to fuel their own sports endeavors

PLANO, Texas, June 11, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.

Cracker Jill Share Your Spotlight Sweepstakes
Cracker Jill Share Your Spotlight Sweepstakes

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. To enter, fans can share Spotlight Squad content from the @crackerjackofficial_ Instagram account or via an Instagram Story using both #CrackerJill and #ENTRY and tagging @crackerjackofficial_ using the proper hashtags.

"The Cracker Jill program is one I hold close to my heart because it helps provide aspiring women athletes opportunity and access to the sports they love," said Leslie Vesper, vice president of marketing, Frito-Lay North America. "Our new Cracker Jack study emphasizes the need for programs like Cracker Jill to continue sharing women's sports accomplishments directly with young athletes. These meaningful results highlight the importance of promoting our Spotlight Squad ahead of the global competitions this summer."

Introducing the Cracker Jill Spotlight Squad
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 (@ashleighjohnson): 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 (@jenniferlozano1124): 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 (@kennedyblades): 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 (@butcherbabe12): 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 (@noellelambert): 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.

"The accomplishments of game-changing athletes have created a pivotal moment for women's sports, and we are at an inflection point where people are finally recognizing how amazing and exciting women's sports are," said Allyson Felix. "By teaming up with Cracker Jack to shine a spotlight on our amazing Cracker Jill Spotlight Squad, I am hoping we can take that momentum and excitement to inspire the next generation of athletes to stay in the game."

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 50 years and counting, we at the Women's Sports Foundation have known that when girls and women play, they lead and we all win," said WSF CEO Danette Leighton. "That is why we are so excited to partner once again with Cracker Jack and Cracker Jill to help introduce the Spotlight Squad. It is our hope that this new initiative will help others recognize the fierce women athletes changing the game in their respective sport, while empowering more girls and women across the nation to keep playing."

For more information on Cracker Jack and the Cracker Jill Spotlight Squad visit and follow the brand on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

* Official sweepstakes rules and the full stories of the Cracker Jill Spotlight Squad can be found at

About Cracker Jack
Cracker Jack® brand has been an American favorite for over 120 years and is one of many Frito-Lay North America brands— the $25 billion convenient foods business unit of PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, NY. Learn more about Cracker Jack on Instagram (@crackerjackofficial_) on Twitter (@crackerjackUSA) and on Facebook (@CrackerJack).

About Frito-Lay North America
Frito-Lay North America is the $25 billion net sales convenient foods division of PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ: PEP). For decades, Frito-Lay's portfolio of beloved products has brought smiles to millions of families across the world, including Fritos® corn chips, Lay's® and Ruffles® potato chips, Doritos® and Tostitos® tortilla chips and branded dips, Cheetos® snacks, Stacy's® pita chips, PopCorners® air popped snacks and SunChips® multigrain snacks. The company operates more than 40 manufacturing facilities across the U.S. and Canada, along with a vast distribution network that services over 315,000 retail customers weekly through its direct-store-delivery model. Through pep+ (PepsiCo Positive), Frito-Lay is committed to creating positive change for the planet and people. Learn more about Frito-Lay at, on X (@FritoLay), on Instagram (@FritoLay) and on Facebook (FritoLay).

About Women's Sports Foundation
The Women's Sports Foundation exists to enable girls and women to reach their potential in sport and life. We are an ally, an advocate, and a catalyst. Founded by Billie Jean King in 1974, we are one of the first organizations to recognize the powerful connection between sports access, equity, and society. WSF has been changing the game for 50 years through its research, advocacy, and community programming, investing over $100 million to help girls and women play, compete, and lead – in sports and beyond – without barriers. A leader and champion of the entire women's sports ecosystem, WSF amplifies the vital societal and cultural impact that is made when girls and women play sports. All girls. All women. All sports® To learn more about the Women's Sports Foundation, please visit

Cracker Jack Women in Sports Study Results
Cracker Jack Women in Sports Study Results
Cracker Jill logo
Cracker Jill logo

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SOURCE Frito-Lay North America