Natasha Cloud has been making waves over the last year, and Converse took notice. A starting guard for the WNBA champion Washington Mystics, Cloud has been on the frontlines fighting for social and racial justice this summer. Converse recently signed Cloud to an endorsement deal, making her the first female basketball player to have her own shoe deal with the brand.
Cloud follows in the footsteps of some of her childhood heroes, including her father’s favorite player, Julius Erving, who was famous for toting Converse kicks. She will join other notable athletes like Kelly Oubre and Draymond Green as the three biggest Converse endorsees in basketball.
“It’s really crazy. I’m a small-town kid, grew up in Broomall. I was an underdog my whole life, even now in my career I’m still kind of in that underdog mentality. This is a dream come true,” Cloud told 6ABC.
The monumental deal is not only a dream come true for the WNBA champion, but also extremely important for women’s sports as a whole.
“When you’re talking about consistently trying to break down barriers for the next generation of female athletes, this is one of those things. I’m Converse’s first ever female athlete. And when I say that, I still get chills every time.”
As a member of the Mystics and now the Converse family, Cloud said she won’t shy away from using her platform for good. She recently wrote a powerful article for The Players’ Tribunechallenging athletes and everyone else to be vocal about the social injustices in the U.S. Cloud will sit out of the shortened 2020 WNBA season to continue focusing on social justice initiatives. Converse announced they would cover her entire salary, and made a $25,000 donation to a racial justice organization in Philadelphia near where Cloud grew up.
“People don’t really understand how important it is to be embraced by the brand that sponsors you. From day one, Converse has embraced me, regardless of being a female athlete.
Converse is leading the way in bringing more equity in brand endorsements for female athletes, and we hope that many others follow suit.