The Anthem release marks the continuation of Johnnie Walker’s ongoing efforts to celebrate firsts, and to fund and mentor people and organizations moving culture forward

NEW YORK, NY – March 24, 2022 – Today, Johnnie Walker, the most popular Scotch Whisky brand in the world, has announced the launch of First Strides, a long-term initiative that aims to celebrate, inspire and enable those people and organizations that are taking bold steps towards progress, and pushing boundaries to move culture forward for all.

Play Video: Johnnie Walker tapped Brittany Howard and Tia P.
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Johnnie Walker tapped Brittany Howard and Tia P. to create the official anthem for Angel City FC.

To kick off the program with a special nod to strides being made for women’s progress, Johnnie Walker and partners at the National Women’s Soccer League’s LA-based Angel City Football Club tapped five-time Grammy Award-winning artist Brittany Howard and LA-based artist Tia P. to create “Running with the Angels,” the first original anthem for a U.S. women’s professional sports team and the official anthem for the ACFC team. The song is an ode to the team’s trailblazing spirit, as the world’s first majority women-founded, owned and operated pro-soccer team, and will serve as a celebratory anthem for the team and fans as they take the field for their first season next month.

“This anthem is a celebration of women, of Angel City FC, of the city of Los Angeles, and of everyone around the country doing bold things to create positive change in the world,” said Brittany Howard. “I’m proud to continue creating meaningful work with Johnnie Walker that hopefully inspires people to keep walking together towards a more equitable future.”

Along with the anthem release, Johnnie Walker will enable more people to take bold steps towards progress through a series of First Strides grants. Anyone 21+ can apply for a First Stride grant but the brand will continue to dedicate funding to communities where inequality exists. Through a partnership with the go-to funding marketplace for women-owned businesses IFundWomen, Johnnie Walker will continue to support women entrepreneurs and fuel women-owned businesses. The brand is also introducing a grants and mentorship program with first-of-its-kind streaming service Blacktag, who is changing the model for pay equity among Black creators.

Particularly inspiring and impactful first strides will be identified by the ‘Walkers’ – a diverse group of thought leaders and cultural changemakers. This network includes powerhouse writer and producer Kenya Barris, actor, producer, and activist Sophia Bush, and comedian and creator Lilly Singh.

“Progress is the core of Johnnie Walker’s DNA, which is why we are committed to celebrating and propelling the people and organizations taking bold steps to move culture forward,” said Sophie Kelly, Senior Vice President of Whiskies at Diageo North America. “Our partners at Angel City FC, IFundWomen and Blacktag are doing just that - breaking the mold and creating more equity - and we are proud to continue partnering with them and others to fund and toast First Strides.”

The Johnnie Walker First Strides initiative builds on the impact of the brand’s ‘First Women’ campaign, launched in 2020 to celebrate the many women breaking glass ceilings to achieve monumental firsts. The campaign also highlighted the brand’s ongoing support of constitutional equality for women via partnership with the ERA Coalition, which continues today.

To learn more and apply for a First Strides Grant Program, visit For more information on Johnnie Walker, please visit, and follow @JohnnieWalkerUS on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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About Johnnie Walker
Johnnie Walker is the world's number one Scotch Whisky brand, enjoyed by people in over 180 countries around the world. Since the time of its founder, John Walker, those who blend its whiskies have pursued flavor and quality above else.

Six generations of skilled Master Blenders have pioneered and crafted bold new flavors that have transformed a small Scottish grocery store business, founded in 1820, into an international whisky business selling stylish, authentic, and iconic blends.

Today's range of award-winning whiskies includes Johnnie Walker Red Label, Black Label, Double Black, Green Label, Johnnie Walker High Rye Blended Scotch Whisky, Gold Label Reserve, Aged 18 Years and Blue Label. Together they account for nearly 19 million cases sold annually (IWSR, 2019), making Johnnie Walker the most popular Scotch Whisky brand in the world.

About Diageo North America
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan's whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Casamigos, DeLeon and Don Julio tequilas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE: DGE) and their products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. 

For more information about Diageo, their people, brands, and performance, visit us at Visit Diageo's global responsible drinking resource,, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice. Follow at Twitter and Instagram for news and information about Diageo North America: @Diageo_NA.

About Angel City Football Club
Angel City Football Club (ACFC), the 11th member of the National Women's Soccer League, will take the pitch in Spring 2022 and call Banc of California Stadium in downtown Los Angeles their home. The team is founded by Academy Award-winning actress and activist Natalie Portman, technology venture capitalist Kara Nortman, media and gaming entrepreneur Julie Uhrman, and Seven Seven Six founder and former Executive Chair of Reddit, Alexis Ohanian.  Former England Women’s National Team forward Eniola Aluko leads the team as Sporting Director, and Freya Coombe is the team’s Head Coach. Learn more about ACFC at and follow the team on social media @weareangelcity.

About Blacktag
Blacktag is a global interactive platform modernizing how we create and consume Black content. Blacktag mends the gap between brands and Black creators by providing a dedicated environment that delivers authentic Black subculture and alternative content to the masses. Blacktag serves newer and alternative audiences with modern branding and authentic content, while giving creators artistic and economic power through a multi-tiered and monetizable platform.

About IFundWomen
IFundWomen is the go-to funding marketplace for women-owned businesses and the people who want to support them with access to capital, coaching, and connections. Its mission is to close the funding gap for women-owned businesses.

It offers immediate access to capital through a premium online fundraising experience, access to small business grants from corporate partners, award-winning business coaching on all the topics entrepreneurs need to know about, and a network of women business owners that sparks confidence, accelerates knowledge and ignites action.