‘Representation matters’: Frito-Lay launches artist-inspired Cracker Jill packs to laud diversity in women sports

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

The five special edition packs of Cracker Jill feature the most represented ethnicities in the US, as per data from the US Census Bureau. Pic: PepsiCo Frito-Lay
The five special edition packs of Cracker Jill feature the most represented ethnicities in the US, as per data from the US Census Bureau. Pic: PepsiCo Frito-Lay

Related tags: PepsiCo Frito-Lay, Cracker Jack, diversity and inclusion, Women's Sports Foundation, Monica Ahanonu, women empowerment, sports, American baseball

Cracker Jack – which has a proud 125-year association with baseball – has added a new face to its roster with the introduction of Cracker Jill, to celebrate the females who break down barriers in sports.

The PepsiCo Frito-Lay brand is bequeathing $200k to the Women’s Sports Foundation​ and is encouraging fans to also donate $5 or more,​ in exchange of a ‘thank-you’ special-edition Cracker Jill pack.

The barrier-breaking spirit of the new release has been brought to life by Monica Ahanonu, an expert in colour theory, model and a trailblazer for Black artists.

Normani x Cracker Jill_1

Her colourful portraits resonate the campaign’s nod to strong, determined and vibrant Jills, while also hailing America’s remarkable diversity. The five Jill packs were inspired by the most represented ethnicities in the US, as per data from the US Census Bureau.

“We are constantly inspired by the many women who are making history by breaking the mould, and we want to celebrate their achievements while supporting the progress,”​ said Tina Mahal, VP of marketing for Frito-Lay North America.

“Cracker Jack has been part of sports for over a century, as records were made and rules changed. We've been so inspired by how girls and women are changing the face of the game, so in this spirit we introduce Cracker Jill to show girls that they're represented even in our most iconic snacks.”

Empowering communities

The Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) is a national non-profit dedicated to help American girls and women reach their potential in sport and life.

Founded by Billie Jean King in 1974, WSF has positively shaped the lives of millions of youth, high school and collegiate student-athletes, elite athletes and coaches.

“Our Foundation is an ally, advocate and catalyst to help unlock the possibilities in every girl and woman through the power of sport,”​ said Danette Leighton, WSF CEO.

“Representation matters – it encourages and inspires the next generation.We’re building a future where every girl and woman can #KeepPlaying and unlock the lifelong benefits of sport participation.

“It's wonderful to see Cracker Jill come to life, emphasising the power that representation can have by celebrating women who've broken barriers.”

Reimagining an American classic

Cracker Jack’s bond to sport is woven in the unofficial anthem of American baseball with the lyrics “buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack”​ in the chorus. In the seventh inning, it is traditional for fans to stand up and belt out Take Me Out to the Ball Game.

Tapping into this cultural cornerstone, award-winning artist Normani was tasked to reimagine this iconic song, updating the lyrics to include Cracker Jill and celebrate the tenacity and grit of women in sports.

“As a young girl, I remember being inspired by athletes and artists who looked like me​,” said Normani.

“They made me believe that I could also achieve greatness as I watched them break barriers for women.

“I'm proud to be part of a campaign entrenched in inclusivity and empowerment because it's vital for young girls to see themselves represented and join in on the celebration of the achievements made by the women before them.”

In addition to Ahanonu, the Cracker Jill campaign has been fuelled by powerful female and non-binary voices, including creative director Ro Haber, the entire film crew and the Cracker Jack team.

This special collection of Cracker Jill packaging was created to coincide with the opening of the 2022 baseball season – and will be available in professional ballparks, while stocks last – but PepsiCo plans for to have Jill join Sailor Jack as a permanent member of the team.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

A Tin Pan Alley song written by Jack Norworth on scrap paper on a train ride to Manhattan; music by Albert Von Tilze; and originally sung by Edward Meeker, recorded in 1908 on a phonograph cylinder.

Katie Casey was baseball mad,

Had the fever and had it bad.

Just to root for the home town crew,

Ev'ry sou

Katie blew.

On a Saturday her young beau

Called to see if she'd like to go

To see a show, but Miss Kate said "No,

I'll tell you what you can do:"

 

Chorus:

Take me out to the ball game,

Take me out with the crowd;

Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,

I don't care if I never get back.

Let me root, root, root for the home team,

If they don't win, it's a shame.

For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out,

At the old ball game.

 

Katie Casey saw all the games,

Knew the players by their first names.

Told the umpire he was wrong,

All along,

Good and strong.

When the score was just two to two,

Katie Casey knew what to do,

Just to cheer up the boys she knew,

She made the gang sing this song.

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