Legendary tennis star and equity advocate Billie Jean King and e.l.f. Beauty are calling on U.S. business leaders and the wider community to “Change The Board Game” and put more women and diverse candidates on corporate boards.

“Fighting for gender equality and inclusivity has been the driving force in my life for 70 years. Change is often a slow process and those in positions of power can bring about change quicker. e.l.f. Beauty is leading change in the boardroom and showing us investment in equality and inclusivity will ultimately be rewarded with tangible results,” said King.

King previously partnered with e.l.f. to commemorate the 50-year milestones of the “Battle of the Sexes” and equal prize money at the U.S. Open.

In a new campaign that supports e.l.f.’s wider “Board Game” initiative, King picks up her racket and launches fact-filled tennis balls at an in-progress board meeting. She serves up, for example: Women make up only 27% of U.S. corporate boards, and The average U.S. corporate board is 88% white.

e.l.f. Beauty – Serving Facts with Billie Jean King: It's Broken

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e.l.f.’s long-time partner agency for purpose work Oberland created these comical but impactful spots with O Positive Production Company and Director Miranda Haymon to highlight the inequity at the top of America’s companies.

e.l.f. Beauty is one of only four publicly traded U.S. companies out of 4,200 with a board of directors composed of two-thirds women and one-third diverse representation.

“e.l.f. Beauty believes it is important that it reflects the diverse communities we serve, and that means everywhere. We believe that the inclusivity of our Board of Directors and Executive Team has been a driving factor in our extraordinary business results over the last five years. Doing the right thing is good for our community - and good for business: e.l.f. has proven that with 20 consecutive quarters of net sales growth,” said Kory Marchisotto, Chief Marketing Officer, e.l.f. Beauty. “We are asking our peers and partners to join us in increasing diversity in the highest seats of power. Change the board game, normalise diversity, change the world.”

“I was immediately drawn to working with e.l.f. because they are actually doing what everyone else talks a big game about. e.l.f. is not only way out in front of it with their own products, marketing and board room showcasing the impact that diversity has, but they are using their platform to also educate others,” said O Positive’s Miranda Haymon. “I loved how open e.l.f. and Oberland were as collaborators, and how committed they were to striking the perfect balance between humour and hard facts. BJK was a dream on set, from learning every single person's name to improvising and letting her personality shine. She's a trailblazer for equality and we are so fortunate to have her passion shine throughout the campaign.” 

Lisa Topol, Executive Creative Director and Managing Partner at Oberland says, "Billie Jean King is the perfect partner for this initiative. Not only is she a tireless warrior for equality in sports, but she takes the fight wherever it's needed, even if that means packing up her racket and serving some cold, hard facts in the middle of a board meeting. Every ball Billie Jean King hits serves up a real disparity, like the fact that the average U.S. corporate board is only 12% diverse and 88% white. This has to change. And if there's one thing about Billie Jean King and e.l.f., it's that they won't stop fighting for what's right until it's game, set, match." 

Haymon added: “ It's important to me that on set no one feels like the only one of them, so diversity was a key component from the very beginning. The first step to the creative approach was ensuring our crew reflected the values of the campaign. It was important that the spots felt engaging, using multiple forms of comedy to get the message across. By using physical comedy (balls hitting random office objects) to comedic timing (the incredible performances from BJK and our ensemble of actors) to intentional editing (expertly done by Paul Norling), so we could quickly captivate audiences into the Change The Board Game universe.”

The Serving Facts spots were developed to complement an informative animated Better Board video, also produced by Oberland, with powerful, proprietary statistics about the inequality that still exists on corporate boards in 2024. This initiative is part of an ongoing awareness-and-action campaign with additional activations to come.