We know athletics and cannabis go together; so do media and cannabis (obviously). But now the New York Media Softball League (NYMSL) - which has teams representing The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, BuzzFeed, High Times, Euromoney/Institutional Investor, and current champions Chartbeat in its roster - has combined all three by launching a sponsorship deal with Kentucky-based CBD company Cornbread Hemp.

What Is The New York Media Softball League (NYMSL) And Why Is Cornbread Hemp's Sponsorship Important?

This decision follows the lead of Major League Baseball, which in October 2022 became the first professional sports league to announce an official CBD sponsor in the prominent brand Charlotte’s Web. Recently the Chicago Cubs and Kansas City Royals have also elected to partner with CBD companies. In the case of NYMSL’s arrangement with Cornbread Hemp, this is the first such sports sponsorship with a nonprofessional athletic league - but the potentials of its media reach are unprecedented.

The NYMSL was founded in 2007 by cannabis media veteran Steve Bloom, publisher of CelebStoner, and Forbes Editor-in-Chief Randall Lane. “For the first time in the 17-year history of the NYSML, we have a sponsor,” Bloom declared proudly in CelebStoner’s newsletter on July 5th. Bloom, who also serves as the league’s Commissioner, explains that shortly after Major League Baseball confirmed its partnership with Charlotte’s Web last year, he received an email from Jim Higdon, co-founder of Cornbread Hemp, who inquired about potentially sponsoring NYMSL.

“I was surprised to say the least,” Bloom said. “But we’re actually the perfect league for Cornbread Hemp to get the ball rolling.”

Why Is CBD Brand Cornbread Hemp An Ideal Sponsor For The New York Media Softball League?

For Higdon’s part, the move brings together many passions. A veteran journalist and author of the nonfiction bestseller The Cornbread Mafia, the writer has followed his heart through hemp for years, covering Kentucky for The Washington Post and cannabis policy for Politico. In 2012, while promoting his book, Higdon met several High Times staffers who told him about the NYMSL and their team The Bonghitters.

“The players in this league represent an important segment of Cornbread Hemp’s customer base – active adults dealing with the aches and pains that come from exercise-induced inflammation,” Higdon explained of his wish to become a sponsor. “And it doesn’t hurt that they work for some of the best news outlets in America.”

“As a CBD user myself for aches and pains, I thought it was a great idea,” Bloom wrote in the newsletter. “The players would love it.”

What Will Cornbread Hemp's Sponsorship Of The New York Media Softball League Entail?

Higdon co-founded Cornbread Hemp with Eric Zipperle in 2019. Built on Kentucky’s 250-year tradition of quality cannabis, the company has become a national leader in hemp wellness products. It provides premium full spectrum CBD products to online customers across the United States and can be found in natural food retailers including Fresh Thyme Markets.

“Our mission at Cornbread Hemp is to improve the quality of our customers’ lives,” Zipperle, who is also the company’s CEO, stated. ”This partnership gives us the opportunity to share that mission with the players of the New York Media Softball League.”

As per the sponsorship deal, Cornbread Hemp will join the league for its playoff series beginning September 9th in Central Park. Each player will receive a promotional hat embroidered with logos of both entities and Cornbread Hemp products, including CBD gummies and CBD topicals, which can help with exercise-induced pain and inflammation typical in adults who play organized sports well past their college years.

“I know our players will benefit from the effects of CBD provided by Cornbread Hemp,” Bloom added. “Athletes have been at the forefront of the movement to use cannabinoids, rather than pharmaceuticals, to treat sports injuries. Our players have similar needs and are happy that Cornbread Hemp has stepped up to the plate to make this historic relationship happen.”

The NYMSL’s 2023 season is currently underway, and the next three months will determine who wins the 16th championship title.

For more information about Cornbread Hemp, visit cornbreadhemp.com. To learn more about the NYMSL, visit nymsl.org.

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Steve Bloom

Cornbread Hemp

Jim Higdon

Eric Zipperle

Stu Zakim


Featured image: (C) Cornbread Hemp, courtesy of the New York Media Softball League