Principal® Announces New Presenting Sponsorship of the John R. Wooden Award

Principal® Announces New Presenting Sponsorship of the John R. Wooden Award

DES MOINES, Iowa, January 10, 2024 – Principal Financial Group® and the Los Angeles Athletic Club today announced a new presenting sponsorship of the John R. Wooden Award.  The sponsorship reflects the dedication of Principal® to celebrate expertise, excellence, and equality in sports.  


The Wooden Award offers a unique opportunity to pair the shared values of Coach Wooden and Principal to support the women, men and coaches who are shaping today’s game.

Principal sponsorship of the Wooden Award is bigger than a financial commitment,” said Beth Wood, Principal executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “Support for this prestigious award reinforces the core values which have always been part of what Principal believes while, at the same time, celebrates the commitment and expertise demonstrated by these talented athletes and coaches.”

Principal will be recognized as the official presenting sponsor of the John R. Wooden Award for both women’s and men’s categories and the Legends of Coaching Award.

“The Los Angeles Athletic Club is truly excited to welcome Principal® as our esteemed presenting sponsor.” said Sam Lagana, Chairman of the John R. Wooden Award program. “With a legacy spanning over 140 years, Principal embodies a values-driven ethos. The Principal mission seamlessly aligns with the ideals upheld by the Wooden Award. Our recognition of exceptional young women, men, and coaches in collegiate basketball mirrors the dedication of Principal to acknowledge individuals committed to personal growth within both athletic and academic realms. We eagerly anticipate honoring the outstanding players and coaches within collegiate basketball alongside Principal and celebrating the inherent goodness present within the sport."

Beginning in 2020, Principal took steps to increase its impact on gender equality in sports—investing behind its mission to help everyone build a brighter future. Through its media support, Principal is an active endorser of NCAA Women’s and Men’s sports, helping amateur athletes forge a path toward a bright and secure financial future.

To further amplify the Wooden Award and uplift athletes, Principal is collaborating with ESPN via Disney Advertising to showcase the top women’s and men’s college basketball players through several player features starting in January with the Top 25. Top finalists will be revealed during various ESPN studio shows, and the women's and men's winners will be announced live on SportsCenter the day after each NCAA National Championship.

About Principal Financial Group
Principal Financial Group® (Nasdaq: PFG) is a global financial company with 19,500 employees1 passionate about improving the wealth and well-being of people and businesses. In business for more than 140 years, we’re helping more than 61 million customers1 plan, protect, invest, and retire, while working to support the communities where we do business, and build a diverse, inclusive workforce. Principal® is proud to be recognized as one of the 2023 World’s Most Ethical Companies® by Ethisphere2, a member of the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index, and a “Best Places to Work in Money Management3.” Learn more about Principal and our commitment to building a better future at 


1 As of September 30, 2023 
2 Ethisphere, 2023  
3 Pensions & Investments, 2022 


About the John R. Wooden Award

Created in 1976, by the Los Angeles Athletic Club, the John R. Wooden Award Program hosts the most prestigious honors in college basketball recognizing The Wooden Award Most Outstanding Player for men and women, The Wooden Award All-America Teams for men and women and the annual selection of the Wooden Award Legend of Coaching recipient. Honorees have proven to their university that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the John R. Wooden Award as set forth by Coach Wooden and the Wooden Award Steering Committee, including making progress towards graduation and maintaining at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA. Previous winners include Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), Kevin Durant (’07), Candace Parker (’07; ’08), Maya Moore (’09; ’11), Breanna Stewart (’15; ’16), and last year’s recipients, Caitlin Clark of Iowa and Zach Edey of Purdue.

Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed nearly one million dollars to the universities’ general scholarship fund in the names of the Wooden Award All American recipients and has sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with the Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament brings together Special Olympics athletes and Wooden Award All Americans and coaches in attendance. It is hosted at the Los Angeles Athletic Club during the John R. Wooden Award Weekend.

The Legends of Coaching Award presented by Principal will be presented to University of Kentucky coach John Calipari, along with the Wooden Award Men’s and Women’s Players of the Year on April 12, 2024.

For up-to-date information on the Wooden Award, please go to and follow the Wooden Award on Facebook at and @WoodenAward on Twitter and Instagram.

About Los Angeles Athletic Club (LAAC)

Founded in 1880, the Los Angeles Athletic Club (LAAC) was built on a foundation of athleticism, and culture, embracing a rich tradition of social and physical vitality. Today’s membership reflects the diversity of people in Southern California, drawing from the professional, business, arts, and university communities. Within its historic 12 story building, LAAC offers several fitness floors with state-of-the-art equipment, an indoor running track, the international squash center, an Olympic sized swimming pool, the John Wooden Basketball Court, the Neptune Spa, two restaurants, three lounges, a ballroom, junior ballrooms, along with a 72-room hotel, and multiple options for communal and private working spaces.  


Insurance products issued by Principal National Life Insurance Co (except in NY) and Principal Life Insurance Company®. Plan administrative services offered by Principal Life. Principal Funds, Inc. is distributed by Principal Funds Distributor, Inc. Securities offered through Principal Securities, Inc., member SIPC and/or independent broker/dealers. Referenced companies are members of the Principal Financial Group®, Des Moines, IA 50392.​ ©2023 Principal Financial Services, Inc. 3297874-122023

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  • Chris Acker
    published this page in News & Media 2024-01-10 09:06:27 -0800