NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ESSENCE Communications, Inc., the leading media, technology, and commerce company serving Black women and communities, today announces its major partnership with AT&T, Ford, McDonald’s, Target, The Walt Disney Company and UnitedHealth for the 2022 ESSENCE Festival of Culture presented by Coca Cola. This year’s festival is taking place June 30-July 3 in-person in New Orleans and virtually on

With an impressive slate of talent, the 2022 ESSENCE Festival of Culture presented by Coca-Cola will deliver diverse programming and impactful moments. The Festival will feature a global ensemble of performers, including: Janet Jackson, Nicki Minaj, New Edition, The Roots, D-Nice, the Isley Brothers, Summer Walker, Jazmine Sullivan Wizkid, TEMS and Beenie Man, country music sensation Mickey Guyton, hip-hop legends Method Man, Raekwon and Ghostface, the iconic Patti Labelle, Stephanie Mills and the hottest duo in rap, City Girls. On June 30, fan favorite comic and megastar Kevin Hart takes over the Smoothie King Center for a hilarious evening of comedy.

The festival’s diverse offering of experiences and activations are made possible by the following major partnerships and sponsors:

The Coca-Cola Company – Presenting Partner – Official Soft Drink and Non-Alcoholic Beverage Sponsor

Entering its 26th year as the presenting sponsor, The Coca-Cola Company ® is thrilled to continue its partnership with Essence as the city of New Orleans is once again filled with live music and entertainment.

AT&T – Official Wireless Service Sponsor

Thriving at the intersection of Black culture, creativity and technology, AT&T Dream in Black connects consumers for greater possibility.

Disney – Official Entertainment Sponsor

The Walt Disney Company joins Essence to celebrate “The Power of Joy” with Black excellence reflected across its brands, content, talent, and experiences.

FORD – Official Vehicle Sponsor – JOYRIDE

Ford returns to celebrate the journey to destination JOY with test drives, celebrity conversations, and a chance to win a brand-new vehicle.

McDonald’s – Official Quick Service Restaurant Sponsor

McDonald’s USA is proud to continue its more than 20-year sponsorship of the EFOC. The brand is excited to celebrate Black culture, community and youth through inspiring performances, celebrity appearances, panels and the recognition of the new McDonald’s Future 22 changemakers.

Target – Official Mass Merchandise Retailer Sponsor

Target shares in Essence’s mission to foster Black Joy and are thrilled to bring an experience to EFOC that celebrates Black women and their contributions to culture.

UnitedHealthcare – Official Health Insurance Sponsor

UnitedHealthcare invites you to find joy in health! Visit our booth to learn more!

Additionally, the multi-day and virtual experiences extend to ESSENCE’s dedicated global audience and feature performances, summits, panels and more including leading musical artists, influencers, and experts from around the world. Programming designed to inspire, delight, educate and support community growth include:

ESSENCE GU Day of Service™

*ESSENCE Eats™: Food and Wine Festival

ESSENCE Beauty Carnival™

ESSENCE Studios Center Stage™

ESSENCE Studios Fan Zone™

ESSENCE Media Row™

ESSENCE Community Corner™

ESSENCE Authors™

*ESSENCE Tech Summit™

ESSENCE Marketplace™

ESSENCE Get Lifted™: Gospel Celebration

*ESSENCE In His Zone™: Men’s Experience

*ESSENCE Film Festival™



ESSENCE Health Hub™

ESSENCE Wellness House™

ESSENCE Wealth & Power™ featuring Global Black Economic Conversations

ESSENCE Global Black Economic Forum™

*new experience for 2022

The evening experiences consist of the ESSENCE Evening Concert Series™, more food from ESSENCE Eats™: The Let-Out Edition and ESSENCE AFTER DARK™

“At ESSENCE we often say that the revolution must be financed. Our revolutionary intent to return Blackness to Greatness through the Black woman, requires an ecosystem of passionate and committed partners and allies to be achieved,” said Caroline Wanga, ESSENCE CEO. “So as we embark upon the nation’s largest festival by per day attendance, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture is honored to be returning with a family of partners that we are aligned to in mission and purpose, now and in the future.”

“At ESSENCE we believe in driving strategic engagements with our partners that drive significant value for our partners putting them authentically at the intersection of culture that our audience of Black women creates and influences every single day,” said Pauline Malcolm, ESSENCE CRO. “We are thrilled to embark upon a journey with our sponsors that will deliver and celebrate our theme of Black Joy for Essence Festival of Culture and beyond.”


Essence Communications is the number one—and only 100% Black-owned—media, technology and commerce company at scale dedicated to Black women and communities. With a community of more than 31 million Black women, ESSENCE inspires a global audience through diverse storytelling and immersive original content rooted in Culture, Equity and Celebration. The brand’s multi-platform presence in/ publishing, experiential and online encompasses its namesake magazine; digital, video and social platforms; television specials; books; and signature live events, including Black Women in Music, Black Women in Hollywood, ESSENCE Black Women in Sports, Fashion House, Street Style and the ESSENCE Festival of Culture.



Tavia Mapp-Deterville, ESSENCE

For PR inquiries, please contact: