All Elite Wrestling is unveiling its revamped community program, Sports Illustrated has learned.
The company’s outreach program has a new approach and new name: AEW Together. Led by new director of community engagement Katelyn Borden, AEW Together will focus on youth programs, equity, service and wellness. Borden and AEW senior vice president and chief legal officer Megha Parekh established those core pillars, and the relaunch of the program officially starts Wednesday with an American Heart Association–led CPR training for AEW talent and staff, which will take place before Dynamite in Dayton, Ohio.
Borden is a familiar name in pro wrestling—Steve Borden, best known as the icon Sting, is Katelyn’s father-in-law—though she is a newer presence in the industry. She has a deep background in nonprofit work, with experience in foster care, disaster relief, refugee assistance and anti-human-trafficking organizations.
“I have a passion for helping others and creating a better world, and it is an honor to be part of AEW Together,” says Borden. “Pro wrestling is such a community-based experience. We’re going to work in tandem with our fans, the community and nonprofits, and you’ll see that each week.”
In her role, Borden will secure and develop partnerships, as well as oversee the day-to-day operations. Her team consists of Amanda Huber, who will continue as community engagement coordinator, and a group of newly appointed AEW Together special advisers that includes Mark Henry, Jake Roberts, Shawn Dean and Paul Wight.
“It’s a good fit for me,” says Wight. “For decades, I’ve been following the core principle of giving back. That’s what this is all about. We want to enrich people’s lives. That is a wonderful opportunity, one we don’t take lightly.”
Wight has a rich history with nonprofit organizations, particularly with the Special Olympics. He is excited to play a significant role in AEW Together, especially considering part of his responsibility will be ensuring that the talent roster is involved in events.
“AEW Together is kind of like a new kid on the block, but Katelyn is the right person to build these partnerships,” says Wight. “She is going to build AEW Together, nationally and locally. It’s also a chance to help our younger talent embrace the responsibility that comes along with being a star. It’s a much more enriching career and life when you embrace that joy to give back. We’re going to make an impact, and we’re going to get involved in local pillars.
“Tony [Khan], Megha and Katelyn all see this opportunity as a blessing, and that’s exactly what this is. We want to help. We want to give back. We want to support. We want to help build together.”
Borden is going to emphasize building more collective community experiences, and she believes there is no limit to the way AEW can reach—and positively impact—the community.
“There is an excitement around everything AEW does, and now we get to share that and bring it into the community with stars like Paul Wight, Mark Henry, Jake ‘The Snake’ and so many others,” says Borden. “AEW has heart written all over it. That starts with Tony, and it reaches the roster and every person working here.
“We’re so excited to make an impact with AEW Together. We’re fighting for a better world together.”
Justin Barrasso can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.