ESPN today announced it is a founding partner and title sponsor of Black Sports Business Symposium, which is designed to create new and broader opportunities for diverse professionals in the sports industry. Through the inaugural Black Sports Business Symposium in June and ongoing on-air, marketing, social media, creative collaborations throughout the year, both organizations will pioneer efforts to increase Black representation in all facets of the business. At the Symposium, ESPN will look to hire professionals at all stages of their careers across multiple functions, including marketing, content creation, and business affairs.
James Pitaro, Chairman, ESPN and Sports Content commented: “It is essential that the sports industry reflect the diversity of athletes playing and fans cheering. We are pleased to create this multi-year partnership with the Black Sports Business Symposium to support the important work they do and expand our commitment to diversity and inclusivity. Together, we can provide the roadmap for those interested in the business of sports and look forward to welcoming many talented Symposium attendees to the ESPN team.”
The invitation-only Black Sports Business Symposium, which will take place from June 16-18 in Atlanta, will serve as a hub for Black talent acquisition, engagement, and development for sports organizations. Business executives, on-air talent, athletes featured in upcoming ESPN films, and talent acquisition team members from
ESPN will participate in the event. ESPN will plan and program several events, including:
• The Symposium’s opening town hall
• Fifty50 event that aligns with ESPN’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of Title IX
• Innovation lab that will give attendees a glimpse into the future of sports
• Studio production walk-through of current shows and content
• Wellness initiatives designed to facilitate mind, body, spirit balance even in a corporate atmosphere
• Talent acquisition and mentoring
• Closing event awards gala
Brian Lockhart, Senior Vice President, ESPN+ Original Content and ESPN Films, added: “With this partnership, ESPN and Black Sports Business Symposium are putting an emphasis on building a sustainable talent pipeline that spans from recent graduates to an early executive pool. Our mission is to give Black talent a stage that allows them access and opportunity, and allow ESPN to recruit, develop and engage diverse talent throughout our inclusive company.”
The Black Sports Business Symposium was founded by HBCU Battle of the Brains Founder and Executive Director Gregory Gibson Jr., NFL Network Senior Correspondent Steve Wyche, and Los Angeles Rams Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff.
“Having ESPN step up to support every aspect of our vision and mission is incredible,” said Gibson. “The sports business expertise, talent cultivation abilities, and true commitment to a diverse workforce of ESPN mean it is the ideal founding partner to enable us to make Black Sports Business Symposium the truly impactful, life-changing organization we know that it can be.”
Additional information about the Symposium, including keynote speakers will be available soon at www.blacksportsbiz.com.