ESPN is signing on as a founding partner and title sponsor of the Black Sports Business Symposium, which aims to create new opportunities for diverse professionals in the world of sports, and to increase Black representation in the industry.
Founded by HBCU Battle of the Brains founder and executive director Gregory Gibson Jr., NFL Network senior correspondent Steve Wyche, and Los Angeles Rams COO Kevin Demoff, the inaugural event is set to take place June 16-18 in Atlanta, Georgia.
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ESPN will host several events during the symposium, and also plans to recruit professionals in all stages of their careers. ESPn executives, on-air talent, and athletes featured in upcoming ESPN projects are all scheduled to appear. In addition, ESPN will also mention the symposium on-air and in its marketing and social channels, with other creative collaborations” throughout the year.
“It is essential that the sports industry reflect the diversity of athletes playing and fans cheering,” said James Pitaro, chairman of ESPN and sports content, in a statement announcing the partnership. “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.”
“Having ESPN step up to support every aspect of our vision and mission is incredible,” added 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.”