Mercedes-Benz Stadium will host the inaugural Black Sports Business Symposium (BSBS) on June 16-18, 2022, in an effort to create a more inclusive and equitable professional sports community. The annual event was founded by sports industry executives including 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 Demhoff to serve as the epicenter for Black talent acquisition, engagement and development for sports organizations driving impact within the industry.
“After nearly two years of planning, we are extremely proud to launch this effort in an attempt to not only increase the representation of Blacks in sports off the field, but to support their career development as they look to advance in the various fields that power the games we love,” said Gibson. “Whether you are a sports industry veteran, a professional from another industry, or a student with aspirations of breaking into the business of sports, there is a place, and a community for you here.”
Since its inception, multiple organizations across the sports industry have come together to support BSBS through ideation, in-kind giving and industry support including AMB Sports and Entertainment (parent company of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United), The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, and the Los Angeles Rams.
“The Los Angeles Rams and Kroenke Sports and Entertainment are committed to building equitable pipelines for the next generation of talent in the sports industry,” said Demoff. “The pathway towards a more diverse landscape of sports executives starts by providing students and young professionals access, mentorship and skill sets to demonstrate their talent. We are excited to help create this symposium which will be transformative for not only the participants but also for our industry.”
Building on the recruitment success of HBCU Battle of the Brains, opportunities will be provided for Historically Black College and University students seeking a career path in the industry, professionals exploring career progression along with established leaders who wish to share insights and provide access to make BSBS a destination for Black talent acquisition and engagement. The Black Sports Business Symposium will include panel discussions, workshops, keynote and featured speakers, as well as intentional engagement between employers and prospective candidates, from college students and recent graduates to veterans of the c-suite. Coaches, both current and former players exploring future career options, and entrepreneurs also have a space carved out for them within BSBS.
“To have worked for so long to bring this symposium to fruition shows the dedication of so many professionals trying to create opportunities for others,” said Wyche. “The talent to enhance the quality of the workplace is in abundance. That talent simply needs to be discovered, procured and nurtured. BSBS is the perfect place for those relationships to be built.”
In acknowledgment of the need for greater diversity in sports and the barriers of entry that exist for young people, AMB Sports and Entertainment Chairman and Owner Arthur M. Blank has committed to sponsoring attendance of the first 100 students to BSBS through The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation so that deserving young professionals can benefit from the event.
“The sports industry is an exciting and rewarding setting full of options for people with various interests to have a fulfilling career, but the industry simply isn’t diverse enough at this time,” said Blank. “We want and need more young people from all walks of life to have a genuine opportunity to enter the sports industry so that the makeup of our broad workforce is reflective of our fans and the communities we operate in. We are honored to host the inaugural Black Sports Business Symposium at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and it’s personally important to me that we provide a chance for Black students to attend the event at no cost to them, to learn about what can be available to them, to network with hiring managers across all sports, and make connections that lead to internship and job opportunities. I strongly encourage my fellow owners across all major sports to actively help grow the talent pipeline and provide deserving young people who aspire to a career in sports the chance to be a part of this unique event.”
For information about the Black Sports Business Symposium and to learn more about how to attend, please visit https://blacksportsbiz.com.