CLEVELAND, Ohio (April 29, 2021) — The National Society of Black Sports Professionals, Inc. (BSP) celebrated its national relaunch by announcing multiple strategic projects during the Cleveland Power of Sport Summit to begin NFL Draft Weekend.
BSP’s vision is to be the leading advocate and talent pipeline for Black professionals within the business operations of sports and adjacent industries. The organization’s chapter model is a career accelerant in connecting, empowering and advancing diverse sports executives, while also supporting national and local industry organizations in the areas of recruitment, retention, development and advancement.
With nearly 100 individuals in attendance at the summit’s session for “Advancing Representation of Racial Equity in Sports,” BSP launched membership for the organization and announced three strategic projects. Members in Cleveland for the NFL Draft joined others from BSP’s national office, the Cleveland chapter and Minorities in Sports Business (MiS) to announce collaborative partnerships with the Color of Sports on the “Black Experience in Sports” Research Initiative and Diverse Representation for its Sports Executive Pipeline Program. Additionally, BSP Cleveland announced a new partnership between the Cleveland Browns and the Marcus Graham Project.
- Color of Sports “Black Experience in Sports” Research Initiative
Sport is one of the most powerful platforms in the world for change, however in the front office and on the business side of sports, little progress has been made to dismantle systemic barriers and advance racial equity. This project is a first of its kind, comprehensive and industry-wide initiative which serves to quantify and profile the experience of Black professionals in the business of sports, while amplifying our voices to new heights to provoke change. Registration opened today and will go through May 24, with the survey conducted through June 19.
- Diverse Sports Executives Pipeline Program
The Diverse Sports Executives Pipeline Program is a three-month program to increase racial diversity and close the racial gap at the C-suite level of professional sports teams and leagues. The program would provide one-on-one mentorship, professional executive coaching, speaker series and more for 10 individuals accepted into the program, which is slated to last June-September 2021.
“The landscape for belonging in the sports industry has changed so much and we join the collective of our Black and brown colleagues, allies and organizations in that shared and growing urgency,” said Bruce Wimbish, BSP president and vice president at Anomaly Sports group. “We look forward to realizing more of our potential in the dual approach as a career accelerant in positioning and developing Black Sports Professionals, while also partnering with sports organizations to be a resource for diverse hiring and elevating practices.”
Nicole Britenriker, BSP National vice president and senior team talent advisor with the NBA, added: “The excuse given that there aren’t places to go to find diverse candidates for the business of sports is no longer acceptable because we represent a vast and deep pipeline of sports professionals and students from all sectors of the sports industry. We look forward to doing our part to deepen and nurture the pipeline that already exists in our chapters within major sports markets and beyond because the urgency and momentum to advance belonging in sports remains strong.”
BSP has been a grassroots organization for more than a decade and is completing the process to establish itself as a 501 C (6) non-profit organization. Along with the national office, there are 17 BSP active chapters with 11 chapters in various phases of development nationwide.
In addition to the collaborative projects announced today, BSP will continue to focus on building its operations as a national non-profit, while accomplishing three primary priorities.
- Membership: The national office will work with chapters on continuing to increase the value proposition for members, including a national directory through the BSP website and additional benefits and programming.
- Strategic Alliances: BSP will transition its status from a grassroots group to the “go-to” resource for sports business leadership and talent managers. To best do that, the organization will form strategic alliances with national sports organizations as our chapters form alliances with organizations in their market.
- Board of Directors: For BSP to achieve its short and long-term aspirations, the organization will fully form a national board of senior leadership throughout the sports industry.