BSP and RISE Launch Sports Business Executive Accelerator as Partnership Enhancement

National Mentoring Program Designed to Drive Readiness of Future Senior Leadership to Begin at NCAA Headquarters During NBA All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis

The National Society of Black Sports Professionals (BSP), a leading sports business professional development resource and RISE, the national non-profit coalition of major U.S. sports leagues and media networks that uses sports to eliminate racism and champion social justice, have launched a Sports Business Executive Accelerator as a national mentoring program.

This Sports Business Executive Accelerator is designed to foster personal and business-oriented professional growth by connecting experienced leaders with inclusive, high-potential, mid-career mentees who aspire and have been identified by their organization as future executive-level leaders. The focus of the program is to guide the mentees in refining and honing the skills that deliver measurable business growth and to discuss what steps they need to take as their responsibilities and influence within their organization expands.

“The sports and entertainment industry is dynamic and complex and to navigate this industry as an effective executive that delivers meaningful results requires constant skill refinement and development,” said Kevin Griffin, BSP National Vice President and Ohio State University Associate Vice President/Associate Director of Athletics for Business Strategy. “BSP was founded on the principle of supporting professional development and alongside our partners at RISE, the Sports Business Executive Accelerator is the next step in our evolution.”

“Our goal with this program is to provide organizations with a concrete way to create a more inclusive workplace based on merit, expertise and sound business knowledge,” said RISE Chief Executive Officer Diahann Billings Burford. “In doing that, both organizations remain thankful to the continued support the NCAA has given us in hosting the launch of the Accelerator.”

This initiative enhances the partnership between the two organizations, which has included collaborative programming at national sporting events with RISE’s “Representation Matters” and “Critical Conversations” series, along with RISE to Vote (RTV), which leverages the power of sports to promote civic engagement by increasing the reach and impact of across the country through the 2024 elections.

The Sports Business Executive Accelerator’s model is:

  • Two six-month cohorts will be hosted in 2024 | (February-July) and (July-December)
  • Each cohort will have twenty (20) executive mentees and mentors
  • Mentors host monthly 45-minute 1:1 virtual coaching sessions to:
    • Provide guidance/advice to your mentee(s) in your area of expertise
    • Share their knowledge/experiences to assist mentees in overcoming challenges in achieving their goals
    • Review the career roadmap of the mentee and provide guidance
  • Mentees additionally will participate in monthly virtual group leadership development seminars that are guided discussions led by renowned executives and industry leaders.
  • The in-person kick-off event will consist of a half-day workshop, to be held in Indianapolis at the NCAA National Office during NBA All-Star Weekend in February.
  • Organizations would be asked to support their mentees through the $1500 program cost along with travel expenses related to the in-person workshop.
  • Accelerator executive mentors and mentees will be shared in January 2024.

If you or your organization is interested in being involved with the Sports Business Executive Accelerator as a mentor, mentee or financial sponsor, please engage BSP at

About BSP

BSP has been a career accelerant, connecting, empowering and advancing sports business professionals and students for more than 15 years through local and national programming and events, industry networking opportunities and DEI recruitment, retention, development and advancement support to organizations. The national footprint of BSP chapters includes: Atlanta, Bay Area, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, LasVegas, Miami/SouthFlorida, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/Twin Cities, New Orleans, North Texas, Orlando/Central Florida, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles/SoCal, Seattle, Tampa Bay and WashingtonD.C./DMV to date. Follow BSP on LinkedIn, Instagram, X and Facebook, or learn more at

About RISE

RISE is a national nonprofit that educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations. Through partnerships and programs, RISE inspires leaders in sports to create positive change on matters of race and equality. RISE’s vision is to create a nation unified through sports committed to racial equity and social justice. Follow RISE on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @RISEtoWIN or learn more at

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