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Leaders across professional sports teams, leagues and unions launch Pro Sports Assembly

The membership-led community is dedicated to advancing diversity and inclusion, along with cultural and gender intelligence, in the sports industry
September 10, 2020

White text on black background that states the Pro Sports Assembly Manifesto: "United in Gameplan, Diverse in Council. We are a community of leaders advancing diversity and inclusion in professional sports. Together, we create and foster a healthy..."

For immediate release:

September 10, 2020 (New York, NY) - Today a group of esteemed sports business executives have united to launch a first-of-its-kind, industry-wide, and mission-driven community called PRO SPORTS ASSEMBLY (“The Assembly”) - a 501(c)(3) organization for people who work in professional sports which aims by 2030 to achieve parity in opportunity, pay and leadership amongst its workforce.

Designed to keep leagues, teams and unions both knowledgeable and accountable for delivering an equitable and profitable future in professional sports organizations – The Assembly is a membership-led community that challenges its industry to advance diverse and inclusive leadership. It believes that by developing cultural and gender intelligence, as well as setting best practices of stewardship, mentorship and allyship, professional sports properties can drive innovation, bolster financial performance, capture new markets and increase brand loyalty. The Assembly is aggressive in its vision and stance to create the future of its industry through the #PowerofProSports.

“We are united in game plan, and diverse in council,” says Shareef Abdur-Rahim, President of NBA G League and Founding Advisory Board Member of The Assembly. “We organized our Founding Boards to represent the diversity that our industry-at-large needs to see. In order to truly advance collectively - we must use an equity lens in leadership.”

“At the core of the Global Sport Institute’s mission is to make a positive impact on the world through the lens of sport,” says Kenneth Shropshire, CEO of the Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University and Board Member of The Assembly. “Through research projects like our Field Studies, we’ve been able to examine the trends that precede the hiring data for important leadership positions in sport. In this work and in future initiatives, we’re keenly aligned with Pro Sports Assembly and its purpose of working towards a more equitable future in sport.”

“For every five athletes you see on the field of play, there are 95 people behind the scenes bringing that game to life,” says Laura Dixon, Head of External Relations for Spurs Sports & Entertainment, and Founding Governing Board Member of The Assembly. “The people who work for professional sports teams, leagues and unions now have a place to connect and collaborate on the critical issues facing our industry. The larger our membership, the more impactful we can be in our purpose of advancing diverse, productive and inclusive leadership. The power of pro sports is truly in its people.”

See below a complete list of The Assembly’s Founding Board Members (in alphabetical order):

ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS

Andy Loughnane - President, Austin FC
Cynt Marshall - CEO, Dallas Mavericks
Ese Ighedosa - President, House of Athlete
Hugh Weber - President, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment
Jessica Berman - Deputy Commissioner, National Lacrosse League
Kenneth Shropshire - CEO, Global Sport Institute, Arizona State University
Kyle Bunch – Vice President/Managing Director, Global Sports Venture Studios
Len Perna - CEO, Turnkey Search
Michele Roberts - Executive Director, National Basketball Players Association
Shareef Abdur-Rahim - President, NBA G-League
Shelley Zalis - CEO, The Female Quotient
Theresa Tran - Founder, The Offense
Tom Glick - President, Tepper Sports & Entertainment
Xavier Gutierrez - CEO, Arizona Coyotes

GOVERNING BOARD MEMBERS

Alex Chang - Chief Marketing Officer, San Francisco 49ers
Alison Roscoe - Vice President, Partnerships, Austin FC
Ann Seeney - Vice President, Human Resources, St. Louis Cardinals
Antony Bonavita - Executive Vice President, Venue Operations, Cleveland Cavaliers
Brandon James – Vice President of Basketball Administration/Deputy General Counsel, Spurs Sports & Entertainment
Brittanie Boyd - Vice President, Corporate Partnerships, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment
Cassandra Carr - Investor, Spurs Sports & Entertainment
Dan Gladstone - Senior Vice President, THINK450/National Basketball Players Association
Dionna Widder - Chief Revenue Officer, Houston Dynamo/Houston Dash
Keisha Wyatt - Director of Marketing, Dallas Mavericks
Laura Dixon - Head of External Relations, Spurs Sports & Entertainment
Molly Wurdack-Folt - Vice President, Partnerships, Detroit Tigers/Detroit Red Wings
Oracio Galindo - Head of Employee Experience, Los Angeles Rams
Raquel “Rocky” Egusquiza - Executive Director, Miami Marlins Foundation

In its first year, The Assembly will formalize its member network and provide professional development, as well as hold virtual forums, workshops and discussions. In addition, it will commission research, share tools and develop analytics around key indicators in professional sports - to be distributed amongst the membership as a benchmark and playbook towards ensuring a more fairly functioning workplace.

For more information, please visit: www.prosportsassembly.org (Website), @prosportsassembly (Instagram), @theproassembly (Twitter), https://www.linkedin.com/company/prosportsassembly (LinkedIn).

About Global Sport Institute
The Global Sport Institute is where diverse disciplines converge to thoughtfully examine critical issues impacting sport. As a cross-disciplinary enterprise, the institute’s efforts are integrated throughout the entire university — from engineering to sociology, to the athletic department and beyond — rather than within a single concentration. With an emphasis on expanding research, sharing knowledge, supporting innovation and advancing education, the institute’s mission is to use sport to create positive change throughout the world.

For more information visit: www.globalsport.asu.edu (Website), @globalsportasu (Instagram), @globalsportasu (Twitter), https://www.linkedin.com/company/global-sport-institute (LinkedIn).

 

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