Leaders and Facebook have agreed a new, extensive 3-year partnership to strengthen their Diversity Series for 2021 and launch new initiatives that champion inclusivity across the sports industry. The new programming will mark an extension to the current brand partnership, in an ongoing effort to spotlight diverse communities and catalyse change across the business side of sport.
The Leaders Meet: Diversity Series, initially launched by Facebook and Leaders in 2018, will add an additional programming strand for 2021, ‘Allyship Community’ – centred on supporting those across the industry in driving change within their business and social circles. This strand will sit alongside existing focus areas including ‘Black Excellence’ and ‘Women in Sport’, which will see dedicated programming pillars, discussion groups and activations throughout the year, culminating in the Leaders Week event in October.
Initially, the series kickstarted with quarterly in-person events spanning London and New York, but that offering now includes an online content library, the creation of communities, supporting partners committing to the cause, accessible D&I resources and facilitated workshops; all designed to more actively cultivate the change required in the industry.
In addition to the Diversity Series, Leaders and Facebook will work together to bring the 2021 – 2023 editions of the Leaders Sports Awards – the global platform recognising the most talented individuals and campaigns in the industry – to life, specifically celebrating organisations using sport to bring communities together through the Community Award. The partnership will also highlight what’s next for Facebook in sport at Leaders’ flagship conference in October and provide additional opportunities for executives to connect in-person during the festive period.
Ronan Joyce, Facebook’s partnerships lead for sports teams, commented: “We’re proud to continue our support of the Leaders Meet: Diversity series. Over the past three years, it’s been a privilege to see the industry come together and champion excellence, while acknowledging there is still work to do if the diversity seen on the pitch is to be reflected off it. We’d like to thank all those within the industry – especially our advisory boards – for their tireless work supporting this programme – and we’re excited to see the impact of the new initiatives rolled out in 2021 and beyond.”
Simon Thomlinson, Strategic Partnerships Director, Leaders stated, “We’re delighted to expand and extend our collaboration with Facebook in a new, multi-year partnership that’ll go above and beyond past activities. While 2020 was a challenging year, together we managed to continue to drive momentum in the DEI space through an array of digital formats. We reached new audiences and broadened the experience of diverse sports industry executives who are committed to accelerate the pace of change. We’re excited to get back to hosting in-person forums in the near future, where we can continue that momentum with Facebook in 2021 and beyond.”