Featured in the April/ May 2018 Travel Issue of Compete Magazine

The business of sports diversity continues to grow each year. Major corporations such as MillerCoors, Toyota, Orbitz and many others see the value in partnering with sports organizations both to create brand awareness and to show their support of sports diversity. Local businesses, like real estate agents, financial planners, insurance agents and bars and restaurant often join in to support sports teams, leagues and organizations, too.


The Sports Diversity Leadership Council (SDLC), a division of Media Out Loud, was created in 2014 to introduce sports groups to prospective sponsors, to provide training and support to sports organizations and to assist the groups in sharing best practices with each other.


The first Sports Diversity Leadership Conference was held in Las Vegas in 2016 during the Sin City Shootout (now the Sin City Classic) where it brought together a number of organizations that included among others the National Gay Flag Football League (NGFFL), the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) and Athlete Ally.


During that initial conference members affirmed there was a real need to work together and to support each other in building their respective organizations. Over the next year the SDLC continued to work with its members to develop the Sports Diversity Leadership (SDL) designation and SDLC certification program with a plan to introduce the SDL designation program by the next year. As agreed, the SDL designation program was announced at the second Sports Diversity Leadership Conference held in Denver in 2016.


By 2017 the SDLC had further developed its programs at the Sin City Classic and began a year-long business development plan to assist and train sports organizations and individuals to become leaders in the within the sports diversity community.


This past February the SDLC partnered with Connect Sports to present the SDLC’s business development, certification and designation programs at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, where the SDLC and its programs were well received.


As part of its business development program the SDLC has assisted its members in building and promoting their organization’s tournaments. Part of the service is site selection which includes the selection of appropriate host cities for large travelling tournaments.


Most recently the SDLC is working with WeHo Dodgeball, Amateur Sports Alliance of North America (ASANA) and other SDLC members to create a sports festival in Richmond, Virginia; the SDLC is currently working with a number of prospective sponsors to support the new festival. Richmond Region Tourism is undergoing SDLC-T Certification and both WeHo Dodgeball’s owner and ASANA’s commissioner have earned the coveted SDL designation from the Sports Diversity Leadership Council.


The SDLC has also assisted its members in securing housing accommodations and in booking over 3,000 rooms in the month of March alone; that includes 2,000 rooms in Temecula, California through SDLC member Yin International.


The SDLC Executive Advisory Committee consists of Compete Magazine’s Eric Carlyle, NAGAAA’s Catherine Kelly and Connect’s Patrick Higgins. To celebrate the SDLC’s official announcement  February at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, the SDLC began sending out renewal certificates to its members this month.


We invite you to join us in this business approach to sports diversity, its organizations and its athletes because in the final analysis, it’s still about people who love to play sports! To learn more about the SDLC and to get involved, please visit sportsdiversityleaders.com