By Keisha J Kelley
February 1, 2021
Learfield IMG College and The Doug Williams Center (DWC) announced today a strategic partnership dedicated to bolstering diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) educational efforts for Learfield IMG College’s more than 2,000 employees across the country.
DWC’s notable DEI thought leadership, coupled with Learfield IMG College’s reach within intercollegiate athletics, sets a foundation to positively impact the industry on a larger scale. As its first initiative, Learfield IMG College and DWC produced the REACH Virtual DEI Summit – an internal two-day conference on January 26 and 27 featuring industry experts, including NFL legend Doug Williams, the center’s founder and namesake. Today, the two organizations launched a Black History Month celebration designed to share stories of Black contributions to college sports as an engagement effort internally and via social media.
“We are proud to partner with a college sports titan like Learfield IMG College to reimagine their approach to internal and external equity,” said The Doug Williams Center Executive Director Brandon A. Logan. “Learfield IMG College’s influence across hundreds of college sports touchpoints gives them a distinct opportunity to impact the ripples of progress throughout the industry. Our resources, expertise and support, paired with their authentic commitment to the work of social advancement, will make for a fruitful partnership.”
“As we continue our mission of creating unique opportunities for the growth and development of the college sports space, nothing is more important than fostering an environment of diversity and inclusivity for our team members, as well as those we serve,” said Cole Gahagan, President and CEO of Learfield IMG College. “In partnering with such ground-breaking leaders like Doug Williams and The Doug Williams Center, we’re not only better positioning our company for achieving that mission, but we’re meeting another standard in the process, which is helping to lead our industry in this critically important movement. That leadership position is a responsibility that we never take for granted.” Future initiatives for the two organizations include a restructuring of The Minority Academy – a signature event hosted for six years by Learfield IMG College alongside the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA). Plans include realigning the event’s programming, expanding a pipeline for professionals and interns of color and determining long-term impact in DEI-related goals for hiring, recruiting and retention.
About Learfield IMG College
Learfield IMG College is the leading media and technology services company in intercollegiate athletics. The company unlocks the value of college sports for brands and fans through an omnichannel platform with innovative content and commerce solutions for fan engagement. The Learfield IMG College suite of services includes licensing and multimedia sponsorship management; publishing, audio, digital and social media; data analytics; ticketing, ticket sales and professional concessions expertise; branding; campus-wide business and sponsorship development; and venue technology systems. Headquartered in Plano, Texas, the company has long had the privilege of being an advocate for intercollegiate athletics and the student-athlete experience. Since 2008, it has served as title sponsor for the acclaimed Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup, supporting athletic departments across all divisions.
About The Doug Williams Center
Founded in 2020, The Doug Williams Center exists to build an ever-growing network of solutions for diversity and inclusion in collegiate and professional sports. The Center is a learning commons and advancement space for audiences to examine the history of race and politics in American sports and build holistic perspectives on the cultural impact to provide resources for ongoing social progress. With the support of its esteemed Advisory Board and multi-disciplinary academicians, the Center offers thought leadership and practical resources to sports industry entities. A hub for academic of research and development, The Doug Williams Center is an affiliate of Grambling State University.
Month-Long Black History Month Initiative Kicks Off Today
Courtesy of The Doug Williams Center