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Increasing Latino Representation in Leadership Roles in Professional Sports: Xavier Gutierrez’s Mission with Latinos in Sports

Title: Latinos in Sports: Championing Diversity and Advancement in Leadership Roles

When the Arizona Coyotes were sold last month, the National Hockey League not only lost a franchise but also its only active Latino chief executive. Xavier Gutierrez, born in Guadalajara, Mexico, became the CEO of the Arizona team in 2019. Gutierrez, now CEO of ImpactX Sports Group, aims to change the underrepresentation of Latinos in leadership positions in professional sports through the platform Latinos in Sports.

The Underrepresentation of Latinos in Leadership Positions:
Gutierrez highlights the lack of Latino representation in leadership positions across major professional sports franchises in the U.S. and Canada. Out of 153 franchises in the NHL, NFL, NBA, MLB, and MLS, he stands as the only non-owner Latino CEO. Gutierrez believes that it took a Latino owner, like Alex Meruelo, to hire a Latino CEO.

The Founding of Latinos in Sports:
Driven by the desire to showcase Latino talent in leadership positions, Gutierrez teamed up with Pedro Antonio Guerrero, CEO of Guerrero Media, to establish Latinos in Sports. The platform aims to bring together Latinos and non-Latinos in professional sports, media, and marketing to increase Hispanic representation and create opportunities for Latino professionals.

Promoting Latino Ownership and Leadership:
At the launch event for Latinos in Sports in Miami, José Feliciano, co-founder of Clearlake Capital and co-owner of the Premier League’s Chelsea Football Club, emphasized the importance of Latino ownership in sports. Feliciano urged decision-makers to recognize that Latinos can and should be owners. The organization hopes to promote investment in Hispanic-founded startups and conduct research on U.S. Hispanic trends.

Fostering a Culture of Hispanic Advancement:
Gutierrez envisions Latinos in Sports as the go-to platform for fostering Hispanic advancement in the sports industry. The organization aims to facilitate commerce, talent acquisition, and networking opportunities between Latino and non-Latino sports leaders. By connecting individuals, Latinos in Sports seeks to empower Latinos in positions of power and expand their influence in the industry.

Appealing to Latino Audiences:
The organization also aims to encourage Latino sports executives to make conscious decisions about appealing to Latino audiences. Warner Bros. Discovery set an example by producing an alternative broadcast during the MLB playoffs called “Peloteros,” featuring former and current Latino baseball players. The broadcast, although in English due to broadcast rights, demonstrated the importance of diverse voices in content production and drew in a Hispanic audience.

Uniting Latinos and Non-Latinos:
Gutierrez emphasizes the importance of connecting Latinos with non-Latinos in positions of leadership. The organization plans its next event at the Barclays Center in New York during the U.S. Open tennis tournament. By targeting an event traditionally appealing to white Americans, Latinos in Sports aims to engage non-Latino decision-makers and foster partnerships for collective growth.

Latinos in Sports, spearheaded by Xavier Gutierrez and Pedro Antonio Guerrero, is dedicated to increasing Hispanic representation in leadership roles across the sports industry. Through networking, investment, and research, the platform aims to empower Latinos and bridge the gap between Latino and non-Latino professionals. By recognizing the need for diversity and inclusivity, Latinos in Sports hopes to propel positive change and create opportunities for Latino talent to flourish.

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