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NHL’s Coyotes CEO And Other Latino Execs Launch Platform To Boost Hispanics In Sports.

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When the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes moved to Utah, they did not move only cities but also out the only active Latino CEO. Xavier Gutierrez, a Mexican from Guadalajara, was the new chief executive officer in 2019 under the American billionaire Alejandro Meruelo. Gutierrez’s appointment was a landmark event as he became the first Latino CEO in the NHL’s history. This was evidence of the lack of Hispanic representation in leadership positions across professional sports.

In a recent interview, Gutierrez highlighted the significance of Latino ownership in cultivating diversity among the executive positions within sports institutions. While there are 153 major professional sports franchises across North America, Gutierrez is one of the few Latino CEOs, alongside Jorge Mas of Inter Miami CF in MLS.

To bridge this gap, Gutierrez is behind the launch of “Latinos in Sports” (LiS), a platform that showcases Latino talent in sports leadership, media, and marketing. Pedro Antonio Guerrero, CEO of Guerrero Media, Vianni Lubus, and Mike Valdes-Fauli plan to increase Hispanic representation in important places in the sports sector.

Recently, in Miami, Jose Feliciano (co-founder of Clearlake Capital and co-owner of Chelsea Football Club) appeared on a panel, where he suggested that more Latino ownership presence in sports could be a good thing. The project emphasizes the need to develop diverse leadership that will be able to represent and communicate with Latino audiences in sports in a better way.

Jose Feliciano highlights that Latino ownership in sports is progressing well, asserting that a lot of decision-makers are now recognizing that Latinos are the ones who should have the sport’s ownership in all categories.

Xavier Gutierrez, in reference to the platform’s purpose, works towards making it the best place to help Hispanics get better positions in the sports industry. The executives plan to develop the program into a multi-layered institution that will involve investment in Hispanic start-ups, research on the trends of the US Hispanic market, and networking opportunities among Latino and non-Latino sports leaders.

Gutierrez stressed the need for building bridges within the industry, highlighting the importance of knowing each other and trusting in business relations. The platform is committed to being a meeting point used in trade, skills’skills acquisition, and data/insights exchange.

Through its efforts, Latinos in Sports will also strive to influence content creation to reach out to Latino audiences. One of the examples given was “Peloteros” of Warner Bros. Discovery, an alternative broadcast during the MLB playoffs that featured Latino baseball players, showing the possibility of diversifying content from the Latino point of view.

Luis Silberwasser of Warner Bros. Discovery Sports argued projects like “Peloteros” could be a step toward having diverse content producers, highlighting the importance of diversity in decision-making positions to address the requirements of many different audiences.

Gutierrez emphasized that closeness between Latinos and non-Latinos should be put at the forefront of the creative business because, at the moment, those in leadership positions are predominantly non-Latinos. The event, which will be held at the Barclays Center during the US Open tennis tournament, is aimed to involve the non-Latino decision-makers, emphasizing the need for their participation in the promotion of Hispanic representation in sports leadership.

Pedro A. Guerrero also reflected the consensus, stressing that Latinos should move forward to create coalitions and strategic alliances to expand their participation in the decision-making forum.

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