Latinos in Sports Platform Launched by NHL CEO and Other Latino Executives

The National Hockey League recently bid farewell to its only active Latino chief executive, Xavier Gutierrez, when the Arizona Coyotes franchise was sold to Utah. Gutierrez, who hails from Guadalajara, Mexico, took on the role of CEO for the Coyotes in 2019 under the ownership of Cuban-American billionaire, Alex Meruelo. Prior to this, Gutierrez had a successful career as a managing director at Clearlake Capital Group.

His appointment as the NHL’s first-ever Latino CEO shed light on the lack of Hispanic representation in leadership positions across professional sports. Gutierrez emphasized the importance of Latino owners in promoting diversity in executive roles within sports organizations. Currently, he stands as the sole non-owner Latino CEO among 153 major professional sports franchises in the U.S. and Canada.

In a move to address this disparity, Gutierrez co-founded Latinos in Sports, a platform dedicated to fostering Hispanic advancement within the sports industry. Together with Pedro Antonio Guerrero, CEO of Guerrero Media, they aim to bring together Latino and non-Latino professionals in sports, media, and marketing to showcase Latino talent in leadership positions.

The executives behind Latinos in Sports envision the platform as a hub for facilitating Hispanic investment in sports startups, conducting research on U.S. Hispanic trends, and promoting networking among industry leaders. By connecting Latino and non-Latino decision-makers, the organization hopes to drive more conscious decisions in content creation to appeal to Latino audiences.

One example of this initiative is Warner Bros. Discovery’s “Peloteros” broadcast during last year’s MLB playoffs, which featured Latino baseball players speaking to a Hispanic audience. In order to diversify content and reach underserved audiences, having Latino executives in key decision-making roles is crucial.

Looking ahead, Latinos in Sports aims to expand its reach and impact beyond the sports industry. By bridging the gap between Latinos and non-Latinos in leadership roles, the organization hopes to create a more inclusive and diverse environment. Their upcoming event at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn during the U.S. Open tennis tournament serves as a testament to their commitment to fostering partnerships and building a more representative table for Latino leadership in professional sports.

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