The Canadian Black Standard announces multi-year partnership with the NBA and MLSE to advance the game for Black women in marketing


TORONTO, October 14, 2021 - Today, the Canadian Black Standard (The Standard) announced a multi-year strategic partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) focused on supporting Black Canadian women in the sports and entertainment industry through professional development content, programming and experiences.

"Sports has always been a global leader in directing social change. We're thrilled to be partnering with the NBA and MLSE to provide resources and access to world-class expertise to our members," said The Standard's Board Chair & Co-Founder, Anastasia Gordon. "The NBA and WNBA have been at the forefront, taking intentional and sustainable action to address Anti-Black racism and employment inequity. Touching all corners of the sports and entertainment landscape in Canada, MLSE's commitment to inclusion helps strengthen the importance of the national discourse."

The two-year partnership will tip-off this fall with collaboratively curated content and programming addressing the needs of Black women in the sports marketing field, with opportunities to connect, learn and engage with industry experts on relevant and timely topics.

"We're thrilled to partner with The Standard to empower and uplift Black Canadian women and create more opportunities for a new generation of leaders to excel in basketball and beyond," said Leah MacNab, NBA Canada Managing Director. "The NBA and WNBA are committed to diversity and inclusion at all levels of our leagues, and we look forward to working with The Standard and MLSE to extend our efforts through this new content and programming."

"We believe MLSE plays an important role in addressing systemic racism and promoting social justice, and we are committed to using the influence of our organization and teams to create meaningful change in and outside of the workplace," said Shannon Hosford, Chief Marketing Officer, MLSE. "We are proud to be part of a company that is comprised of many individual voices and diverse backgrounds that help tell the stories of our teams, and this partnership with The Standard will help build an even greater community within our four walls and in turn provide support and resources to the talented Canadian Black women in their network."

Collaborating with The Standard further solidifies MLSE's Equity, Diversity and Inclusion commitments to use their platform and influence to lead in the fight against systemic racism and increasing social injustices. Their multi-year journey focuses on four priority areas: team and performance influence, inclusive culture, community engagement, and partners and suppliers.

It also furthers the NBA family's commitment to create meaningful change and address issues of injustice through the game of basketball, including through the NBA Foundation, National Basketball Social Justice Coalition, and additional league programs to recruit, develop and retain diverse talent leaguewide, practice greater economic inclusion and engage in impactful partnerships.

Black women continue to face multiple barriers to entry and employment advancement. The Standard aims to address these needs through an intersectional lens and requires the commitment of companies like the NBA and MLSE to Elevate the Standard, Educate the Community and Accelerate the Industry.

To become a member and receive premier access to information on upcoming programming, events and opportunities visit

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