As Major League Baseball teams meet in Phoenix today and tomorrow to increase inclusion in the ranks of their suppliers, a report says the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce has partnered with MLB to get LGBT small businesses into the game.
— NGLCC (@NGLCC) March 7, 2016
“NGLCC certified LGBT suppliers will help the MLB achieve the brass ring nearly all major corporations and organizations aspire to: a billion dollar spend on minority-owned businesses,” said Jonathan Lovitz, vice president of external affairs for NGLCC, in an interview with Fortune.
Although Levitz told the magazine he didn’t have exact numbers for this partnership, the NGLCC certifies member businesses as being 51 percent owned and operated by LGBT individuals. The chamber recently scored a deal with the NFL for the Super Bowl, according to USA Today.
“We take great pride in the fact that this not only puts us closer to Major League Baseball and the ability to bring innovative suppliers to their operation, but also that we get to work with incredible advocates and athletes like Billy Bean,” Justin Nelson, founder and president of the NGLCC, told Fortune.
In 1999, Bean became one of the the first ex-major leaguers to come out as gay, and he now serves MLB as its first ambassador of inclusion. “It’s important to me because I think it allows our community to get more coverage and exposure on the programs that [business owners are] working very, very hard to expand,” Bean told Fortune.
Read more about MLB’s efforts at expanding diversity in its business partnerships here.