Cleveland Cavaliers Become Founding Members of Pro Sports Assembly

The Cleveland Cavaliers have become Founding Members of Pro Sports Assembly (“The Assembly”), a first-of-its-kind, industry-wide, and mission-driven 501(c)(3) organization for people who work in professional sports.

Designed to keep leagues, teams, unions and venues both knowledgeable and accountable for delivering an equitable and profitable future in professional sports organizations – The Assembly is a member-led community that challenges its industry to advance truly inclusive leadership. It believes that by developing cultural and gender intelligence, as well as setting best practices of stewardship, mentorship and allyship, professional sports properties can drive innovation, bolster financial performance, capture new markets and increase brand loyalty. The Assembly is aggressive in its vision and stance to enhance the future of its industry through the #PowerofProSports and aims, by 2030, to achieve parity in opportunity, pay and leadership across the industry.

As a Founding Member, the Cleveland Cavaliers will join over a dozen other organizations in The Assembly. Leaders from the organizations will have access to a number of professional development programs, events, tools and resources to help advance their career, their organization and the professional sports industry overall.

Cavaliers and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse Executive Vice President of Venue Operations Antony Bonavita also holds a position on the Pro Sports Assembly Governing Board.

“It’s an incredible honor to serve on The Assembly’s Governing Board alongside such an esteemed group of leaders who share the same core values and vision of a better, more equitable future for our industry,” said Bonavita. “Now more than ever, it’s imperative that we use our voices as leaders of today to continue to raise awareness and understanding around diversity and inclusion and the impact it will have on the next generation of leaders to come.”

Since its September 2020 launch, hundreds of members have joined The Assembly as individual members or through their organization. In addition to providing all member organizations access to an Equity Assessor, community groups, and consulting forums, a Certificate of Inclusive Leadership is being offered in partnership with RISE. The first collaboration is currently underway.

“On behalf of Pro Sports Assembly, I want to extend a warm welcome to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse,” said Cassandra Carr, Spurs Sports and Entertainment investor and Governing Board Member of Pro Sports Assembly. “As a ‘day one’ founder of the Pro Sports Assembly leadership team, I am very proud to see such a robust member base across all sports. It is this commitment to collaboration, dialogue and action that will push our entire industry forward. We all have a stake in designing the future of pro sports in America and beyond.”

The Cavaliers continued commitment to the education, progression and activation of diversity, inclusion and engagement in the Cleveland and Northeast Ohio community has recently included:

  • The creation of the IDEAL (Inclusion, Diversity, Engagement, Awareness, Leadership) Team within their organization comprised of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), cross-functional team members in (or allies to) the LGBTQ, Jewish, Black and the Latinx communities, to help shape D&I strategy.
  • Conducting Time to Talk, virtual community conversations established for both internal and external audiences featuring exclusive, highly qualified and relevant guests to address important topics connected to the D&I landscape
  • Partnered with eight NBA and WBNA teams for Team Up for Change, a virtual summit followed by sustained engagement around equality and social justice.
  • Led a three-team Cleveland sports alliance in partnership with the Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Indians to address social justice and equity areas via on-going collaboration in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.
  • Developed empowHER, an affinity group for the women of the organization with the goal to lift, inspire, encourage and highlight women throughout the company as well as to put women in positions to be successful, be a positive and active part of the community and respective leagues, serve as mentors and resources for young women looking to build a career in sports and build unity across the organization.
  • Working with the Urban League to fund, rejuvenate and lead the “My Brother’s Keeper” and “Saving Our Daughters” programs, aimed at addressing the gap faced by boys, girls and young men and women of color, and providing opportunities to help them learn and grow.

    Of the 2,500+ total jobs provided by the organization which includes the Cavaliers, Monsters, Canton Charge, Cavs Legion and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, the full-time minority staff percentage is over 35% – one of the highest across all major league sports – while the overall full and part-time combined minority staff percentage is over 45%.

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