While audiences expect their favorite athletes to consistently bring their A-game, sports icons and brand sponsors are challenging this “always-on” mentality.
In February 2022, Latraviette Smith-Wilson joined Horizon Media in the newly constituted role of Chief Marketing and Equity Officer. An industry first, Smith-Wilson’s combined role involves building a unified strategy for marketing and DEI that both raises awareness of Horizon and its affiliate brands while fostering and demonstrating the unique advantages of the company’s inclusive environment.
In September, Smith-Wilson spoke with Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi about how the unique role functions, how all CMOs can embrace DE&I, and the importance of building an equitable metaverse.
Why bring the CMO and CDO roles together?
Smith-Wilson says, “it was just time to do DEI differently in the industry.” And doing DEI differently meant totally rethinking where it sits and how it functions within a company.
Just as marketers promote and protect company culture, acting as key strategists for growth, Smith-Wilson says “marketing is uniquely positioned to help drive the benefits and the importance of DEI – not as an overlay or as an add-on to the business, but really as fuel to the business.”
Regardless of company structure, Smith-Wilson says all CMOs can embrace DE&I in more comprehensive ways
And as brands continue to explore the metaverse, there is a crucial opportunity to build DE&I into its foundation
But to do so, Smith-Wilson says, “we will have to be unrelentingly intentional about it.”
Click here to watch the full interview as part of Ad Age’s Remotely series.