Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-07-10
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Pro-LGBTQ sports group looks to increase membership
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2018-12-03

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Just more than four years ago, Chicago's Jake Lenz was searching for other LGBTQ individuals who worked in sports and entertainment as connections. When he did not find who, or what, he was looking for, he knew something had to change.

Lenz, a sponsorship marketing specialist and Good Sports and You Can Play Project regional board member, met Jim Andrews at a conference in Chicago in 2015. That was a game-changer for him. Andrews, who worked at the sponsorship firm IEG for 31 years and was the About Face Theater board chair for five years, quickly became a mentor to Lenz because he was the only other out gay industry professional he knew.

Due to Andrews' mentorship, Lenz was able to meet other out professionals and grow his network and that is when the idea of HomeField Alliance came to fruition. Lenz said this is the first organization of its kind focused on the business side of the sports and entertainment industry. So far, HomeField Alliance has a growing membership from around the U.S. and Canada.

Lenz and Andrews decided to join forces with David Slade, WFYI-Indianapolis Public Media's chief development and marketing officer who previously led the United States Tennis Association's LGBTQ employee resource group, as co-founders and board members in 2017 with Noel Guevara coming onboard as a board member earlier this year. Guevara is the Arizona Diamondbacks' special events and community outreach coordinator who launched LGBTQ initiatives for the team, including its first Pride Night.

Andrews said the name came from the "core of what we were creating, which was a passionate community of people rooting for each other, and creating a positive environment of support. This is clearly exemplified by the support a team feels from its fans while playing in their home town. Win or lose, those fans are there to help push their team to success, amplifying each others' cheers week after week, season after season, giving their team that home field advantage."

The mission, according to its website is,"to be the leading voice and resource for LGBTQ professionals in the business of sports and entertainment. Offering professional development, networking and at-work ally programs, in addition to creating industry awareness and conversation, HomeField Alliance will provide our members with the opportunity to learn, grow, and develop in their professional careers regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity."

Andrews explained that they decided to make Chicago the organization's headquarters because it is centrally located and easily accessible to host events.

"From a sports and entertainment perspective, Chicago is one of the premiere cities in the world," said Andrews. "Chicago's teams and venues have storied histories, wildly passionate fans and an incredible ability to create community, even when we would be called crazy elsewhere, for leaving our homes in the middle of winter for an outdoor event. Our city also boasts some of the best corporate citizens of sports in the world, whether it's an equipment manufacturer or a sponsor focused on making sports and entertainment a core of their marketing efforts."

In terms of what the organization wants to accomplish, Slade said "in a big way, we hope to legitimately impact the culture within the sports and entertainment industry by giving employees and organizations the tools to create inclusive environments, removing stigmas around the LGBTQ community and by fostering community across cities and between organizations. In a small way, we hope that by connecting LGBTQ professionals to other individuals, they have the chance to learn from and connect with people who they otherwise might not have been able to do so with."

As for how they are going to address gender and racial diversity within their leadership ranks, Lenz said it is one of their top priorities.

"We cannot advocate for diversity unless we start from a place of diverse thought, background and experience," said Lenz. "It is that simple, so it is a sticking point for our entire board to make sure that while we now have male, female, gay, lesbian and African-American representation, we continue to add differing views and perspectives in order to provide the best possible impact for all our members."

The organization launched its mentorship program in September, and will be hosting some regional events next year and a member summit next summer.

Membership fees are $40 annually, and any membership purchased in 2018 will be good through the end of 2019. Any inquiries should be sent to info@homefieldalliance.org .

See homefieldalliance.org/ for more information.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

WOMEN'S WORLD CUP U.S. wins championship 2019-07-07 - On July 7 in Lyon, France, the United States claimed a fourth Women's World Cup triumph with a 2-0 victory over European champions ...


Gay News

Lesbian tennis player: More athletes should 'come forward' 2019-07-07 - Professional tennis player Alison Van Uytvanck told The Guardian that more of her fellow athletes should come out of the closet, according to ...


Gay News

Cubs affiliate calls out Kaepernick, draws flag 2019-07-03 - The Tennessee Smokies—a minor league affiliate of the Chicago Cubs based in the town of Kodak—deleted and apologized for a tweet in which ...


Gay News

WOMEN'S WORLD CUP U.S. beats England, advances to final 2019-07-02 - The United States is returning to the World Cup final, thanks to a 2-1 victory over England on July 2 in Lyon, France. ...


Gay News

PRIDE WEEKEND 2019 Proud to Run marks 38 years with first-ever half-marathon race 2019-06-30 - Proud To Run, presented by Frontrunners Chicago, celebrated 38 years with its annual 5K run/walk, 10K run and, for the first time ever, ...


Gay News

WOMEN'S WORLD CUP U.S. beats host France, advances to semis 2019-06-28 - Scoring two goals for the second consecutive game, Megan Rapinoe led the U.S. women's national team to a 2-1 quarterfinal win over host ...


Gay News

Softball player reflects on sexuality in sports, teamwork 2019-06-26 - From morning to night, Chicago Bandits pitcher Aleshia Ocasio commits herself to two things: softball and benevolence. During the season for the ...


Gay News

Writers weigh in on 'Disco Demolition Night' 2019-06-24 - Billboard published an article on the damaging aspects of "Disco Demolition Night"—which took place 40 years ago in what was then Chicago's Comiskey ...


Gay News

U.S. advances in World Cup on Rapinoe kicks 2019-06-24 - Megan Rapinoe scored on penalty kicks to give the United States a 2-1 win on June 24 over Spain to book a spot ...


Gay News

Thirty-six sports confirmed for Gay Games 11 in Hong Kong 2022 2019-06-12 - HONG KONG/SAN FRANCISCO, 31 May 2019 - The Federation of Gay Games ( FGG ) together with the Gay Games 11 Hong Kong ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.