Member Spotlight: Harshal Sisodia

Current Location: Seattle, WA

Occupation / Current Title & Organization you represent: CMO + Co.Founder of Super Heroic // www.superheroic.com //

We are a children’s experience company that focuses on footwear and apparel. As parents first, we are driven by our children and their amazing outlook on life,  their sense of adventure, and their creativity.

We don’t ever want our children to question their superpowers or their ability to achieve, so we made it our mission to do something about it.

Why did you choose to have a career in the sports industry?

I don’t know if I chose this career as much as it’s picked me. What drove me was trying to find a career in which I can express my creativity in different ways from ideation to execution and all the steps in-between. I also grew up in a sports household – my dad was an avid cricket player, and we were always around hi-caliber athletes like Sunil Gavaskar and that iconic 80’s Indian cricket team. So I think being around those guys gave me a love for sports. Which then manifested itself into my career path of advertising, which then led to Jordan and Nike. All were preparing me for my own company.

How has being a South Asian impacted your career in sports (positively or negatively)?

It’s in every aspect of who I am.
My culture, my identity is what gives me my perspective on things. From marketing campaigns to creative to having empathy and treating people with respect. So from that aspect, it’s incredibly positive.

From a negative standpoint – I have had to fight racism and stereotypes the entire way because I was the only brown person that I knew of doing what I was doing – so it’s not as if I had a network to lean on or someone to follow. I just had to keep my head down – and grind. I will say also I have faced an equal amount of stereotypes from our own people as well. Which was and still is super disheartening, but I use it as an opportunity to change those stereotypes one person at a time.

My hope is I can share my story for the next generation so they can learn and have the tools to handle it and fight it.

What was your inspiration for designing a shoe just for kids?

For me, it was about getting back to treating our kids like the kids they are and not mini-consumers. Making products that have empathy and thought and passion built-in – not just a profit margin. We see our selves as the guardians of the creative youth – and our entire DNA is getting kids to be more confident and helping them achieve. Lastly, I knew we could deliver on all this because of our team – which also includes the world’s foremost experts in the industry, not to mention my Co.Founder Jason Mayden.

What advice would you give to the next generation of South Asian sports industry professionals or those trying to break into the industry?

Nothing is given. You have to network, but more importantly, be and build authentic relationships. If you’re true to yourself, things will fall in line because people vibe off that authenticity. I would rather have ten folks that I can call at any moment to rock versus 100 that are just mutual relationships.

Second – be respectful of the process and the legacy. From footwear to sports organization – the countless amount of time that has gone into building these things – they won’t change overnight – you have to understand why things were done a certain way so that you can apply the change or expertise you bring to it.

Serena had this excellent quote which I have been vibing with –  “Not because we were welcomed, but because we wouldn’t stop winning.”

Go get it, and as always reach out and ask for help if you need it. We are stronger together.