On Thursday, November 12th 2020, South Asians in Sports partnered with the NFL APEX to co-host an event in recognition of the Diwali and South Asians’ contribution to sports.
Over 130 South Asians in sports attended the Zoom event which featured Sonia Raman, first ever Indian-American female NBA Coach – Assistant Coach – Memphis Grizzlies, Rajeev Ram, Olympian and Professional Tennis Player and Rinku Singh, WWE Professional Wrestler and Former Pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The panel was be moderated by Iwao Fusillo, SVP, Head of Data and Analytics at the NFL and Neha Uberoi Khangoora, Former Professional Tennis Player and Co-founder & CEO of South Asians in Sports (SAIS).
The co-sponsors of the event, were SAIS, NBA, MLB and NFL. The panelists discussed experiences of an unorthodox career path, being one of the few or only South Asians in their sport, facing racism and personal doubts about being in the industry, using the South Asian identity to their advantage, and how they’re leading more South Asians to enter into the sports industry.
South Asians in Sports is a network of South Asian athletes, lawyers, doctors, coaches, entrepreneurs, marketers, journalists and more sports industry professionals thriving in the world of sports. Join for free today to benefit from:
Insightful panel discussions with prominent South Asians working in sports.
A platform to connect with like-minded professionals across the world.
In-person networking opportunities.
Access to a community to share experiences and knowledge.
Quarterly updates on South Asians making waves in sports.
Advocacy and promotion.
Keep scrolling to explore our most recent events and opportunities!
South Asians in Sports is launching Mentorship Mondays!
Meet with sports industry mentors every Monday via Zoom for three weeks in August! Get to know and learn from leading South Asian sports industry professionals from Canada and the USA every week for 1 hour.
This program is by application only. Fill out this short application in order to be considered and matched with a business leader within your industry/area of interest. Groups of 3 mentees will be assigned to one mentor. This program is open to professionals and students.
The deadline to apply is July 20th, 5pm EST. Limited spots are available. Mentorship Mondays is only available to members of SAIS (join here).
Meet the Mentors:
AKASH JAIN – Consultant, Business Development, Marketing and International Strategy
ANMOL MALHOTRA – Head of Sports Partnerships, Snap Inc.
AKSHAY KHANNA – General Manager, North America, StubHub
BOBBY SAHNI – Partner & Cofounder, Ethnicity Matters
DEV SETHI – Head of Sports, Instagram
GOPAL PATEL – Director, Corporate Partnerships, Canucks Sports and Entertainment
INDIVAR KUSHARI – Chief Data & Information Officer, Canadian Football League
South Asians in Sports is deeply saddened and angered by the numerous men, women and children of color who have been systematically oppressed by the deep-rooted racism in our society. We at South Asians in Sports stand in solidarity with the Black community. We condemn these recurring instances of both overt violence as well as wide-spread insidious oppression inflicted upon the Black community.
We are also aware of the South Asian community’s perpetuation of prejudice against Black Americans. We urge our members to address anti-blackness in your own homes and community. As a network that is made up of over 500 sports-industry professionals, we must encourage athletes and leagues to use the immense power of their platform for justice. These platforms can move society in the direction of critical thought, equality and peace.
Looking for the perfect sports internship? We have put together some opportunities that can help our student members get a foot in the door to sports. We will be updating our permanent internships page as and when opportunities become available.
Looking for sports business events to attend this year? Check out our list with discount codes.
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.
On Tuesday, August 6, the South Asians in Sports organization presented a panel discussion entitled, “How Social Media is Impacting Sports Culture” at SeatGeek’s headquarters in SoHo, New York. The event offered attendees unique insights into the nexus of social media and sports through stories and advice from two accomplished professionals, Anmol Malhotra, Head of Sports Partnerships, Snap Inc.(the parent company of Snapchat) and Dev Sethi, Head of Sports, Instagram. The discussion was moderated by Jyoti Agarwal, a Lecturer at Columbia University and a Harvard M.B.A., who is an established strategy and marketing leader with more than fifteen years of experience leading teams to drive success. The event, which lasted from 6-8 p.m. was free and open to the public, drawing approximately sixty attendees from a range of backgrounds and walks of life, including athletes, students, career professionals, and fans.
Agarwal kicked off the event by asking the panelists about their career paths. An enlightening discussion ensued as Malhotra and Sethi narrated their journeys from backgrounds in technology, advertising, and finance to the sports’ social media universe. They explained that their diverse experiences had offered them transferable skill sets and perspectives, which have fostered success in their current roles in sports industry.
Malhotra oversees sports partnerships at Snap Inc., leading relationships with leagues, broadcasters, and rights holders including the NFL, NBA, MLB, UFC, FIFA, Fox, Turner Sports, and NBC. In this role, he also focuses on strategy for several content partnerships and sales initiatives with leagues, teams, and athletes to help them engage new audiences, experiment with innovative forms of distribution and achieve their business objectives. In addition, Malhotra helps manage international growth initiatives with sports partners across Asia, Europe, MENA, and Latin America. Anmol is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business and resides in New York City.
Sethi oversees strategic partnerships at Instagram, across the sports ecosystem, which includes athletes, leagues, teams, and media. Before joining Instagram, Sethi was Complex Networks’ first Chief of Staff reporting to CEO Rich Antoniello. There he was responsible for developing strategic external partnerships as well as aligning internal operations across content, business development, finance and production with the goal of maximizing output and efficiencies across Complex’s portfolio of millennial-focused brands. Dev is also a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a native of the D.C. Metro Area.
Both panelists explained that all social platforms are eventually looking to accomplish the same things within the sports industry – to consistently find unique ways to engage fans through their platforms. As a matter of coincidence, they both arrived at their current roles from non-sports positions and offered salient career advice. Malhotra explained, “There is no right or wrong career path in the sports industry. One should be flexible. I started in finance but always knew that I would want to work in sports.” And Sethi added, “Sometimes, it is also helpful to take a break from work to channelize your inner self and reassess what is best for you. Be persistent and patient in pursuit of opportunities and also find ways to make yourself unique.”
Audience members asked the panelists probing questions about each of their day to day responsibilities: “What does the social media space look like in the near future?” “What are some of the resources that they look at to keep up with the latest news within the sports industry?” Sethi and Malhotra listed the Sports Business Journal and Front Office Sports as excellent resources for staying in the loop. They also suggested that those interested in the field consult books written by people about the industry.
After the enriching discussion, the panelists took part in a networking session, interacting personally with the attendees. As gracious hosts, SeatGeek provided an inviting space and ample refreshments. This was a wonderful, enlightening event that offered participants new and helpful insights into the complex integration of social media and sports from two prominent leaders within the space. Through SAIS convening this gathering, those attending, from so many different backgrounds and career stages, were able to meet, share, and learn.
South Asians in Sports is excited to host our upcoming panel discussion and networking event titled, How Social Media is Impacting Sports Culture. Join us on Tuesday August, 6th at the SeatGeek office for a discussion with the head of sports partnerships from two leading social platforms, Anmol Malhotra (Head of Sports Partnerships, Snap Inc.) and Dev Sethi (Head of Sports, Instagram). Learn about their journeys, current business challenges and predictions for the future of sports business. The discussion will be moderated by Jyoti Agarwal, Lecturer at Columbia University Sports Management School (previously, NBA).
Special thanks to SeatGeek for graciously hosting the event.
When: Tuesday, August 6th, 2019 6pm-8pm
Where: SeatGeek, 400 Lafayette St Fl 4, New York, NY 10003
A free event open to members and non-members. Must RSVP to attend.
Doors will open at 6pm. Event starts promptly at 6:30pm.
Last night, South Asians in Sports hosted our first networking event of the year. The meetup took place at Baar Baar, a trendy new gastropub in New York City’s Lower East Side. Attendees mingled over delicious hors d’oeuvre courtesy of the restaurant and drinks. Sports professionals from various industries; media, marketing, law, business development and tech and sports; basketball, cricket, baseball and tennis had a chance to network with one another.
Check out the pictures from South Asians in Sports Member Meetup below.