CLEVELAND (WJW) – “Be The Solution.” It’s possible you’ve heard the Cleveland Browns use that phrase in response to racial inequality over the last year. This week, the team invited a diverse group of aspiring marketing professionals to help them bring that campaign to a wider audience here in Northeast Ohio.
The 20 participants worked in small groups and then presented their ideas during a four-day workshop.
“We did some research within the staffing of the Cleveland Browns and found The Haslam Group was doing a great job of providing internships, which they’re doing now for a rotational program, but we didn’t see too many people of color within our staffing for internships, within the Browns, which was very few to almost none,” said participant Chauncy Sanders.
Sanders and his teammates came up with a way to enhance the Cleveland Browns app. Their marketing plan, called “Play By Play,” featured a series of initiatives Browns fans can opt into with notifications on their phone, including a job fair designed to get more Black students and students of color into front office jobs.
Jenner Tekancic, Cleveland Browns Community Relations VP, said that’s what being the solution is all about: new ideas.
“So what can we be doing in the community? What do they see with their eyes as ways we can make a difference through our “Be the Solution” platform?” Tekancic said.
“Be The Solution” started in 2020 with an email from Browns General Manager Andrew Berry asking employees to donate their time or money to social activism. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were raised and now they’re hoping marketing plans from the workshop will help even more people get involved.
It’s not just job fairs, though. The workshop participants came up with ways to increase voter registration, patronize Black-owned businesses by creating new Browns gear and develop new mentorship programs between Cleveland Police and the city’s youth.
Domiana Pryor, who will graduate with her MBA from Cleveland State University this Fall, says the workshop taught her no idea is too small.
“Even the little steps. Every little step that you take, which is why we said ‘Play-by-Play’, is a step to a touchdown. You’re going to have wins, you’re going to have losses, you’re going to have interceptions, but as long as you’re still on that route to making a change.”
The workshop was a partnership with the Marcus Graham Project who’s mission is to create a more diverse marketing and advertising industry.
Joshua Hatch was chosen as the workshop’s standout participant and as a result, will get to attend the Marcus Graham Project’s Summer Bootcamp in Dallas.