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SXSW 2021

The “I” in “Team”: Sport in a Changing Society

Decades ago, athletes accepted the idea “there is no ‘I’ in team,” which removed the idea of individuality and identity from the collective of the team. Today, more than ever, there’s a high degree of individuality and personal identity in sports and athletes are using their platforms for social change and self-expression. From athletes using pre-game arrival as a fashion runway to express their flair, to writing personal beliefs on shoes, to changing the back of their uniform to promote their values, such as “Black Lives Matter,” sports is a new and powerful expressive platform. This panel, featuring leads in Sports, Art, and Culture, shares how this change is happening from the inside-out and how it may shape sports, brands, partnerships, the arts, and culture in the future.

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  1. How athletes are using their platform to express ideas that are shaping society that is affecting business, sponsorships, and brand partnerships.
  2. The variety of platforms athletes are using to express who they are and what they believe in and new ways they’re connecting with their communities.
  3. How to build inclusive online and offline communities by creating a brand tone that’s more human than corporate.


  • Jasmine Maietta, CEO/Founder, round21
  • Monique Billings, Pro Athlete, WNBA
  • Emeka Ofodile, VP Sports Marketing, ESPN
  • Tyrel Kirkham, Vice President, Brand & Marketing Strategy, Detroit Pistons


Jasmine Maietta, CEO/Founder, round21

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