Connect proudly announces the Connect Sports LGBTQ Events Summit in Partnership With Nike’s BETRUE will take place Feb. 5-7 in Portland, Oregon. The industry-leading event—the first of its kind for LGBTQ sports professionals—will include a full day of education and keynote sessions on the Nike Campus. The new event was announced during Connect Sports in New Orleans.
The summit will mark the first time in the history of the sports tourism industry that global destinations who embrace diversity and are actively engaged in securing room-night generating sporting events can meet with LGBTQ sporting event organizers to present their hospitality community, venues and facilities.
Expected to be the world’s largest gathering of LGBTQ sporting event organizers, the event is designed to provide attendees with three days of education, best-practice sharing and networking.
Robert Gorman, Nike’s senior director of global retail brand visual presentation who developed Nike’s BETRUE campaign, will be the keynote speaker.
“We are excited to share the evolution and connect LGBTQ sport organizations to NIKE’s BETRUE work in our commitment to LGBTQ athletes,” said Gorman. “Supporting moments like Connect Sports LGBTQ Events Summit helps continue to move the conversation forward.”
Connect Vice President of Meetings and Events Patrick Higgins said the summit will provide LGBTQ planners with never-before-seen resources to create business opportunities with communities across the United States.
“So many individuals that own and operate LGBTQ sporting events are volunteers,” said Higgins. “The days of them trying to navigate the ever-changing world of sports tourism by themselves is over.”
Higgins also noted, “Nike’s BETRUE program has been incredibly supportive of the ‘LGBTQ Events Summit from our very first conversation. Their approach to what we’re going to accomplish with the summit has been nothing short of incredible.”
The Connect Sports LGBTQ Events Summit will held in conjunction with Connect Diversity. Both events demonstrate Connect’s commitment to LGBTQ and multicultural organizations. In recognition of its work with the LGBTQ Sports Coalition, Connect Sports will receive the Corporate Diversity Partner award at the 8th annual Compete Sports Diversity Awards.