The NASCAR Drive For Diversity

NASCAR created an “industry action plan” to attract a multicultural audience. Marc Davis was the great black hope. I enjoyed supporting his social media efforts when he raced at the Virginia International Raceway. He won in the lower levels of the sport and was signed by Gibbs. But Davis raced in only 10 Nationwide Series events from 2008 to ‘11. The opportunities were few and the results less than needed to prove himself.

2911_75611788229_1814009_n-1.jpg

Fast forward to 2018 and the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Development Team is full of emerging young talent ready to make their mark in the sport.

The drivers represent a cross-section of backgrounds – both in terms of heritage and driving disciplines – and all share a common goal: To reach the highest levels of NASCAR.

“What we’re seeing with these six drivers is a group of very talented racers who have shown the ability on and off the track to excel at the next level,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “With an increased focus on seat time and competition among the drivers, we’re looking forward to watching them perform next season.”

NASCAR, like most industries, understands the need to attract a diverse audience to their brand. It is these kinds of inclusive environments that allow companies to thrive. Share your story of diversity.

THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU is a MUST See Movie!

Mv5bmtu3odg3mdaxml5bml5banbnxkftztcwmjc0mdmzna

 

What is the guiding force behind our lives? Are our decisions made from free will or are our happenstance a matter of fate? These are the burning questions one is left with after watching the movie, THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU. I recently got a chance to check out this brand new flick when Liquid Soul Media produced a 20-market HBCU advance screening tour for the film.

THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU, starring Matt Damon and Anthony Mackie is a must see. It’s one of those movies that entertains you, keeps you on the edge of your seat, sprinkles in a good love story, and makes you think… really… really… think. Howard University hosted the screening in Washington, DC. We were treated to a question and answer session after the movie with one of the movies stars, Anthony Mackie, and the film’s Director, George Nolfi.  Mackie is best known for his feature films, television series and Broadway and Off-Broadway plays, including Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Drowning Crow, and Talk.

Nolfi, who is also the screenwriter for the film, is responsible for such blockbusters as The Bourne Ultimatum, Ocean’s Twelve and The Sentinel.  In THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU, Nolfie brought to life the affair between a politician and a ballerina affected by mysterious forces keeping the lovers apart through twists and turns that will leave you wondering about your own life by the time the film is over.

Make sure you add this movie to your things to do list when THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU opens up nationwide on March 4th, 2011.  I’m giving it two thumbs up!

Adjustmenttweet

THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU Do we control our destiny or do unseen forces manipulate us? Matt Damon stars in the thriller The Adjustment Bureau as a man who glimpses the future Fate has planned for him and realizes he wants something else. To get it, he must pursue the only woman he’s ever loved across, under and through the streets of modern-day New York.www.theadjustmentbureau.com

 

A Conversation with Tyrese and His Mission to Save Our Youth

Intervieing_tyson

Just before Tyrese Darnell Gibson, also known simply as Tyrese, hit the red carpet for the Kennedy Center Honors, I caught up with him at a Georgetown Hoyas game to discuss a venture near and dear to his heart, “Community in Schools.”   

Photoopwithtyson

Tyrese, an R&B singer, songwriter, rapper, actor, model and former MTV VJ first came to my attention when he did his very first TV interview on BET’s Video Soul.  I was a young Senior Producer and he was a model looking to crossover into the music business.  Fast forward several years and we found ourselves in a sky box at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC reminiscing about old times and talking about the dire state our youth find themselves in. 

While the official announcement won’t be made until next month, Tyrese spoke to a few select DC bloggers and I about his upcoming appointment as the spokesperson for “Community In Schools” and his role as the voice of the youth and the mission of the program.

You may think of him as only a pretty face and a talent singer/actor, but to his friends and the children he represents, Tyrese is a beacon of hope.


At a time when dropout rates are an issue in all communities, The Alliance for Excellent Education, an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., estimates that dropouts each year cost the nation more than $300 billion in lost income.  Community In Schools is making it their mission to beat those odds.  Tameka Green, CEO of Community In Schools in the Nation’s Capitol shared with me the program’s mission to combate the dropout rates in Washington, DC.

Championing the connection of needed community resources with schools to help young people learn, Community In Schools goal is to help students stay in school, and prepare for life.

 

 

Congratulations and many thanks to Tyrese and Community In Schools for taking on the challenge of decreasing school dropout rates and for their continued dedication to our youth.  To learn more about Community In Schools go to their website at http://www.communitiesinschools.org/ and look for the announcement of Tyrese as their new spokesperson coming in February. 

 

MTV, Universal Call Truce In Digital Rights Battle For VMAs

In a war over video streaming rights, MTV.com and Universal Music Group are playing nice in the sandbox… for now… so viewers can vote on videos. Which brings up the question, when an artist leaves a label… who owns the rights to stream their music videos that were recorded while at the label?

Amplify’d from adage.com
Justin Bieber is a nominee in the Best New Artist category for this year's MTV VMA's.

 

Justin Bieber is a nominee in the Best New Artist category for this year’s MTV VMA’s.

Viacom-owned MTV.com recently lost its rights to stream videos from Universal artists such as Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Kanye West when their deal expired in July. The two companies couldn’t agree on digital-advertising terms.

But according to MTV, Universal has provisionally allowed the website to publish its artists’ videos strictly for the purpose of the Video Music Awards, to be held in Los Angeles on Sept. 21.

“They did grant us digital rights,” MTV Networks Senior VP Jeannie Kedas said of Universal. “[I] think they recognize the value of MTV’s VMA’s for their artists.”

Indeed, the awards show is perhaps the premier event for popular music, a necessary stage for every label’s artists. Many of this year’s nominees and headliners are signed to Universal, the world’s largest record label.

A significant part of the awards process allows viewers to vote online, which ends Aug. 24. Though MTV.com had been proscribed from running Universal’s videos, the temporary truce allows for the viewing of their videos for the voting process.

Universal declined comment, but a label executive previously told Ad Age that they are seeking standard syndication terms.

Read more at adage.com

 

Online Targeted Marketing Works!

It was billed as “an exclusive, multi-market, multicultural blogger event”.  It turned out to be a major success for  “The Glam Squad Remixx” and for those of us in attendance.  Partnering with Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema’s highly-anticipated film SEX AND THE CITY 2, Liquid Soul Media unveiled “The Glam Squad Remixx”, an African-American female blogger-driven online initiative that not only celebrated the film’s release, but encouraged attendees to bring their own fashionista style to the VIP reception and screening taking place in three target markets: DC, Atlanta and Charlotte.

Each event was hosted by a popular fashion and entertainment blogger, commonly referred to as a “social scientist”, and included a red carpet reception and a private screening of SEX AND THE CITY 2.  According to pitchengine.com:

“The Glam Squad Remixx” celebrates the style ingenuity and sisterhood amongst African-American women nationwide. By partnering with TheYBF.com, Charlotte STYLE Magazine, BET Beauty Lounge and HoneyMag.com to host the events, there is a perfect opportunity for their online communities to dialogue about the experience of this event and the affinity African-American females have for SEX AND THE CITY 2, and to showcase how they “remixed” their city’s personal style.

The DC screening was hosted by Natasha E., writer and editor for the Young, Black and Fabulous gossip blog (TheYBF.com).  The event was a bit of an anomaly, using the mighty power of an online community, female bloggers and social media to fill the venue.  According to Natasha, the event sold out in less than two minutes.  That’s 300 seats in under 120 seconds.  Now, can anyone really deny the power of social media?

The event was a great time and the movie is a “must see” for a girls night out.  But in doing some background research for my own blog entry on Women Are Always Beautiful,  I found a great resource in PitchEngine.   PitchEngine, the next-generation PR platform, is a great way the media can “follow and filter only the content that matters to them.  If they see something they like, they can interact privately, one-to-one with the Pitch creator.”

“We built Pitch for journalist and bloggers instead of the other way around. It used to be acceptable to just blindly send press releases to media, but these days there’s just too much junk out there,” said Jason Kintzler, PitchEngine’s founder and CEO.

I’m new to this platform and I love the spin they have put on “social media relations”.  I’m so excited I found it.  I’m keeping my eye platform AND I will absolutely use it!