Representation holds power and basketball star and businessman Russell Westbrook is putting the focus on ensuring multicultural audiences see themselves reflected in the products and content they consume. The nine-time NBA All-Star has launched a digital media division under his company Russell Westbrook Enterprises.
Westbrook will use the new venture—dubbed RW Digital—as an avenue to help global brands connect with diverse audiences and elevate the work of publishers of color. Causal IQ—a strategic digital marketing firm—will partner with Westbrook’s team to support corporations in taking a culturally responsive approach to their work. RW Digital’s client portfolio includes American Airlines, PepsiCo, AT&T, the American Entertainment Network and Moderna.
Westbrook says he wants to aid global brands in using their platforms to drive social impact. “With RW Digital, my mission is to enable brands to reach multicultural audiences through programmatic data-driven media solutions. Current multicultural advertising lacks marketplace knowledge and a deeper understanding of cultural nuances. Our platform also partners with brands to drive social impact to important social causes,” he shared in a statement. “Empowering underserved communities is my passion. With this venture, I can make an impact on a global scale.”
Farshad Fardad, CEO of Causal IQ, added through the partnership the company “will continue to create compelling value for global brands while sharing Russell’s vision of driving social impact.”
News about the creation of RW Digital comes as there remains a need for more diversity in advertisements. Research shows 34 percent of consumers will stop using a brand because its advertising wasn’t reflective of their identity.
Whether it’s through philanthropy, business moves, or creating film projects that celebrate Black history and culture, Westbrook has displayed his dedication to ensuring underrepresented communities feel seen and heard. Earlier this year, he announced he’s developing a documentary that will capture the narratives of pioneering Black basketball players who competed before the NBA’s racial integration.
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