November 9, 2001

Major League Baseball Announces New Phase of Diverse Business Partners Program

MLB Aggressively Reaching Out to Grow League, Club Procurement Relationships with Minority-Owned & Women-Owned Businesses

Major League Baseball announced t recently an aggressive new public phase of its Diverse Business Partners (DBP) Program, an economically driven business initiative established to cultivate new and existing partnerships with minority-owned and women-owned businesses.



Major League Baseball Vice President of Strategic Planning for Recruitment and Diversity Wendy Lewis (left), discusses the League’s Diverse Business Partners (DBP) program with participating vendors, Caroline Freeman Tunis, president, Freeman Enterprises, Inc.; and Alexander Roca, chairman, Eagle Transfer Corporation at MLB headquarters in New York. (Photo: Major League Baseball)

The program helps to ensure that Major League Baseball and its member Clubs have access to the maximum number of businesses that can satisfy their various needs, and encourages minority-owned and women-owned businesses to participate in the procurement process for desired goods and services.

MLB is expanding the outreach efforts of DBP to raise awareness of the program and communicate to interested vendors how they can participate. The League has created a telephone hotline and a Web link to provide vendors with easy access to program information. MLB is also establishing a bank of DBP vendors that will be made available to its central office and all major league Clubs.

Since the formation and initial implementation stages of the Diverse Business Partners Program in 1998, Major League Baseball has incurred expenditures of more than $200 million with minority-owned and women-owned businesses. MLB has purchased more than $75 million in direct business-to-business goods and services from minority-owned and women-owned businesses, making it an industry-leading program. In addition, the Diverse Business Partners Program has complemented supplier diversity initiatives implemented by sports authorities for the construction of professional ballparks. As a result, minority-owned and women-owned businesses have received more than $125 million in contracts for the construction of Major League Ballparks since 1998.

"Major League Baseball recognizes the intrinsic value of having an inclusive vendor procurement process," said Allan H. "Bud" Selig, Baseball Commissioner. "I am proud of what the Diverse Business Partners Program has accomplished. I am even more pleased with the commitment that Major League Baseball has made to grow and strengthen this program, and ensure it continues to be a leading supplier diversity effort in all of professional sports."

"The Diverse Business Partners Program enables the Clubs to further strengthen their relationships with growing diverse communities and multiple fan bases," said Jerry Reinsdorf, Chairman of The Chicago White Sox and Co-chair of the Equal Opportunity Committee for Major League Baseball. "We see this as a work in progress, and are committed to continuing and developing new business relationships with companies that support the League's commitment to supplier diversity."

"Through Baseball, people of diverse backgrounds come together to participate at various levels in America's Game. Major League Baseball is seeking a similar synergy off the field through its diversity vendor procurement process," said Wendy Lewis, MLB Vice President of Strategic Planning for Recruitment and Diversity, who oversees the Diverse Business Partners Program.

Major League Baseball's Office of the Commissioner and its member Clubs evaluate vendor relationships based on individual vendor's ability to satisfy various objectives. These objectives typically include price, quality, service, and the vendor's willingness and ability to support the League's strategic objectives.

The League has retained RGMA, a recognized leader in the field of supplier diversity, to help establish the program. Businesses interested in learning more about the Major League Baseball Diverse Business Partners Program can visit the League's official Web site (www.MLB.com) or call the Diverse Business Partnership hotline 212-931-7554.

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