Sports Diversity Leadership Council History

The Sports Diversity Leadership Council (SDLC) is a membership organization comprised of:

  • Sports Leagues and organizations
  • Convention and visitors bureaus, sports commissions, travel and tourism companies
  • Corporate partners and more.

2014 the organization was formed by Media Out Loud, LLC, a Global Leader in Diversity & Inclusion, and parent of the Compete Sports Media brand.

2015 the Sin City Classic the largest annual LGBTQ+ sporting event in the world with 9,500 participants, and the Federation of Gay Games joined the SDLC to help create the organizations mission, vision, motto and structure.

2016 SDLC met in Las Vegas as part of the Sin City Classic.  Athlete Ally joined the SDLC as a founding Member. Later that year the SDLC Conference was held in Denver in November. Leaders from Compete Magazine, Team Colorado, Federation of Gay Games and other sports diversity pioneers all contributed in producing an action plan for 2017 to “soft launch” the SDLC organization.

2017 the Sin City Classic was again the meeting site of our and included representatives from such organizations as National Gay Flag Football League (NGFFL), National Amateur Athletic Association (NAGAAA), International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA), HelmsBriscoe and several other prestigious organizations.

2018 the SDLC was officially launched at the 2018 Connect LGBTQ Events Summit in Partnership with Nike.

“It’s exciting to have partners from every spectrum of the sports world coming together collaboratively. Together, we’re equipping leaders of tomorrow, today with the tools and resources needed to drive growth in an ever-changing market” Ian Johnston, Uber, at the 2018 Connect Sports LGBTQ Events Summit in Partnership with Nike, February 7, 2018

“By working with our member organizations in the areas of business development and education we build a stronger sports community. That’s how we harness the Power of Sports Community” Eric Carlyle, SDLC Founder, at the 2018 Connect Sports LGBTQ Events Summit in Partnership with Nike, February 7, 2018

SDLC Mission, Vision, Values and Motto

MISSION: To serve as the premier advocate for diversity, inclusion, and excellence in LGBT sports.

VISION: To facilitate meaningful and collaborative educational opportunities and partnerships that enrich, build, and empower athletes, sports organizations and their communities.

VALUES:  Inclusion, Diversity, Equality, Acceptance, Leadership

MOTTO:  The Power of Sports Community™


Media Out Loud, the owner of the Sports Diversity Leadership Council has a long history of giving back to the community it serves. Since its inception in 2006 Media Out Loud has donated over $500,000 in in-kind and cash donations.

Just a some of the many organizations Media Out Loud has supported include:

  • AIDS/LifeCycle, AIDS Walk Arizona
  • Aunt Rita’s Foundation
  • Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation
  • Campus Pride
  • Cheer Los Angeles, Cheer New York
  • Chelsea Challenge
  • Desert AIDS Project
  • Human Right Campaign
  • Center LV
  • Equality California
  • Federation of Gay Florida AIDS Walk, Games
  • Gay Polo League
  • Golden Gate Wrestling
  • Las Vegas Pride
  • Los Angeles Pride
  • New York Pride
  • North American Amateur Athletic Association
  • North American Gay Volleyball Organization
  • Phoenix Storm Rugby Football Club
  • San Francisco Pride
  • Sin City Classic
  • Team Colorado
  • Team D.C.
“Giving back is just part of our corporate culture. It doesn’t make us special, it makes us happy.” Jared Garduno, MOL V.P. and SDLC Director

SDLC Leadership Team

Eric Carlyle, SDLT CEO
Eric Carlyle, co-founder of Compete Sports Media, is the founder and CEO of the Sports Diversity Leadership Council.  Eric is a sports pioneer, leader in sports diversity and inclusion, LGBTQ+ media expert and community connector.

Jared Garduno, SDLT Media Out Loud Vice President & SDLC Director
Jared Garduno brings an executive level business acumen and strong commitment to sports and the LGBTQ+ community to his role as SDLC Director.

Barbara Harwell, SDLT COO
Barbara Harwell comes to the SDLC with over 30+ years as a small business owner and general manager for Rebound Magazine, the official magazine of the National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) and approved by the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 2012.

Connie Wardman, SDLT Education Director
Connie Wardman has an extensive background in LGBTQ+ sports diversity advocacy having served as Editor-in-Chief of Compete Magazine since 2011.

Raleigh Dombek, SDLT Program Coordinator
Raleigh Dombek serves as the SDLC’s program coordinator facilitating the SDL designation and SDLC certification programs.  Raleigh currently serves on the Salvation Army Advisory Board.