Social Impact Authors: How & Why Author Latasha Owens of Metro Esports Is Helping To Change Our World
Connect with purpose. Explore genuine connections with purpose and pour into those who pour into you. When a relationship exists, getting anything done is possible.
As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing LaTasha Owens.
LaTasha Owens is a Marketing executive with over 30 years of professional experience in business leadership at multichannel Marketing efforts across industries, managed business development with startups, and consulted with Fortune 10 companies. Owens has worked on both the client and agency sides in Technology, Media, Sports, Entertainment, Fashion and Beauty industries developing Marketing, promotional, partnership, experiential, and digital strategies. An innovator and collaborator, LaTasha continues to align her efforts with philanthropy, driving STEM and STEAM efforts in underserved communities.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I started my journey in HS as an Information Systems Technology major that wanted to be able to teach everyone I knew how to use computers and the technical tools becoming available to us. As a native NY’er, a friend knew I shared her passion for music and asked me to join her as an intern at Uptown Records. There I used technology to make everything more automated and efficient in Marketing. I continued to do Campus Promotions while at Howard University and later used those skills at UniWorld Group, the longest standing multicultural agency in the US on its Burger King account. From agency to client side Marketing in a multitude of industries, I gathered a host of experience across Marketing disciplines. I’ve now continued to impact the intersection of technology and culture as I develop solutions in esports and entertainment. I measure everything I do against purpose and ensure there are equitable Marketing efforts and environments across industries.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?
Creating consumer programming that is impactful is the highlight of my career. There is nothing like seeing your work in an arena full of people reacting to it. Whether it be Super Bowl, CES, BET Awards, MTV Awards, Essence Festival or any of the film and TV integrations from Gossip Girl to Star Wars, I love to make an impact and have my messages seen and well received. Layering in philanthropic efforts like cancer research, domestic violence or underserved youth outreach or other causes near to my heart further amplifies the impact of my work and passion projects..
It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Making the mistake to blindly allow someone else to manage a core relationship for me was a huge mistake. I once ended up on a shoot with no talent one day and very unhappy talent the next. From that day on I was sure to personally connect with important partners and not depend on others to do so for me. That said, I have countless invaluable relationships I can reach out to personally to care for the needs of my Clients. What’s funny is that somehow, I got things done and was able to deliver without getting fired!
Can you describe how you or your organization is making a significant social impact?
The Metro Sports & Entertainment Group, “Metro Esports” is a technology-based education, media, and custom esports event management company, committed to attracting, engaging, entertaining, and educating a broad and diverse group of aspiring gaming and technology enthusiasts. Metro has a unique expertise in custom programming, multicultural consumer reach, and innovative brand integration strategies that intersect sports, entertainment, fashion, and technology.
For example, opening this fall, Lincoln University (an HBCU in PA) students and the surrounding community will benefit from a unique partnership with Metro Esports, a subsidiary of Metro Sports & Entertainment Group, designed to promote the growth and development of students in a collaborative environment. This facility will foster a wealth of opportunities for student and community development through an esports lounge, programming, and partnership extensions in the university’s ‘Lincubator.’
Digital Bridges, is the non-profit affiliate of Metro Sports & Ent. Grp., committed to improving the lives of underserved youth via collegiate and executive programs. Through Digital Bridges, Metro will continue to bridge the gap to the local communities to provide access and information to develop their technology skillsets.
Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?
The culture as we know it has benefited from the work that me and so many have done. Ensuring there is equitable advertising, media and other Marketing efforts across industries over the last 30 years has been my legacy. From the transformation of experiential and integration into TV, Film & Music, to the evolution of the digisphere to amplify our voices. I often mentor young people who did not realize there was such a thing as a Branded Entertainment or Multicultural Marketer and they’re inspired to be a part of this movement that ensures that equitable voices are heard across culture.
Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?
Embracing technology as a tool to develop and invest in our youth is a key area of opportunity that can make an extraordinary impact if addressed with deliberate intent. Further, diversification (women, BIPOC, LGBTQAI, etc.) are critical to the success of a diverse society.
How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?
A leader connects, inspires and delivers. Whether internal or external, a great leader connects people, places and resources to improve everyone and everything around them. They inspire those in their midst to show up as their best selves. And lastly, they can be relied on to deliver and exceed expectations.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Connect with purpose. Explore genuine connections with purpose and pour into those who pour into you. When a relationship exists, getting anything done is possible.
- Don’t be afraid to think big. Regardless of your environment, ideas and the ability to problem solve will make you invaluable. That invaluability is the closest thing to job security you will find.
- Seek fulfillment not validation. Focus on the broader impact and your purpose instead of what is expected of you from family and friends. You’ll deliver your best when you’re operating in your gifts.
- Mentorship matters. Find wise counsel and give wise counsel. Both are valuable and rewarding. Every great player wants to be coached. Being an executive is a contact sport and not for the faint of heart. It is critical to find a multitude of mentors with different specialties to provide insight and guidance.
- Enjoy the journey. Savor the moment on the way to your success. It is not a destination, but a journey.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I love it! I do exactly that, inspire the masses with Marketing tactics that align with goals and objectives of a partner. Most importantly, it should be emphasized that equitable Marketing to diverse audiences across industries is still a massive problem. Too many brands continue to make missteps in this area because they refuse to engage the appropriate partners to effectively lead in this area.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Don’t adapt to the energy in the room, influence the energy in the room. My focus must remain on driving continued growth to increase relevance and market share through cross-functional leadership. That means listening, then leading so that I can create narratives that drive marginalized and underserved communities forward.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I would meet and have breakfast / lunch with Dr. Eddie Galude, Princeton professor and lead of AA studies there. I appreciate his ability to discuss any topic and deliver succinct insightful commentary in a deliberately artful way. It is a skill I value and would love to master. I’d love to discuss everything from politics and culture!
How can our readers further follow your work online?
This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!
Social Impact Authors: How & Why Author Latasha Owens of Metro Esports Is Helping To Change Our… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.