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The Engagement Academy
of Sports x Entertainment

Comprised of industry leaders, athletes, creators, and entertainers, the Engagement Academy plays a vital role in driving an engaging and inclusive future of sports content, experiences, and entertainment. EASE members select the winners and honorees of the Hashtag Sports Awards.

Sports x Entertainment

About The Academy

A mission-based membership, EASE selects the Nominees and Winners for the Hashtag Sports Awards—the leading honors for sports entertainment and individual achievement in content, creativity, and storytelling.

Presented by the Engagement Academy, the HSAs recognize excellence in fan engagement, establishing the benchmark for effective engagement on an annual basis.

Through year-round online and offline events and content series, we encourage people inside and outside the industry to share ideas and inspire others to challenge the status quo by building a more representative and inclusive industry.

Featured Members


Sean Brown

Head of Sports

Sara Crennan

VP, Head of Content
Yahoo Sports

Josh Hart

NBA Athlete & Podcast Host

Sara Toussaint

VP, Sports Marketing
Wells Fargo
allyson doker

Allyson Doker

Head of Social Media
UBS Americas

Ken Gibbs Jr

Global Head, Social Media Strategy

Kelsey Taylor

Sports Partnerships

Pat LaCroix

Global Mktg & Brand Partnerships

Dev Sethi

Head of Sports

Jennifer Alvarez

VP, Creative & Digital Marketing
Miami Heat
stephanie maes

Stephanie Maes

Director, Sports Partnerships
MGM Resorts International
dianna kraus

Dianna Kraus

Global MD, Sports

MEMBERSHIP in the ENGAGEMENT Academy is by Invitation Only.

Academy Mission

To better serve fans in the digital age by recognizing excellence in engagement and inspiring creative talent of all ages while championing diversity, equity, inclusion, and new ideas that galvanize the sports and entertainment industries.

Creators of Color

  • A new program from EASE in partnership with Canva that spotlights and empowers sports creatives ages 21-33 who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

Talent Pipeline

  • The Sports Entertainment Talent Pipeline (SETP) to help the sport, media, and entertainment industries discover and hire diverse creative talent.

Gender Equality

  • Each year, The Engagement Academy and Hashtag Sports recognize executives who are committed to empowering women in sports and entertainment.


Creators of Color

Spotlighting and empowering sports creatives ages 21-33 who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color

Talent Pipeline

Creative talent CRM and discovery platform

Gender Equality

Executive honor recognizing those who champion and empower women in sports and entertainment