Major League Baseball is set to announce a partnership with the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, opening the door for LGBT-owned businesses to become official suppliers for the league.
NGLCC spokesman Jonathan Lovitz confirmed the news to The Huffington Post, calling the deal "historic." An official announcement from the MLB is expected at the league's Diversity Business Summit on March 8-9, in Phoenix.
The partnership gives LGBT businesses "an equal seat at the table" in bidding on contracts and other opportunities with the MLB, according to Lovitz. Businesses must be at least 51 percent owned, operated, managed and controlled by an LGBT person or persons to become a member of the non-profit.
"Our network of certified businesses are already flooding the MLB registration portal," Lovitz said.
Our network of certified businesses are already flooding the MLB registration portal. NGLCC spokesman Jonathan Lovitz
NGLCC has similar agreements in place with the U.S. Tennis Association and the NFL.
"I think there’s not a high enough level of importance that we can put on partnerships like with the MLB [and] USTA, because it really does help tell the story of who we are as an LGBT business community,” NGLCC president Justin Nelson said in an interview with Fortune.
“It’s not just businesses that may be stereotypical or everyone assumes would be an LGBT business, like a florist or an interior designer—and those are great business and I want all of them certified—but it’s a lot of other things. It’s facilities management. It’s construction."
The MLB currently also works with the National Minority Supplier Development Council, Women's Business Enterprise National Council, and the Small Business Administration.