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A Brief History of The Shadow League’s Annual Leadership Awards

Keith Clinkscales

The former CEO of REVOLT Media & TV, Keith Clinkscales has more than 25 years of experience with major-media and cable companies. In the late 1980s, he co-founded Urban Profile, a bimonthly magazine that publishes content focused on urban youth culture. Keith Clinkscales went on to establish The Shadow League (TSL), a adolescent-focused digital sports platform.

Launched through a partnership with ESPN, TSL delivers round-the-clock sports content. Each year, the group presents its Leadership Awards to honor individuals who have made a significant impact in sports. The awards are bestowed upon not only athletes who have excelled in their fields, but also members of the media who are leading business development and driving corporate initiatives in sports.
In 2014, Clinkscales presented the first TSL Leadership Award to David Rone, the former president of Time Warner Cable Sports and Time Warner Cable Networks. Since then, TSL’s honorees have included Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions; Terence Crawford, the World Boxing Organization light-welterweight champion; and Christine Simmons, the president and COO of LA Sparks.
In November 2017, TSL held its 4th Annual Shadow League Awards ceremony in New York City, which honored three champions in their fields: Richard Cho, the first Asian-American general manager in National Basketball League history and general manager of the Charlotte Hornets; Claressa Shields, the first American boxer to earn consecutive Olympic medals; and Andrea Williams, the first African-American female commissioner for a Division 1 Conference.

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