- Target is partnering with multimedia platform Revolt to co-create a competition series for Black entrepreneurs, according to a company blog post. The retailer will provide a total of $500,000 in funding as well as mentorship for participants.
- "Bet on Black" highlights 12 Black-owned startup businesses who will pitch their ideas to four judges. The series will premiere on Jan. 10 on Revolt's digital platform and will land on other platforms on Jan. 11.
- The programming comes in advance of Target's commitment to invest at least 5% of its annual media budget, beginning in 2022, with Black-owned media. In 2021, the retailer has quadrupled its investment with Black-owned media and doubled its number of Black media partners, per the blog post.
Target's partnership with Revolt represents an acceleration of the retailer's commitment made earlier this year to commit at least 5% of its annual media budget to Black-owned media. Revolt was founded in 2013 by Sean "Diddy" Combs and produces content appearing across digital, linear and live media channels, per a press release.
Target, one of Revolt's top advertisers, is making a "multimillion investment" in "Bet on Black." In the series, contestants will face judges including musical artist T-Pain, costume designer Zerina Akers, radio personality and record producer DJ Envy and Target's Melanie Gatewood-Hall, who is senior divisional of merchandising in apparel and accessories for the retailer.
Investment in multicultural media, businesses and creators has become an industry rallying cry over the past year. For Target, the increased investment reflects the retailer's efforts to create an environment where Black shoppers feel more welcome.
"I understand the importance of this work personally, because as a Black man and a consumer, I have spent years wanting to see brands that I love to focus on what is most important to me and my community," said Maurice Cooper, Target's senior vice president of marketing, in the blog post. "I know how impactful it is to feel seen and appreciated, so there's personal satisfaction in ensuring that Target takes strides to do so for all guests."
Across the advertising industry, there is a growing commitment to Black-owned media. In early May, IPG's Mediabrands pledged it would allocate at least 5% of its of the budgets of its advertiser clientele to black-owned media. Later that month, WPP stepped up with its own Media Inclusion Initiative, calling upon clients to commit 2% of their annual budgets to Black-owned media. Within a week, 20 of Group M's clients had signed on to that initiative, with some, including Target, taking the commitment to 5% of their budgets.
Brands are also acting on their own. McDonald's plans to more than double investments in diverse media partners as part of a new plan to improve representation, while Diageo launched a standalone business that seeks to boost diversity, equity and inclusion in the beverage space.
In his comments, Cooper noted that Target's investment is only one part of its commitment to helping Black-owned businesses. The retailer wants to be the kind of partner that helps Black entrepreneurs enhance their capabilities so they can grow more rapidly.
"It's about helping them prosper, which in turn, helps evolve the media industry as a whole to be more representative of the American audience," Cooper said.