CEO of Sara Belay Inc., Sara Hood, has made history after announcing she now owns the Houston Hyenas, making her the first Black woman to own a digital sports team.
The virtual team is part of SimWin Sports, a sports league owned by some of the sports industry’s biggest athletes, including David Ortiz, Magic Johnson, Jerry Rice, Tracy McGrady and LaMelo Ball. The league is also one of the first of its kind to sell professional franchises as NFTs.
“I’m a big fan of David Ortiz’s leadership and his team’s innovative approach to emerging technologies in gaming and sports betting,” Hood said in a statement. “He has played a pivotal role in ensuring that ownership opportunities have been accessible to black and brown investors, which I’m deeply passionate about increasing representation for black women in sports. It’s especially meaningful to me to be a partner in the Houston Hyenas alongside Ed and Emmanuel, one of our first investments as a group.”
Emmanuel Acho, an NFL Analyst and CEO of Moon Ultra Edward Madongorere will accompany Hood in the owner’s suite.
“Our new ownership group’s outstanding professional accolades in the tech and media industries and newfound commitment to our vision speak volumes about SimWin’s long-term vision in the metaverse,” said Ortiz in a statement. “The addition of the Houston Hyenas also highlights our efforts to promote an inclusive, diverse, and equitable ownership base.”
Hood was born in a refugee camp in the Sudan after her parents fled a civil war in Ethiopia. She was inspired to excel when she and her family moved to the U.S., and she attributes her humble beginnings as the catalyst for her success.
In addition to owning the Houston Hyenas, she is a lifestyle influencer, entrepreneur and social media expert who dissects current affairs at the intersection of health, beauty and entertainment. She is also a tech investor with Broad Street Ventures and a correspondent for REVOLT.
Sara, who also hosts a podcast called Influence to Equity, has a “natural curiosity, dynamic style, and love of life despite all of the hardship, [allowing] for an emotional, entertaining, and inspiring journey throughout each episode,” reads a biography on her website. “By putting it all on the line, her interviews cut to the heart of the guests, and moreover, the listeners.”