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Last week we had the pleasure of attending a private brunch to celebrate Toyota’s new “Home Team” campaign at the legendary Apollo Theater. Now this venue was the perfect place to debut the new commercial for the Toyota Highlander which honors the ground breaking Negro League as they celebrate 100 years. The new commercial features former Kansas City Monarchs Captain James “Jim” Robinson who was also in attendance for the special event. The intimate room filled with journalist & community activist were delighted to be in the presence of a sports legend who has inspired generations of athletes.

Toyota put together a special panel of men to discuss the special commercial which included ESPN/ABC correspondent Ryan Smith , vice president and creative director of Burrell Communications Group Corey Seaton & executive program manager, product development office of Toyota Motor North America Craig Payne. What I truly admired about this panel was that 3 black men who work in different areas were able to express how Jim & the Negro League inspired them . It was a beautiful site to see how their love of the game and the people who paved the way for them has helped them all to become a force in their respective fields. This lineup alone is the reason why we have to continue to learn about our Black History and not just for month , because what these men are doing are paving the way for the next generation of men to take things to the next level.

I had a chance to ask the baseball legend how did it feel to be apart of their new campaign and if he knew what he was doing decades ago would be such an important part of history. “I Loved all of it , especially being in the Highlander. I need one of those” joked the 90 year old. He also stated “We never thought about making history , we just wanted to play and we took care of each other even the bus driver. We were all apart of the team”. The spirit in the building was all about giving back & paying homage and Toyota did that in more ways then one. Before the panel was over Toyota’s own Joe Moses (General Manager over Vehicle Marketing and Communications)presented their donation of $25,000 to the Harlem Little League to help fund field repairs, coaching clinics and team uniforms. Now if that wasn’t enough , we were then able to watch the commercial as Jim shined on screen which was the perfect way to celebrate Black History Month. Now although the highly anticipated commercial doesn’t run till March 30th , you check out a behind the scenes feature on the monumental campaign below.



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