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Diverse Business Partners
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Diverse Business Partners

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Major League Baseball's Diverse Business Partners Program?
  2. Why did Major League Baseball create the Diverse Business Partners Program?
  3. How does the Diverse Business Partners Program define a "minority-owned" business?
  4. How does the Diverse Business Partners program define a "women-owned" business?
  5. If I am a minority or women-owned business and am certified, will that guarantee that my company will do business with Major League Baseball or one of its 30 Clubs?
  6. If I am not a minority or women-owned business, can I conduct business with Major League Baseball and/or one of its 30 Clubs?
  7. If my company is minority or women-owned, can I automatically consider myself a minority business enterprise (MBE) or a women business enterprise (WBE) business?
  8. How do I know if I qualify as an MBE or WBE?
  9. How do I get my business certified?
  10. What is Major League Baseball Purchasing Code of Conduct?
  11. How can interested companies find out more about the Diverse Business Partners Program?

Q. What is Major League Baseball's Diverse Business Partners Program?
A. The Diverse Business Partners Program is an initiative designed to increase opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses to participate in the procurement activities of Major League Baseball organizations.

Q. Why did Major League Baseball create the Diverse Business Partners Program?
A. The Diverse Business Partners Program is an economically driven business initiative designed to support key strategic objectives of the industry. It was developed after extensive review of best practices within Baseball. The program is designed to promote efficiency and profitability while extending Baseball's ability to contribute to the economic strength and well being of diverse communities.

Q. How does the Diverse Business Partners Program define a "minority-owned" business?
A. Major League Baseball follows established corporate and government standards and definitions for these terms. Ownership by minority individuals means the business is at least 51% owned by such individuals (Black [African American], Hispanic, Asian or Native American). In the case of a publicly owned business, one or more such individuals own at least 51% of the stock. Furthermore, a minority group member controls the management and daily operations. Additional definitions as listed by the National Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. include:

Black (African American): A U.S. citizen having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.

Hispanic: A U.S. citizen of trueborn Hispanic heritage, from any of the Spanish-speaking areas of Latin America or the following regions: Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean Basin only.

Asian-Indian: A U.S. citizen whose origins are from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Asian-Pacific: A U.S. citizen whose origins are from Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the Philippines, Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Trust Territories of the Pacific or the Northern Marianas.

Native American: A person who is an American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut or Native Hawaiian, and regarded as such by the community of which the person claims to be a part. Native Americans must be documented members of a North American tribe, band or otherwise organized group of native people who are indigenous to the continental United States and proof can be provided through a Native American Blood Degree Certificate (i.e., tribal registry letter, tribal roll register number).

Q. How does the Diverse Business Partners program define a "women-owned" business?
A. Major League Baseball follows established corporate and government standards and definitions for these terms. "Women-Owned Business" means a business that is at least 51 percent owned by a woman or women who also controls and operates the business. "Control" in this context means exercising the power to make policy decisions. "Operate" in this context means being actively involved in the day-to-day management.

Q. If I am a minority or women-owned business and am certified, will that guarantee that my company will do business with Major League Baseball or one of its 30 Clubs?
A. Major League Baseball Office of the Commissioner and its member Clubs evaluate vendor relationships based on their ability to satisfy key criteria including: price, quality, service, flexibility, creativity and the ability to contribute to and support Baseball's strategic and market objectives. These factors, along with the need for the product/service offered, will determine the nature of the business relationship.

Even if you are certified, you must still market your business, offer competitive prices, and offer goods and services that Major League Baseball solicits. The amount and frequency of opportunities will be dependent on the needs of the Clubs and the Office of the Commissioner.

Q. If I am not a minority or women-owned business, can I conduct business with Major League Baseball and/or one of its 30 Clubs?
A. Major League Baseball is committed to developing new business relationships with companies that support its commitment to supplier diversity, regardless of ownership.

Major League Baseball and its Clubs develop partnerships with a wide variety of suppliers and vendors. An individual vendor's ability to satisfy various objectives is key to developing a business relationship. These objectives typically include price, quality, service, and the vendor's willingness and ability to support Major League Baseball's strategic objectives. These factors, along with the need for the product/service offered, will determine the nature of the business relationship.

Q. If my company is minority or women-owned, can I automatically consider myself a minority business enterprise (MBE) or a women business enterprise (WBE) business?
A. Your firm must meet certain certification guidelines established by governmental and private sector agencies to qualify as an MBE or WBE.

Q. How do I know if I qualify as an MBE or WBE?
A. You must apply for and then go through a certification process. Local, state, and federal agencies have established certification programs. Typically, applicants must submit information about the company and its ownership. There are several private sector certifying agencies for minorities and women as well. The largest minority certification agency is the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council (NMSDC). One certifying agency for women is the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).

Q. How do I get my business certified?
A. Major League Baseball does not certify businesses but encourages diverse merchants to obtain certification with the appropriate organizations. Diverse businesses can contact the NMSDC, WBENC, or the Small Business Administration (SBA) for more information on certification.

National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)
1040 Avenue of the Americas, Second Floor, New York, NY 10018
Tel: 212-944-2430 - Fax: 212-719-9611
Website: www.nmsdcus.org

Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
1120 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 950, Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 872-5515 - Fax: (202) 872-5505
Website: www.wbenc.org

Small Business Administration (SBA)
409 3rd Street SW, Washington, DC 20416
Phone: (202) 872-5515 - Fax: (202) 872-5505
Website: www.sba.gov

Q. What is Major League Baseball Purchasing Code of Conduct?
A. Major League Baseball selects its suppliers, vendors and contractors within a framework of an inclusive process. We support the enhancement of the quality of our vendor base while demonstrating our commitment to all aspects of diversity. We encourage greater involvement among diverse markets while obtaining the most beneficial quality, price, service, delivery, and supply of goods and services.

Q. How can interested companies find out more about the Diverse Business Partners Program?
A. Businesses interested in learning more about the program can call the Diverse Business Partners Program information line (1-800-975-3277) or send an e-mail (dbp@mlb.com).