Sean “Diddy” Combs and Endeavor are teaming up to diversify the music industry. On the heels of Combs signing with WME for representation in all areas, the two will partner for the The Excellence Program, which aims to be one of the largest virtual development programs and résumé databases for aspiring entertainment executives from underrepresented communities.
The Excellence Program will launch July 12 and will be free and accessible to eligible students with an interest in breaking into entertainment, marketing, music or fashion. The six-week program will include sessions spanning categories such as touring and performing, professional development, entertainment business and storytelling.
Sessions will be taught by a curated list of industry heavyweights including Joey Bada$$, Cari Champion, Victor Cruz, Bill Duffy, Desiree Gruber, Terrence Jenkins, Reggie Love, Marshawn Lynch, French Montana, Guy Oseary, Rajon Rondo, Lindsey Vonn, Gus Wenner and Jeff Burroughs. Additional sessions will be led by executives from Amazon Studios, Amazon Web Services, MSG Entertainment, Revolt Media, Combs Enterprises, WME, Endeavor Content and IMG Models.
“Beginning my career as an intern changed my life, so it’s been a lifelong dream to give the next generation of entrepreneurs and executives access to the best in entertainment, marketing, music and fashion,” Combs said in a release. “Partnering with Endeavor creates a pipeline to opportunities that allow future leaders to not only succeed, but thrive in these highly competitive industries.”
Combs will kick off the program with a session on “Igniting the Excellence in You.” Once the program is completed, top participants will be considered for internships at the aforementioned companies and entered into a master database “résumé book” to be shared across relevant companies in an effort to diversify hiring pipelines and recruiting industrywide. Combs Enterprises and Endeavor have each committed to hiring interns and entry-level employees from the program.
HBCU in LA, National Association of Latino Independent Producers, Brown Girls Dream, Asian American Collective, Reel Works and Diverso have joined The Excellence Program as partners, while racial justice nonprofit Color of Change has partnered with Combs and Endeavor to lead coursework on ways to effectively impact change in the workplace. Companies who sign on will be encouraged to adopt measures from Color of Change’s #ChangeIndustries Initiative, which secures commitments to roadmaps for change from the corporations that set culture, with the goal of increasing Black empowerment, safety and equitable culture change.
Combs moves to WME from CAA. The artist has five top 10 albums on the Billboard 200, including two No. 1s (No Way Out, four weeks at No. 1 in 1997, and Press Play, one week at No. 1 in 2006). According to MRC Data, he’s also posted 15 top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hits as a performing artist, with five of those going to No. 1. Combs has sold 8.8 million albums in the U.S. and his songs as a credited performer have registered 806 million U.S. on-demand streams.
In addition to his own work as an artist, he has produced 10 more Hot 100 top 10s that he does not feature on, including three No. 1 hits for Mariah Carey.
In 2016, Diddy’s Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour grossed $22.3 million and sold over 250,000 tickets, according to figures reported to Billboard Boxscore.