In this episode of Event Peeps, we explore the passion projects event marketers are working on outside of their hectic schedules. Our guest Talib Abdullahi, national events coordinator at Tito’s Handmade Vodka, launched a nonprofit in 2020 following the murder of George Floyd to keep up the momentum of the movement and the fight for racial justice.
Black History Bike Ride, a volunteer-run organization based in Austin (@blackhistorybikeride), combines Talib’s passion for cycling with his knowledge base as a community historian. The rides take participants on a tour of significant BIPOC sites in Austin, and the hope is that this model can be recreated with ambassadors in communities across the country. The effort also helps shine a light on an additional mission for Talib and members of the cycling community, which is to make the outdoor recreational sports world a more equitable space for all.
Many experiential marketers talk about how they “fell into” events, but for Talib, organizing, launching and running events is in the blood. His parents, jazz musicians, started and ran two different music festivals when he was a child, experiences that ultimately inspired his career path. A University of Texas graduate, Talib cut his teeth at music venues and has worked in a variety of capacities in that space, from artist runner to zone manager to site manager to managing brand partnerships. Now at Tito’s Handmade Vodka, he oversees national strategic event partnerships, from music and food and wine festivals to the brand’s partnership with the PGA Tour. (Read more about Talib in Event Marketer’s 2022 Diversity in Color special report.)
Here, we talk about the makings of a nonprofit, what’s next for Black History Bike Ride and Talib, and what he’s learned building something for the community from the ground up.