Openly gay NBA player Jason Collins courted press today at Freedom Plaza to show off his billboard, draped on the JW Marriott Hotel located on Pennsylvania Avenue in Downtown Washington, DC. The Brooklyn Nets center was part of the Marriott International initiative to officially kick off its #LoveTravels campaign — just a couple days from the start of DC’s annual Capital Pride weekend.
According to Marriott’s Senior Marketing Director, Kristine Friend, this multicultural campaign mirrors the company’s commitment to diversity and their mission statement, “to make everyone feel comfortable being who they are, everywhere they travel.”
Marriott partnered with professional photographer Braden Summers, who has snapped photos of celebrities for the Tony Awards and photographed a lifestyles series of modern couples for the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. Marriott thought having Braden shoot the campaign’s exclusive images would be a great way to celebrate inclusion as part of its new Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) social media and marketing campaign.
In addition to Jason Collins, transgendered fashion model Geena Rocero and Marriott associate Talisha Padgett-Matthews are also featured on the larger-than-life billboard wraps, which are currently hanging at 4 additional hotels: Renaissance Dupont Circle, Renaissance Downtown, Residence Inn on P Street and The Ritz-Carlton Washington, DC. The campaign includes an online portrait gallery, display ads in cities throughout the US and a social media push to encourage people to share what #LoveTravels means to them.
Marriott International has remained among leading corporations earning high marks on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Corporate Equality Index year after year.
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