Meet the Founders of DRAFTED: The First Platform for Latinas in Sports

In a society where representation in media and industry is a pressing conversation, two dynamic women, Karina Martinez and Jennifer Yepez-Blundell, have emerged as the pioneers behind DRAFTED, the first platform for Latina and women’s sports. Their venture was born from a convergence of their shared experiences, their drive for change, and the profound realization that something vital was missing in the world of sports. 

Meeting during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Martinez was shaping her PR agency, while Yepez-Blundell had embarked on a consulting venture. Seeking solace and connection during lockdown, they found themselves in an online community uniting founders and entrepreneurs. Bonding over a mutual passion for brand-building intersecting with culture and equity, their alliance blossomed swiftly. 

Their partnership evolved organically from 2020 through early 2023, intertwining through various projects and consulting endeavors. It was a camaraderie destined to culminate in a significant venture. 

BELatina recently chatted with the founders of DRAFTED to learn more about this initiative and how it will impact women and Latinas. 

Reflecting on the inception of DRAFTED, Karina highlighted a critical factor propelling their vision: the absence of a platform harnessing the tremendous financial and social influence that Latina sports enthusiasts hold. 

“Knowing what we know about the financial and social influence Latinas have, it was baffling to us that not a single company or community was harnessing that power in the sports industry. This meant we had the opportunity to be the first,” she stated emphatically. 

Jennifer, drawing from her background as a Latina, a former DII athlete, and a sports marketing strategist, echoed the sentiment. She shed light on the untapped potential of Latina sports fans, a vibrant force yet largely unaccounted for in mainstream narratives. 

“I’ve seen firsthand the untapped potential of Latina sports fans,” Jennifer asserted. “We are an economic powerhouse yet there is a complete void of our fandom insights and we are completely missing from most mainstream narratives. We saw an opportunity to serve the underserved.”    

Their collaboration embodies a fusion of complementary strengths and perspectives. Karina, envisioning the broader landscape, contrasts Jennifer’s meticulous attention to detail. This contrast fuels their partnership, forging a holistic approach to innovation and problem-solving. 

“Jennifer and I share the same vision but our approaches couldn’t be more different… Together we make one super human,” Karina acknowledged. 

Their mission, driven by a shared passion, emerged from a critical realization. Karina’s career had been dedicated to amplifying others’ stories, and it was time to create a platform resonating with her own lived experiences. 

“I’ve spent so many years watching brands build something for us (Latinas) but never with us. Oftentimes missing the mark completely  or launching without having first-hand knowledge of what their consumer craves,” Karina explained.  

“We [DRAFTED] wanted to do things differently and ensure the Latina sports consumer was brought in at every point.” 

The foundation of DRAFTED stemmed from an intensive effort to intimately understand their audience. The co-founder elaborated on their methodology, emphasizing the importance of engaging directly with the Latina sports consumer to glean firsthand insights. 

“The first several months we were maniacal about getting to know her starting with content, surveys and hundreds of in-person and digital conversations. This not only gave us real first-hand data around what our consumer craves and wants but cultivated a highly engaged community that was loyal to us because we were the first to really see them and include them,” she said. 

Their journey, however, wasn’t without challenges. Building something novel for an audience habitually overlooked presented endless hurdles, Karina acknowledged. 

“The biggest challenge we face daily is not having a barometer for success. ‘Are we doing this right?’ Are we growing fast enough? What could/should we be doing differently?’,” Karina admitted. 

Yet, they persevere. 

The name DRAFTED symbolizes empowerment and visibility within the sports arena for Latina culture. It speaks to reclaiming their narrative, their names, and their stories from the sidelines. 

“When Karina and I were launching the company, we kept coming back to the fact that our Culture is the lifeblood of the games we love, we are the ones fueling our heroes and keeping the steady drum beat in stadiums and beyond,” Jennifer said. 

We are the past, present and future of sports and we’re done watching from the sidelines. We are our own heroes, reaching new limits and breaking records and it’s time we hear our own names, it’s time we get DRAFTED. And with that, our name was found.” 

Their vision transcends the boundaries of language. While they recognize the significance of the Spanish-language space, they aim to first serve the English-dominant U.S. Latina community. 

“Current data shows us that the majority of Latinas are English dominant and crave in-culture experiences,” Karina elaborated. “Legacy brands have historically missed the mark with our community by simply translating from English to Spanish and thinking that’s enough. But we know the current generations Latinas are a lot more nuanced and intersectional and for us it’s vital that we serve her first before we expand into different regions or languages.” 

The aspirations of DRAFTED extend beyond business; they seek to redefine the sports landscape for Latinas. Jennifer envisions a future where Latinas are not just engaged in sports but are integral players and leaders. 

“Imagine young Latinas seeing themselves reflected in every corner of the arena,” Jennifer envisioned. “That’s the future we’re building, brick by brick, and with the right brand champions joining our roster, it will be the reality” 

Their parting words of wisdom echoed a sentiment of empowerment and resilience, urging others to pursue their dreams despite uncertainties. 

“The only thing stopping you from building that company or starting that project is you,” Karina encouraged. 

Their journey with DRAFTED is not just about a business venture; it’s a cultural movement and a testament to the unyielding spirit of Latinas in sports. 

“We will all have whispers of doubts, but we must remember how deep our roots run. We have a strong foundation that can withstand the harshest headwinds. Just keep nurturing yourself, growing and the sky’s the limit,” Jennifer concluded.

For Image credit or remove please email for immediate removal -