Brandi Rhodes spoke to BlackWrestlingAlliance.com about her role as All Elite Wrestling's Chief Brand Officer, along with what she brings to the table in that role. Rhodes also talked about the women's division, if she'll wrestle, and her influence on minority wrestlers in AEW. Here are some of the highlights:
Responsibilities of her role as Chief Brand Officer for All Elite Wrestling:
"This is a role that is a newer role in a lot of larger companies ... each company tailors it to how they want it to work. In my instance, I have a lot of work that I'll be doing with partnerships, a lot of outreach and a little bit of marketing. Some of those roles are shared with other departments. What people will see coming from me are more of the partnership aspects and the rest of the stuff is kinda behind the scenes. It's really important for us for people to see what AEW is and one of the best ways to show that is by who we link up with and the kinds of things we do."
What qualifies her for the role as Chief Brand Officer:
"A lot of people don't know my background. When you get upset about something, do your research before you get upset about things ... But you know, I have degrees in communications and journalism. I had full rank scholarship to the University of Michigan, which anybody in the north will tell you, I don't know anyone that has had that at the University of Michigan, which tells you that I was a stand-up student. So, being able to have that and scholarships at the University of Miami, like I said, I've studied journalism, I've been in the media ... I was a reporter, I've been an anchor, [and] self-produced writer. I've had a lot of experience in a lot of stuff that comes in the direction.
"Another aspect of being CBO is that you're a face for the company and a lot of work that I've been doing in the last seven years in entertainment that has been very positive, so it's always good to have a face that is comfortable with media and very well ingrained with what they are doing. I do see things like people saying 'There are people more qualified.' Really? I'd love to see them. Someone who has this much wrestling experience and able to do all sides to the job. Sure, there are people who have worked in corporate America for many more years than me, but they have to have the wrestling bones in order for this to work. That's why a lot of times they are more familiar with entertainment but not familiar with sports. Had a great career there but when they come here they're like a fish out of water."
Her responsibility as part of the women's division:
"First of all, I think people are confused as to whether I am still competing and I will, absolutely, still be competing. Aside from that, I have a hand, definitely in the women's division, and fortunately, there are a few people in our group that I'm sharing some of the responsibilities with. It's a collaborative effort, creatively. There's not just one person.
"I have a vested interesting in it. I have spent my last few years training and aggressively becoming the best wrestler that I can and I will continue to do that but at the same time I've been in every major locker room of the professional wrestling world. ... I've seen people be happy, I've seen them unhappy. I've seen things make sense and them not makes sense. I've gained a lot of experience, learned a lot by sitting in all of these locker rooms in different roles. It definitely will help in terms of what we want this women's division to be."
If she feels a responsibility on female and black wrestlers now with AEW and the influence she has:
"One thing I can say is that I feel like I offer a voice in those areas. A lot of people think that if something doesn't happen right away with women or with a particular minority, they are overlooked and they're not important and that is so much not the case. But it's important that there's a voice there that can be the one to say 'Hey, have you considered this person? Or what about this group?' I am able to have that voice. It is a collaborative effort. I know that some of the ideas that I have are not always going to be seen as a good idea by everybody but, that's just life. We learn at some point that you don't always get your way. But I have noticed that somewhere in the beginning that, in our collaborative effort that I am being heard. Which is wonderful! It shows that everybody wants it to be the best it can be and everybody wants to do as much as we can for good wrestling. So, if there are areas where things can turn, we can turn them and we hope we can work with everybody who is of interest and are really really great at wrestling.
"I do think with wrestling as a whole, one of the tough things, especially for women, more for the black community is that a lot of the times it's hard to get attention or you're working in places where it's not being streamed. One thing that I would say for people who may hear this interview and be interested in trying to get their stuff looked at more, make sure you have a thriving social media and it's geared towards what you want to do, because if you're a wrestler and you're fantastic and I can't get that from your Instagram or I can't gather that from your Twitter, there's no clips anywhere, you're working against yourself."
Rhodes also discussed appearing at both WrestleMania and Wrestle Kingdom. You can check out the full interview by clicking here.