The ESPYS have always given athletes a reason to celebrate the accomplishments of the past sports year. This year, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and Dwyane Wade stepped forward to use the ESPYs platform to address the violence occurring across our nation.
New York City F.C. is the newest sports team in New York, and they are making a big splash in the community. New York City F.C., in conjunction with the city, Adidas and U.S. Soccer Foundation, plan to build 50 soccer fields across the five boroughs over the next five years. The goal of this partnership is to increase participation in the sport and promote health and social skills among young people in under-served neighborhoods.
Jaquiski Tartt is a safety for the San Francisco 49ers, but I doubt many people (even hardcore NFL fans) would recognize him on the street or even that he's a professional athlete. None of that matters though because Tartt is using his platform as a football player to make a difference in his hometown of Mobile, Alabama.
This was a quote from Paul Danforth, the Head of Global Sales at CAA. He said it at a recent Sports Business Journal conference.
He was on a panel with Sam Kennedy, President of the Red Sox, and a few others talking about the advent of technology in sales. Kennedy added, "You're not going to make a sale over text message or Twitter."
Corporate philanthropy isn't a new topic - organizations have written checks to non-profits or causes that it's passionate about. In today's digital and social world, there are many mediums to allow brands to target a specific audience via digital channels, while still engaging in corporate philanthropy.
In the face of tragedy and despair, sports has united communities and kept them together. When our country faced 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombings, or Hurricane Katrina, the cities impacted could distract themselves by joining together and rooting for its local team. The New York Yankees, New York Mets, Boston Red Sox and New Orleans Saints, were pillars in its community and allowed fans to forget for a few hours. The teams stood for hope, strength and healing.
This week in our GW Sport Philanthropy class, we had a current event conversation focusing on virtual reality and its use in the sport philanthropy space. Towards the end of last year, a group of 400 individuals met at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to take a trip to Ethiopia through the use of virtual reality. Over the course of a nine minute video, attendees donned Samsung Gear VR Headsets and watched as 13 year-old Selam and her family received fresh water for the first time in their lives. It was a heartbreaking video that ended in happiness as they received a basic need in life.
EAT, SLEEP AND BREATHE SELLOUTS. THAT'S WHAT FANS WILL TALK ABOUT
A number of years ago, I had a job interview for a VP of Ticket Sales position with a major professional team. I was a relatively young buck and felt like I had the strategy the team needed to sell boatloads of tickets.
This past week, there were two conferences going on simultaneously: Cause Marketing Forum (CMF)and the SBJ Intersport Brand Engagement Summit. While I attended CMF, I followed along on Twitter with the Brand Engagement Summit. Both conferences are set up similarly - there are networking events at night and speaker panels throughout the day to learn best practices and trends in the industry. The following are best practices that cut across both philanthropy and sports and can be used in any industry setting: