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:
Get a Yes to these three questions and you'll wake up excited to go to work
Take a moment to Google "How many people are happy in their job" and you'll find story after story saying anywhere from 60-80 percent of people aren't happy in their job. Wow! What a miserable way to spend 8-10 hours a day. Doing something that makes you unhappy. Look around you. Four out of the five people you see at your office aren't happy. You may be one of them.
Memorial Day is a holiday that many brands like to get involved with. Brands and teams create content in the attempt to engage with consumers; however, many times it comes across as inauthentic. In what is one of our most serious holidays on the calendar, it is a time for remembrance and thought for those that have perished protecting our country.
Sticking with the theme of philanthropy rooted in business, Warby Parker fits the bill. The organization was founded with a lofty objective: provide designer eyewear at an affordable price, while leading the way for socially conscious business.
While Warby Parker had a great business plan to maximize revenue and become a player in the glasses space, there was an underlying philanthropic reason to open its doors. On their site, they simply state: "We believe that everyone has the right to see."
Two weeks ago I listened to a keynote speech given by Dan Migala. He framed his talking points around Walter O'Malley's teachings and his visionary leadership in creating the Ohio University Sport Administration program. Ohio University recently celebrated its 50th anniversary as a program. What has separated Ohio University from the pack is its strong alumni network that dates back decades, as it has held the first-mover advantage.
I was boiling mad. I hope the staff and salespeople were boiling mad also.
I don't get pissed off easily. In this case though, I was steaming walking out of this sales call.
I and my partner Jon Spoelstra are part owners of a summer collegiate baseball team in Savannah, GA. The team has gotten tremendous publicity including ESPN, Yahoo Sports, NBC Sports Network and even features on the team dog, Daisy. That's what made me so mad.
On May 10, 2016, TOMS is celebrating its 10 year anniversary. To celebrate, Blake Mycoskie, TOMS founder, wants to give away 100,000 pairs of shoes to children in 10 countries. Each year, TOMS spends one day #withoutshoes to raise awareness for children's health and education. This campaign has been active for the past few years, and has made a difference in countries across the world. It is native and authentic to who TOMS is as a company. As a reference, Blake Mycoskie's Twitter bio reads: Chief Shoe Giver and Founder of TOMS. One for One.
If you talk to anyone working in the sports industry, he or she will be quick to say that what makes sports so amazing is that it's unpredictable. On the court or on the field, every game is unscripted; there could be a miracle win or a last-second loss accompanied by the emotions that come with both endings. The emotional ties here is what is indescribable. Fans and brands across the globe want to be a part of this industry as fans are extremely loyal to their teams. What drives people to spend insane amounts of money to be a part of the live-action is simple: emotions.
I stopped in at a shoe store earlier this week to have some shoes repaired. I had a choice with the shoes. Have them sewn and look reasonable or buy a brand new pair.
The shoe repair guy, who looked a bit like a character out of a Harry Potter movie, took my shoes and said he could fix them, "$18 bucks" he said. Sounds like a great deal I thought. $18 for a repair or $100+ for a new pair. "Go ahead." I said.
30 years. 30 years of providing weeklong, cost-free vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. This is what Give Kids the World Village has provided to families for the past 30 years. The story began quite simply: Amy, a little girl with leukemia, had a wish. She wanted to visit Orlando's theme parks - something that many little children wish to do. One gentleman helped to accommodate the housing, but remaining details took too long to arrange and her wish unfortunately was never granted.
I was just a kid when I first saw this phenomenon.
It was at my first real job—selling season tickets for the lowly New Jersey Nets—years and years ago.
At the time the Nets were in their sixth straight year of being the worst team in the NBA. And they were pitted against the worst team in Western Conference, the Sacramento Kings. Heck, I didn’t think a lot of folks in New Jersey even knew that there was a team from Sacramento.
Before I lived in Athens, I thought it was just a college town that would be fun to visit for a few weekends…. but it became so much more than that. It became a home away from home and my graduate program became a group of people who became my second family. We were told in December of our first year that we would help organize and execute an event named Race for a Reason.This event holds a special place in my heart because it found my passion for fundraising and community relations. This year, the event will take place on April 23rd, 2016.
The Kansas City Royals World Series win was a win for all underdogs. Long known as a struggling franchise, the Royals turned around their fortune through their farm system, pitching, and timely hitting. While they lost the World Series in heartbreaking fashion in 2014, the team followed this up with a run to the championship and their first championship in 30 years.