Sports and Social Change

Coaches Across Continents, One World Futbol and Chevrolet FC

The Beyond Sports Summit wrapped up last week in South Africa, with a host of new award winners in Sport and Development, including the global collaboration of NGO Coaches Across Continents, social enterprise brand One World Futbol and heavyweight auto brand Chevrolet. The "WhatDoYou #PlayFor" campaign has become a big part of Chevy's global branding around soccer and effectively leveraged through their relationship with perenial powerhouse Premier League club Manchester United.

Chevrolet was duly recognized for their efforts, winning the Corporate of the Year award, with CAC's co-founder Nick Gates receiving the award on the brand's behalf. “I am humbled and honored to have witnessed CAC’s rapid growth and positive social impact over the last six years," Gates said. "We are excited about the continued potential of this partnership with Chevrolet and this award will allow us to provide more communities with the knowledge and resources to use sport for social change.”

Now that's driving change, literally.

Read the full story at http://coachesacrosscontinents.org/breaking-news-cac-chevrolet-win-beyond-sport-award/


See the full list of Beyond Sport Award winners at
http://www.beyondsport.org/articles/beyond-sport-awards-2014-winners/

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DisAbility Sports Festival

As the Paralympic movement continues to build here in the US - thanks in large part to increased exposure via the web and social media, and the success of team USA athletes at the recent Winter Paralympic games in Sochi - there's a rapidly growing interest in adaptive sports. But for many people with disabilities, finding a sport they can play is the first step and often times the most challenging. If someone is interested in playing wheelchair rugby, just showing up at a local park expecting to find 9 other wheelchair athletes and an open game is not going to happen anywhere.

That was a big part of the goal behind the creation of the DisAbility Sports Festival. Started eight years ago at California State University San Bernardino by Kinesiology Professor Dr. Aaron Moffett, the 2014 event was held on Saturday October 18th, drawing over 700 athletes from 6 different states. The event is designed to introduce a wide range of sports for people with all types of disabilities. What began as a small local event has now grown into the largest cross-disability sports event in the Western US, with over 20 different sports and activities offered in one day, including Swimming, Soccer, Tennis, Sitting Volleyball, Judo, Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Rugby, Archery, Kayaking, Golf, Goalball and many others.

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Google Olympic DoodleEarlier this year, we presented a great opportunity for Nonprofit Sports Orgs to get a big boost for their Search Engine Marketing through the Google AdWords platform and Ad Grants program. Our friends at Elite SEM - one of the premiere Search Engine Marketing firms in the country - were willing to take on the challenge of guiding a Nonprofit through the AdWords universe, helping to set-up and manage keywords, tracking click-thrus and conversions and offering several "best practices" to keep them on-track. The Google Ad Grants program provides $10,000 per month for Nonprofits to spend on AdWords, which can be a hugely impactful tool for driving traffic, attracting donors and volunteers, or raising awareness around critical issues for Nonprofit Orgs.

After reviewing multiple applicants in the spring, Coaches Across Continents was selected to receive a 5 month pro-bono consulting package. Coaches Across Continents (CAC) uses Soccer as a platform for life skills education, focusing on local social issues such as female empowerment and gender equity; conflict resolution, social inclusion, health and wellness. With programs running in 21 countries around the world CAC reaches more than 170,000 children ever year through their international network of coaches and community partners.

I checked in with both Elite SEM and Coaches Across Continents to get an update on what's transpired over the past few months, and how the work has impacted CAC's AdWords campaigns. Here are some of the highlights and comments...

 

 

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Walking the halls of the Agenda show is always a great chance to see what's hip and happening in pop culture. One of the best lifestyle apparel & footwear trade shows going, Agenda offers the perfect mash-up of street wear and action sports, where many of the top brands showcase what's coming down the pipeline for next year.

I'm always on the lookout for products that transcend the norm with a cause related tie-in, and this year's show presented several brands, new and old, that have embraced a growing trend towards "Upcycling" - basically re-purposing and re-using old and used items into something new and useful. Here's a quick look at a few of the brands that stood out...

 

 

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I was asked by freelance writer Curtis Silver to offer some thoughts on the broader topic of the NFL's handling of domestic abuse by players. Curtis' piece ran on Linkedin with a quote from me, but I thought I'd share all of my thoughts here. There are many issues at hand, including how the league has handled the Ray Rice situation from the start, and I've been looking at the bigger picture here. Maybe you agree, maybe you don't. That's what's great about the forum we have today - the ability to discuss these issues...

NFL FootballIt appears there is a larger issue at hand, and a lot of folks are starting to point to it - the NFL way too lenient in disciplining players for off the field incidents, especially around violence. There is a long list of documented domestic violence and abuse cases involving NFL players and women (girlfriends, spouses, even mothers) and the lack of any significant discipline until Rice's indefinite suspension points to an attitude of indifference, hoping the problems will just go away or assuming they'll move past them quick enough that they won't tarnish the league's image. This piece does a great job of summarizing all of the previous incidents around domestic violence: http://sidespin.kinja.com/roger-goodell-is-a-domestic-violence-enabler-who-must-b-1632385955

In many of these cases, there were no formal charges filed, and the league might try to use that as justification for not penalizing the player with fines & suspensions. However those who deal with domestic violence will attest to the fact that charges aren't always filed, and in many situations the issue is never reported in the first place. There are over 50 documented cases involving NFL players since 2006; no one knows how many were never reported. Maybe only a few. Maybe a lot more.

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We got a note this past week from the good folks at Athlete Ally - one of the Orgs leading the call for respect, inclusion and acceptance in sports regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity - about a big event they're hosting in New York this October. A lot of progress has been made around this issue recently, but there is still a long road ahead and everyone in the sports community can get involved. Here's the full scoop...

Athlete Ally Action Awards

On behalf of Athlete Ally's Board of Directors, I am pleased to invite you to join me at the organization's first annual Athlete Ally Action Awards. The cocktail party will take place on Thursday, October 2 at Cafe Rouge in Manhattan.

The inaugural Athlete Ally Action Awards will recognize individuals and organizations that took pioneering actions in 2014 to help create LGBT inclusive athletic environments and end anti-LGBT prejudice through sport. In 2014, more athletes have come out and more sports organizations have taken a stand for LGBT equality than ever before. LGBT athletes are increasingly being made to feel welcome for who they are and straight allies are leveraging their voices to speak up for LGBT inclusion.

Please celebrate this enormous progress with us on October 2. Help Athlete Ally continue to educate and activate athletic communities to eliminate homophobia and transphobia from sports and to exercise their leadership to champion LGBT respect.

Please purchase your tickets today by clicking HERE


www.athleteally.org
Facebook: facebook.com/AthleteAlly
Twitter: @athleteally

 

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2014 Green Sports Summit For most people, the "green" they think of when it comes to sports is either the grass on the field or the significant amount of money the industry generates. However, there's a growing movement to raise the bar on another green topic in the sports world - environmental responsibility. And I had the opportunity to be at the epicenter of that movement last week at the Green Sports Summit, an annual gathering of sports business professionals who are exploring ways to build a more sustainable and environmentally friendly sports experience for all.

The annual event is organized by the Green Sports Alliance, a nonprofit formed in 2010 with deep "organic" roots in professional sports including founding franchises Seattle Seahawks, Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle Sounders FC, Seattle Mariners, Seattle Storm, Vancouver Canucks along with the Natural Resources Defense Council and Paul Allen's Vulcan, Inc. In 4 short years, they have grown the alliance to include over 240 pro & collegiate sports teams, venues and strong relationships with the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB, MLS and NLL.

The 2014 Green Sports Summit was a great opportunity for sharing of best practices and examples of what's possible in creating a sports experience that leaves a very small environmental footprint. There were a wide range of presentations around construction topics, energy efficiency & lighting, recycling & composting, sustainable purchasing & sourcing, and transportation. I was drawn to more of the marketing and event discussions, as those intersect with the work we do around Cause Marketing and CSR, but everything I attended was extremely insightful and definitely valuable.

Here are 3 things I learned at the 2014 Green Sports Summit:

 

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Tuesday, 01 July 2014 10:21

Featured Organization - Tenacity

TenacityTenacity

 

ASSOCIATED SPORTS: Tennis
CAUSES SERVED: Athletics, Children & Youth, Education, Literacy, Community, Health
AGE GROUPS SERVED: Children & Youth
EMAIL: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. " target="_blank">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
WEBSITE: http://www.tenacity.org

 

The one-on-one mental and physical challenge that tennis presents often creates something very special in the world of sports. Pure athletic ability only goes so far, and success on the court requires strategy and planning, knowledge of your opponent, quick decision-making skills, and complete focus – much like life itself. And with tennis there are overarching elements of self-awareness, discipline and sportsmanship, which add to its value as a great platform for youth development.

In the greater Boston area, Tenacity has taken all that tennis offers and combined it with a comprehensive academic and mentoring program which serves thousands of at-risk youth every year, building a 15-year winning streak that would make Federer or Nadal jealous. We asked the team at Tenacity to give us a deeper look inside their program and share their thoughts on what makes a winner on the court and in the classroom.

 

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Friday, 31 January 2014 16:00

Featured Organization - MLSE Foundation

MLSE FoundationMLSE Foundation

 

ASSOCIATED SPORTS: Basketball, Football (Soccer), Ice Hockey
CAUSES SERVED: Athletics, Children & Youth, Community, Health
AGE GROUPS SERVED: Children & Youth
EMAIL: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. " target="_blank">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
WEBSITE: http://www.mlsefoundation.org


In professional sports, it’s become standard practice for teams to create a foundation that supports local initiatives, from youth sports to education, to health programs and community improvement projects. There’s a delicate balance to be struck in offering support to a wide range of important local programs while also meeting the needs of league-wide initiatives.

Add to that dynamic being in the largest and most populous city in your country, with an extremely diverse cultural and ethnic community, and a rich sports history dating back to the late 1800’s, and you have the setting for the day-to-day operations of the MLSE (Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment) Foundation. Supporting four major professional sports teams – Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC, Toronto Marlies - across three different sports (hockey, basketball & soccer) is a unique challenge in the pro sports foundation landscape, and we asked the staff at MLSE Foundation to offer some insight into the work they’re doing around Ontario, how they balance the needs of each team and what’s on the schedule for the season ahead.

 

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On the eve of the World Cup last week, we were thrilled to host sports and entertainment industry professionals from around Southern California who gathered to celebrate the big event and share in their passion for soccer as a platform for social good. Along with our co-hosts Sports Studio, we welcomed supporters representing countries from around the globe including Mexico, Italy, Germany, Columbia, Argentina, Brazil and the USA, making their predictions for early exits (Spain!) and deep runs (Costa Rica?) into the knockout round.

 

World Cup Kickoff LA

Joining us on the night were several amazing nonprofit soccer organizations and social enterprise brands, each with their own unique approach to using the "beautiful game" as a platform for change...

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