Green College Sports

Davidson College Creates Green Bracketology


Davidson College (in Davidson, NC, near Charlotte) basketball is best known for its amazing run to the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight in 2008 behind the incandescent Steph Curry.  

While the Wildcats have not reached those lofty heights since, Davidson will make an even more important contribution to the sports world–and beyond–this April with The Next Play Tournament, a March Madness-inspired “venture competition” for student-led business plans that aims to make the sports industry more sustainable. 


One of the reasons I started GreenSportsBlog last May was to explore how the sustainability world could borrow some of the passion and energy that is a core part of the sports world’s DNA.  It’s a challenge, even though the sports world is, when you break it down, fun and games, while sustainability and the fight to reign in climate change is about nothing less than saving humanity as we know it.


Steph Curry cbs

Steph Curry of Davidson, during the Wildcats’ remarkable 2008 run to the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight.  Davidson is hosting The Next Play, a sustainable-business, March Madness-style venture tournament this spring (Photo Credit:


There have been some small wins, like the “Sustainable Saturdays” program at University of Colorado basketball games highlighted in our last post.  Those wins may become bigger, through The Next Play Tournamenta “venture competition” for student-led businesses that uses the March Madness model of “survive and advance”.

Here’s how it will work:

  • On March 16 and 17, invitations will go out to the NCAA Men’s and Women’s basketball tournaments.
  • Immediately thereafter, Davidson will send invitations to those colleges and universities whose the women’s and/or men’s basketball team were invited to basketball’s “Big Dance” to send a team of graduate and/or undergraduate students to Davidson College’s campus on April 10-12 to compete in The Next Play.
  • Teams will present their business solutions for incorporating sustainability into the sports world in three tracks:  Facilities, Products and Non-Profits.
  • They will be judged by and have the chance to network with professionals in both the sports and sustainability industries.
  • There will be one winner in each track, and on the last evening of the competition, the last teams standing will face off in Davidson’s Belk Arena to compete for the championship.
  • Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners and runners-up.


Next Play Bracketology

Bracketology, The Next Play Style


GreenSportsBlog would have added a 4th track for Fan Engagement.  But they can add expand The Next Play—just like March Madness has expanded over the years.
Now, assuming the participating teams bring their innovative “A-Games”, The Next Play will become a shining example of the power of the intersection of Green + Sports. Stay tuned to GSB for The Next Play play-by-play in April.



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  1. If half the passion that goes into the brackets could be leveraged for green policies… Who knows what would happen?

  2. So true, Candy! When Prez. Obama fills out his brackets for ESPN, Andy Katz should throw in a question about Keystone XL Pipeline. In the parlance of March Madness, I think Rejection of Keystone XL is a #12 seed (out of 16). A long shot against the heavily favored, Koch Bros. backed Pro Keystone XL (#5 seed). But, as I’m sure you know, 12 seeds have a habit of knocking off 5 seeds in the first round (as opposed to a 16, which has never beaten a 1). In case you’re unfamiliar, here’s the scoop on 12s-vs.-5s (yes, it’s a “thing”):

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