Last week was a great one for the Green-Sports movement. The power of Green-Sports was on display at the COP21 climate change conference in Paris. And also last week, Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, Co-Founder and President of the Green Sports Alliance, was named to Sports Business Journal’s “50 Most Influential People in Sports Business” list for 2015.
Abraham D. Madkour, Executive Editor of Sports Business Journal (SBJ), summed up its naming of Green Sports Alliance co-founder and President, Dr. Allen Hershkowitz as one of 2015’s 50 Most Influential People in Sports Business this way: “Our selection of [Hershkowitz] at No. 50 will surprise many. Part absent-minded professor, part disheveled, charming scientist, he serves as the point person and de facto ‘godfather’ on green initiatives throughout sports and has proved to be an effective relationship-builder at the highest levels of the industry. Nearly every major commissioner has turned to him to develop a road map for going green, and he’s been an effective advocate in convincing sports organizations of the moral and financial benefits in selling sustainability.”
Here’s GSB’s take on SBJ’s take:
- I’m not surprised Hershkowitz made the list. At all. That’s because he is arguably the person most responsible for the mainstreaming of Green-Sports, both from greening the games (i.e. Zero Waste, LEED certified stadia/arenas, etc.) and green-sports-as-catalyst-for-positive-social-change points of view. Per NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman (#7 on the SBJ list,) “Allen’s influence in the environmental community is well-documented, as is his visionary approach to leveraging the tremendous power of sports to promote positive change.”
- Making SBJ’s 50 Most Influential list is a very Big Deal. Even at #50, it validates not only Hershkowitz’ work as, in the words of Scott Jenkins, Board Chair of the Green Sports Alliance and General Manager of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, “a change agent who was instrumental in developing the very concept of sports greening,” it also is an important nod to the growing significance and influence of the overall sports greening movement.
- Green-Sports Will Make the List in 2016. How can it not? Especially when one considers Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara will be Super Green, more fans will take mass transit to the Euro 2016 soccer tournament in France in June than to any prior Euro, and that sustainability issues, both positive (reduced carbon emissions) and negative (water pollution at the sailing, rowing and triathlon swimming venues,) will have a high profile at the Olympics in Rio in August. In fact, I’m predicting that, whether it is Hershkowitz or someone else, Green-Sports will be higher up on SBJ’s list a year from now.
- Hershowitz is part-disheveled. So what! When one is, as I am, constantly mistaken for hair-challenged actor Jeffrey Tambor, disheveled sounds pretty darn good.
On a serious note, congratulations to Dr. Hershkowitz for making the SBJ 50 Most Influential People in Sports Business list.
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