The growing Green Sports world will convene at the end of June in Chicago for the 5th annual Green Sports Alliance Summit. Here’s a taste of what awaits the summiteers in the Windy City.
The fifth edition of the Green Sports Alliance Summit touches down in the middle of the country for the first time when it hits Chicago from June 29-July 1. As the Green-Sports corner of the sports world grows, so to grows the Summit: Approximately 200 people attended the 2011 version in Portland; about 800 are expected in two months time at the McCormick Place Convention Center. Those 800 or so will encounter a maturing Green-Sports industry that has, in GreenSportsBlog’s view, tremendous room for growth.
This will be the third Summit for GreenSportsBlog. To us, the Brooklyn summit in 2013 was all about the greening of the games themselves, but was light on fan engagement. The Alliance took note and fan engagement was much more in evidence at Santa Clara 2014. From a look at the 2015 program, the Chicago Summit will have more fan engagement (good!) and will add an emphasis on the “Eco Athlete” (very good!)
From the Opening Program, “Walking the Walk: Athletes Advancing More Sustainable Communities”, the Summit will focus on the impact being made by a small but increasing number of environmentally-friendly athletes. The roster of these athletes, active and retired, will be headlined by Keynote Speaker Andrew Ference, Defenseman and Captain of the Edmonton Oilers. In 2007, Ference, along with Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki, established the NHL Players Association’s Carbon Neutral Challenge — the first major environmental initiative in professional hockey.
Andrew Ference, Captain, Edmonton Oilers, and Keynote Speaker at the 2015 Green Sports Alliance Summit in Chicago. (Photo credit: Green Sports Alliance)
Other eco-athletes on the program include:
- Brendan Brazier, Former Professional Ironman Triathlete
- Joey McColm, Race Car Driver
- Will Witherspoon, Former NFL Linebacker
- Greg Long, Big Wave Surfer
Beyond the athlete-focused content, the Summit will also feature sessions on Sustainable Food in Sports, Reducing the Carbon Impacts of Large Sports Events, and Fan Engagement: Engaging Millennials in Sustainability, among others.
Chicago, one of the great sports towns in the US, will itself be a star of the Summit. Attendees can take sustainability-focused, behind-the-scenes tours of Soldier Field, home of “Da Bears,” and Toyota Park, home of Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire, among others.
And Chicago’s commitment to green sports will be center stage during a session entitled “The Sustainable Chicago Sports Project: A City-Wide Approach to More Sustainable Professional Sports.”
If you would like to attend, registration is easy–just click here. If you can’t make the Summit, GreenSportsBlog will be covering it in real time. And, in thinking ahead to next year’s Summit (hey, someone’s got to!), you might have heard that 2016 is a Presidential election year. So we would love to see this session: Sports and the Politics of Climate Change.
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