GSB News and Notes: Sacramento Kings, Bundesliga, and Boeing-Russell Athletic Take Green-Sports Lead


The NBA’s Sacramento Kings generate 100% of the electricity for its new arena from solar power. Sustainability helps the Bundesliga, the top level of German club soccer, win on and off the pitch. And an unlikely partnership between Boeing and Russell Athletic demonstrates a novel approach to energy efficiency. All in all, it’s a busy GSB News & Notes column to close out the week.

It’s been a long decade+ for Sacramento Kings fans. On the court, the club has not come close to reaching the NBA Finals since it came within a game of doing so in 2002^. In fact, Kings haven’t even made the playoffs since 2004. And the team was under constant threat of relocation from 2006-2013.
That threat ended with the 2013 sale of the Kings to local businessman Vivek Ranadive. And, despite another playoff-less year, Sacramento fans and the community at large can be proud of the leadership the team is displaying in the NBA in the climate change fight through the construction and October 2016 opening of Golden 1 Credit Union Center.
GreenSportsBlog highlighted an innovative fan engagement aspect of the new arena’s greenness: The Kings will use recycled rubber from donated sneakers as part of the base of the playing surface. But as cool as that program is–and it is cool–it’s small potatoes compared to the club’s commitment to generate 100% of the building’s electricity from solar power (#Go100Percent).
And get this–going 100% solar was a response to the fans! In a powerful March 7th Huffington Post Op-Ed, Randive recalled that, “survey[s] of over 20,000 Sacramentans and countless focus groups, one of the top answers to the question of ‘What do you want Golden 1 Center to be?’ was always the same: To become a model of sustainability. Our fans wanted a state-of-the-art arena that would deliver an unparalleled experience for both fans and the environment.” 
Randive & Company are giving the fans what they asked for. Golden 1 Center will be the first indoor arena in the world to derive 100% of its electricity from solar energy sourced within 50 miles of the arena–the Kings will buy 85% of its electric load from Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s (SMUD) new 10.9-megawatt solar farm; the other 15% will come from solar panels atop the building’s rooftop.\
Sac Kings Arena

Artist’s rendering of Golden 1 Credit Union Arena, including solar panels on the roof. (Photo credit: Fox40 Sacramento)

Is Germany’s Bundesliga the top league in European football (soccer)? I would give that honor to the English Premiere League, with the Bundesliga in 2nd as the EPL is stronger from top to bottom while the Bundesliga is top-heavy, dominated by one team–Bayern Munich. But you can make an argument for the German league.
On the other hand, what’s inarguable is that Bundesliga is the most sustainable, the greenest league in Europe.
As detailed in the February 22 issue of Sports Management magazine by Tom Walker, Bundesliga clubs have made sustainability the rule rather than the exception. Skeptical?
You shouldn’t be. The Bundesliga is home to several green firsts:

WWK Arena

WWK Arena, home of FC Augsburg, and the world’s first carbon neutral stadium (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are more such sustainability success stories across the Bundesliga. Will the Premier League, La Liga (Spain), Ligue 1 (France) and Serie A (Italy) follow suit? Watch this space.
If you were asked to name a leader in the world of sustainable athletic apparel, you might mention adidas for its partnership with Parley for the Oceans to get plastics out of oceans, or Nike’s “Reuse A Shoe” (formerly Nike Grind) program. Would Russell Athletic be at the top of that list? Not bloody likely!
Well, it should be.
Thanks to a forward-thinking partnership with Boeing, the largest aviation company in the world, that was brought to light in the March 9th issue of The Sustainable Investor (TSI).

The partnership uses “excess carbon fiber from the production of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner [as] input material for Russell Athletic’s protective football gear.” CarbonTek shoulder pads, “boasting a 100% carbon fiber exoskeleton,” are the result. Per TSI, the new pads offer players “increased range of motion, and [are] approximately 10% lighter than that of competitors. The pads have also proven to be 65% more effective in injury prevention as compared to alternative options on the market.”


Russell Athletic’s CarbonTek shoulder pads, made from excess carbon fiber from Boeing. (Photo credit: Football coach Daily)
^ Sacramento lost the 2002 NBA West Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers in a hard-fought, 7 game series that many say was decided by the referees.


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1 Comment

  1. Glad to see the Boeing-Russell partnership make the Greensportsblog! Great article.

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