The sports world has begun to reopen, albeit in empty stadiums. New Zealand is a notable exception as the pro rugby season began over the weekend in front of fans. That country currently has zero known COVID cases.
Sports executives outside the two-island nation are preparing for the day when fans will be allowed through the turnstiles again. Facilities managers, engineers and more are working overtime to deal with a myriad of logistical challenges as they prepare for whenever their Opening Day may be.
How to make venues as COVID-19-free as is humanly possible so fans will feel safe is easier said than done.
With that in mind, GreenSportsBlog is happy to offer a recurring guest slot to the new Sustainable Sport Research Collective and their four-part “Sustainable Sports Agenda, Opportunities for the World to #BuildBackBetter” series. GSB finds the Collective’s focus on ensuring that #BuildBackBetter not only means safer but also greener wherever possible to be compelling, indeed.
Part I introduced the series.
Part II focused on Environmental Strategies for Gameday Logistics to #BuildBackBetter — i.e. transportation and ingress/egress.
Last week’s Part III — Opportunities in Concessions and the Back of House to #BuildBackBetter — took on the complex safety and environmental considerations around food, beverage, packaging, waste and much more.
Today’s finale — Opportunities to #BuildBackBetter in Communications — takes on two related issues, fan communications and partnership fulfillment.
Fan communications delves into the challenges and opportunities around disseminating COVID-and sustainability-related information with curious and possibly concerned spectators when they are allowed to re-enter sports venues.
The partnership fulfillment section goes beyond the pandemic. It make a series of recommendations on how sports teams and venues can best work with their sponsors to authentically meet the current moment of increased citizen/fan concerns around social, racial and climate issues.
Sustainable Sports Agenda Part4.Communication
GreenSportsBlog has no doubt that today’s report will provoke discussion and questions. The Collective would like to facilitate that conversation by inviting you to an online discussion of how to #BuildBackBetter in Fan Communications and Partnership Fulfillment next Tuesday, June 23rd at 4pm ET.
Please register here.
Sustainable Sport Research Collective is a collaboration among four established sustainability professionals exclusively focused on the sports industry.
Per the Collective, “With strong knowledge of venue operations, environmental sustainability, social responsibility and fan experience and engagement, the group recognized the need for insights into fans’ primary concerns, and latent trepidation, in returning to large public gathering spaces. As advisors and practitioners working regularly with sports league and team executives, we’ve established a robust survey method, including a novel virtual focus group, representative of the broad demographics of sports fans.”
Sustainable Sport Research Collective Members¹:
- Aileen McManamon, Founder of 5T Sports
- Monica Rowand, COO of Phase 3 Sport
- Kristen Fulmer, Founder of Recipric
- Madeleine Orr, Co-Founder of Sport Ecology Group
Photo at top: Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves (Photo credit: Aileen McManamon)
¹ Kristen Fulmer serves as Strategic Advisor of EcoAthletes, a nonprofit founded in April by Lew Blaustein of GreenSportsBlog. Madeleine Orr is on the EcoAthletes advisory board.