Monthly Archives: January 2017

The Man Who Turned Super Bowl 50 Into a Sustainable Sporting Event

By K.C. Compton

2016.01.31-NewsFeed-Sustainable Super Bowl-IMAGE

Growing up first in Zimbabwe, then in South Africa, Neill Duffy became aware early on of the challenges of economically and socially marginalized communities. Now CEO and founder of Purpose + Sport, a sports-marketing agency based in San Francisco, Duffy is recognized as a thought leader in supporting organizations to expand beyond philanthropy and corporate social responsibility to embrace sustainability and purpose as core strategic business drivers. In September, Purpose + Sport oversaw the implementation of the purpose component of Super Bowl 50, “the most shared, most participated in, most giving Super Bowl ever.”

The path to that clear triumph began in the messy social and racial nexus of apartheid. As a sports marketer in South Africa during its transition to majority rule in 1994, Duffy realized the major role the sports sector could play in helping to normalize the nation’s formerly apartheid and thoroughly sports-crazy society. Through his agency, Octagon Worldwide, he worked to ensure that every sport sponsorship had a strong development component — and repeatedly saw this strategy translate into returns for multiple stakeholders.

The true “Aha!” moment came when South Africa hosted and won the 1995 Rugby World Cup — a moment immortalized in the 2009 movie, Invictus — when newly elected President Nelson Mandela leveraged the country’s passion for sport to rally all South Africans to support the international event.

“It was a defining moment for me as I witnessed firsthand the power of sport to change the world — in this case to midwife the birth of the ‘Rainbow Nation’ of the post-apartheid South Africa,” Duffy says. “And that was accomplished while also delivering a financial ROI for sponsors and the event owners.”

In the years since, Duffy has accrued experience starting, developing, growing and managing businesses throughout the world and has shepherded some of the world’s most dramatic examples of the marriage between sport and purpose. The granddaddy of them all so far has been Super Bowl 50, with a “net positive” goal — socially, environmentally and economically. Duffy served as sustainability co-chair on the Host Committee’s Sustainability Committee and was its sustainability advisor — a role that earned him the moniker “Green Guru.”

Read the full story here.

Bright Outlook: Martinsville Fires Up New Lighting System

By Staff Report

2016.01.31-NewsFeed-Martinsville LEDs-IMAGE

Let there be lights … at Martinsville.

The oldest track on the NASCAR circuit displayed its newest measure of modernization Wednesday evening by flicking on the LED lighting system installed over the offseason.

Yes, Martinsville social media manager, she most definitely looks swell.

The 2017 season marks the 0.526-mile track’s 70th anniversary. At the initial announcement in October, the track indicated the project will use an estimated 750 lights mounted from both inside and outside the track.

The lights provide a measure of insurance on those rainy days in Virginia. And while no formal night races for NASCAR’s three national series have been announced, drivers were asked about the prospect of such an event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour this week.

“Martinsville night races? Sweet,” Joey Logano said when asked about that prospect. “Short track night races are tough to beat.”

See the story here.

Buckeyes Host Zero Waste Synchronized Swimming Invitational

2017.01.31-NewsFeed-Ohios State Sync Swim-IMAGE

For the first time in school history the Ohio State Synchronized Swim team is set to host a zero waste event. That event is the season-opening OSU Zero Waste Invitational at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion on Saturday.

The technical events will begin at 10 a.m. and will be followed by solo, duet and trio routines beginning at 2 p.m. In addition to the Buckeyes, athletes from Miami (Ohio), Michigan and Wright State will also be competing.

As a university, Ohio State has embarked on a campus wide effort to go zero waste by 2025. One of the first steps taken by the athletic department was to go zero waste at all home football game which meant diverting at least 90 percent of material from the landfill to either recycling or compost. Through one synchronized swim team member’s efforts, that same process will now play out at every event inside McCorkle this spring.

Tori Baron, an environment, economy, development and sustainability major, took her idea directly to Director of Athletics Gene Smith. With his help, and the help of others within the athletic department, Baron was able to secure McCorkle’s first zero waste event.

I went to an AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) conference last year and everyone was asking me about our process for zero waste at our football games. They thought it was tremendous that we were able to do that at such a big event. So I thought why can’t we do this at our meets this year? I asked Gene Smith at a meeting and he connected me with Mike Penner (Senior Associate AD for Internal Operations) and Graham Oberly (Sustainability Coordinator for Athletics) and with their help, we were able to get this going.”

“With being a student-athlete and asking to do something this big, I thought it was going to be a struggle,” Baron continued. “But I’m so thankful that everyone who has helped us throughout the process has been so enthusiastic and really wanting this to work. Graham Oberly has really played a huge role in getting this event together.”

What will fans notice differently this year than in years past? McCorkle will get six new zero waste bins which are separated into three compartments for recycling, compost and landfill. The food supplied to the teams and judges as well as food at the concession stands will be served on compostable materials and signage will be in place throughout the building directing fans where to recycle their trash. Volunteers will also be on hand at the bins helping fans determine what is or what is not recyclable.

Read the full story here.

Welcome to the Green Sports Alliance News Feed & Blog. We do our best to keep up with new and noteworthy stories in the world of green sports, but if we've missed something, please drop us a line and let us know! Use the search function below or click through our archive to find past postings.