London Knights ice hockey team. Image Source: Climate Action.
The London Knights ice hockey team in Canada has recently implemented a range of sustainability initiatives, including planting trees for every save its goalkeeper makes.
The team’s first ever green event was launched over the weekend during a home game at the Budweiser Gardens in Ontario.
“Over the last year, there has been a conscious effort by our team at Budweiser Gardens to evaluate our practices and procedures and look for ways that we can implement environmentally responsible practices”, said Brian Ohl, the stadium’s general manager.
The team has worked with local environmental groups to launch the ‘Saves for Trees’ programme at the game. In total, the Knights goalkeeper made 44 saves during Saturday’s match against rivals the Sudbury Wolves. These trees will contribute to the ‘Million Tree Challenge’, a community project designed to improve the city’s air quality and environment.
The official game sponsor, Downtown London, has agreed to match the total and will plant an equal number of trees. Fans have also been encouraged to join the initiative by sponsoring a tree.
Super Bowl LII will be played in Minnesota, one of the most environmentally-conscious states in the country. Host city Minneapolis is mass-transit friendly and filled with LEED certified stadia and arenas. The Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots will do battle in LEED Gold US Bank Stadium. The game will be zero-waste and 100 percent of the energy used to power the contest will be offset. Yet, it says here that the most important green aspect of the 2018 Super Bowl may well be two beer ads — unless the NFL steps up to tell the Big Game’s green story to the audience 100+ million people.
Question: What does this triumvirate — Clydesdale horses, the Bud Bowl, and recent catastrophic extreme weather events — have in common?
Answer: They are each themes of Budweiser Super Bowl ads, past and immediate future. If there was a Super Bowl Advertising Hall of Fame, the brand’s ads featuring the iconic, white maned horses and the fun, computer-generated football games played by teams of beer bottles (Bud vs. Bud Light!) would both certainly be first ballot inductees.
But corporate parent AB InBev’s stablemates Budweiser and Stella Artois are going in a different direction for Sunday’s broadcast on NBC.
In “Budweiser’s Super Bowl Beer Ad Isn’t about Beer,” which ran in the January 26 issue of Environmental Leader, Jennifer Hermes reported that the brand’s 60 second Super Bowl spot is actually about…water: “[US corporate parent] Anheuser-Busch currently produces canned drinking water at its Cartersville, GA, brewery, and ships them to communities in need. This year, the company shipped nearly three million cans of emergency drinking water to areas hit by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and by the California wildfires. In total, the company says it has provided over 79 million cans of drinking water to communities in need. The Super Bowl ad tells the story of its employees in the Cartersville plant who produce the emergency drinking water. [It] features the general manager of the brewery, along with more than 20 of his local colleagues.”
Budweiser’s “Stand By You” water-themed Super Bowl ad (60 seconds)
Stella Artois’ 30 second ad, produced in partnership with water.org, features actor Patriots fan Matt Damon, who calls on beer lovers to step up to help solve the water crisis by buying a Stella beer chalice. Damon asserts that if just one percent of Super Bowl viewers purchase the glass, Stella will provide “clean water to one million people. For five years.”
Matt Damon stars in Stella Artois’ 30 second, water conservation-themed, Super Bowl ad
Culbert and Martin among M&C’s 15 talented professionals making their mark on the industry
KATIE CULBERT Events and operations manager / Green Sports Alliance / Portland, Ore.
KELLEY MARTIN Director of operations / Green Sports Alliance / Portland, Ore.
Twin passions for sports and the environment are a winning combination for the careers of Katie Culbert and Kelley Martin. The duo works for the Green Sports Alliance, which promotes sustainable practices among some 500 member sports organizations and venues around the world. They coordinate all of GSA’s events, including its jewel, the Green Sports Alliance Summit.
Martin (pictured), 35, a former collegiate tennis player, spent 10 years as an environmental scientist until she decided to channel both her loves of sustainability and sports into a profession. Culbert, 39, landed at the GSA after working as an event manager for the Rose Quarter (a complex that includes the Moda Center, home of the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers). “Being sustainable is how I do things personally, and I try to incorporate that into the events,” she says.
The eighth annual GSA Summit will be held in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta this June. The event has welcomed up to 800 people from member sports teams, stadiums, athletic conferences and leagues, along with a mix of eco-friendly vendors. “Sports is nonpartisan, and climate change should be nonpartisan as well,” notes Martin.
The two also help members arrange individual events, such as a vegan night hosted by the Pittsburgh Pirates to focus on food recovery and donation. “I definitely see us on this path forever,” says Martin, “making sure our events are green, and getting that message out.”
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