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Alliance Event Managers Featured in Meetings & Conventions’ Rising Stars in the Meetings Industry

Meetings and Conventions

Culbert and Martin among M&C’s 15 talented professionals making their mark on the industry

2018.02.01-Katie Culbert-IMAGE

KATIE CULBERT  Events and operations manager / Green Sports Alliance / Portland, Ore.

2018.02.01-Kelley Martin-IMAGE

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.”

Read the full story.

Atlanta to Host Green Sports Alliance 2018 Summit

PanStadia & Arena Management

Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz Stadium

The Green Sports Alliance will hold the 8th annual Green Sports Alliance Summit at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta from June 26-27, 2018.

And the Alliance has also announced that the 9th annual Summit will be held in Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field in June 2019.

The Summit brings together hundreds of leaders from professional sports teams, collegiate programmes, venue management companies, and other pioneers in environmental stewardship to exchange the latest thinking around greening the sports industry and engaging fans.

Scott Jenkins, general manager, Mercedes-Benz Stadium and board chair of the Green Sports Alliance said:

As the first professional sports stadium in the US to be awarded LEED Platinum certification, Mercedes-Benz Stadium has been at the forefront of innovation in sustainability efforts. We look forward to welcoming like-minded thought leaders in the industry to help further the sports sustainability movement.

Touting the most LEED points earned to date for a sports venue in the world, Mercedes-Benz Stadium will serve as an apropos location for the Summit.

The stadium utilises renewable energy, has a stormwater recapture and storage system, and boasts 82,500ft2 of efficient LED lighting.

The stadium and home teams, the Falcons and United FC, are dedicated to their community and participate in food recovery and donation programmes, partner with Trees Atlanta to share captured rainwater for tree irrigation, and participate in the Novelis Recycle for Good programme collecting aluminum cans to fund Habitat for Humanity home builds.

Justin Zeulner, executive director of the Green Sports Alliance said:

“We are honoured and excited to host our 2018 Summit in the great city of Atlanta, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Falcons and United FC are leaders in environmental stewardship and it’s incredible to see members of the Green Sports Alliance take sustainability in the sports industry to new heights with their innovative environmental solutions and dedication to the well-being of their community.

Arthur Blank’s commitment to ‘do the right thing’ for Atlanta is exemplified in this stadium and its operations.”

The theme for this year’s Summit is “PLAY GREENER: Get in the Game” and will focus on taking action that encourages collaborative problem-solving to achieve sustainable change across the sports spectrum.

Read the full story at PanStadia & Arena Management.

Read the press release.

Guest Blog | Calling All Brand Managers: New Year, New Sponsorship Opportunities

Guest blog post by Brett Blumberg
Sales and Sustainability Manager at Kilowatt Events, Inc.

Photo Source: Pexels

Photo Source: Pexels

As much as sustainability professionals would love to expect all events and their sponsors, talent, fans, and other stakeholders to demand socially and environmentally responsible productions (and reap the many cost savings and business advantages of doing so), events run on tight budgets and money unfortunately does not grow on native, drought-tolerant, certified organic trees.

This presents two options to event owners for funding a sustainable production if the internal desire or external pressures exist: self-funding, or third-party funding from grants, rebates, miscellaneous donations, or sponsorships from organizations like yours. While many event organizers understand the importance of self-funding, many others require these strategic partnerships to bring their visions to life. However, you may not realize just how beneficial a sustainability sponsorship could be for your brand when you help the event to support local community needs, satisfy stakeholder interests and, perhaps even more significant to your immediate goals, showcase these efforts in front of your target market.

More Opportunities Than Ever.

Luckily, we live in an age with seemingly unlimited opportunities for face-to-face consumer engagement at large events. According to a 2016 study by the U.S. Census Bureau, live events hosted in temporary facilities or permanent venues not owned by the event (think music festivals, traveling sporting events, art shows, heritage festivals, etc.) nearly doubled their annual U.S. revenue from $4.23 billion in 2002 to $8.4 billion in 2012 (Encyclopedia of American Industries, 2017). This means there have been and will be more events, more attendees, and more opportunities to promote your company year after year.

Selecting Events to Sponsor Can be Challenging. Here’s a Tip. 

With so many events to choose from, it may feel overwhelming to select the one with the greatest return on investment. During your team’s periodic marketing meetings to establish resource allocation for promotional opportunities, you will surely consider which events align with your target market, long-term marketing objectives, and overall brand imaging.

Consider taking it one step further by understanding your company’s vision and social values. Can any of your social objectives or initiatives be integrated into event operations? Perhaps you have recently created a new marketing campaign that ties together your product’s functionality with its eco-friendly supply chain, aligning it with the event’s sustainable sourcing policy. Maybe your brand has partnered with a non-profit to help provide job training for an underrepresented demographic, and the event you may want to sponsor is also committed to hiring staff from disadvantaged communities. Why not “double-dip” on a sponsorship to cross-promote your products and services alongside your community benefits?

Yes, there seem to be many events from which to choose, but by being selective and understanding how the event culture, legacy, and deeper-rooted purpose can be connected to those of your organization, your best choices will become clear.

Read the full story on LinkedIn.