Oak View Group and Green Sports Alliance are announcing a strategic collaboration agreement to better support the sports industry’s response to climate change. The partnership will lead to collaborative greening events, firmer connections between Green Sports Alliance’s 300-plus members and OVG360’s 200-plus venue clients, and content, data and case study sharing.
OVG360 President Chris Granger said that he and Roger McClendon, executive director of the Green Sports Alliance, first spoke about the idea during the Green Sports Alliance Summit in Minneapolis.
“We both recognized this is a critical time,” Granger said. “Momentum is increasing, and venues are increasingly interested in ideas and support and best practices, and at the end of the day we both realized that by collaborating together we can accelerate the conversation around sustainability in a way that would not be possible if we were working on our own.”
No money is changing hands in the arrangement, though OVG will contribute in multiple ways to the Green Sports Alliance Summit, held annually the last 10 years; the 2023 edition will take place in Seattle at OVG’s Climate Pledge Arena. OVG360’s just-launched GOAL program and Green Sports Alliance’s Play to Zero program will work together, sharing data from a wider pool of venues, as well as case studies and best practices, all to get the sustainability ball rolling faster in the sports industry.
“We’re past the tipping point,” said McClendon. “What we appreciate about organizations like OVG and leaders like Chris and [OVG co-founder and CEO] Tim [Leiweke], is they’re moving with action. Talk is cheap. Move sports with action and bring people along.”
Green Sports Alliance launched in 2011 as a nonprofit trade organization focused on moving the sports industry forward with regard to its sustainable practices and using sports’ platform to influence the public toward more sustainable behaviors in daily life. OVG360 is the venue management arm of Oak View Group, which recently celebrated its seventh birthday. OVG360 recently launched GOAL (Green Operations and Advanced Leadership), a member platform that will help venues operate more sustainably.
Green Sports Alliance was an early pioneer in the sports sustainability movement, a fight OVG’s Leiweke believes in passionately. At SBJ’s CAA World Congress of Sports two weeks ago, Leiweke implored the industry to act on environmental issues. “GOAL is a huge priority for us,” he said. “Whatever the new stadiums look like — football, baseball, whatever the new arenas look like, whatever the new theaters look like, whatever the new training centers look like — we as an industry have to make the fact that this Earth is dying our No. 1 priority going forward in design and in operation.”
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