Athletes are doing their part to raise money for charities in unique ways.
With the advancement in technology, every player no matter how big or small can positively impact communities. Typically, star athletes are the ones who receive all the accolades for their fundraising efforts in communities. No doubt, these athletes deserve praise because they’re using their brand and image to elevate a cause or charity. At the same time, lesser-known athletes are able to make an impact as well through creative fundraising tactics.
For example, Penn State defensive end Garrett Sickles will use his bench press performance at the NFL combine to raise money for rare disease research according to Monday Morning Quarterback. As of this past Monday, he had almost hit his goal ($250 per 225-pound rep). While this is a small donation, if each player participated in something similar, the impact would be profound. Another example is South Florida wide receiver Rodney Adams, who hopes to raise $3,000 with his performance in the vertical leap. The money is going to Experience Camps, which provides getaways for children who have lost family members or caregivers. This is a personal cause for Adams because his mother was killed in a car accident in 2013.
These acts are small but powerful. Charities need to work with governing bodies, teams and leagues to identify players that align with their mission. This will allow for players to become ambassadors for these non-profits as well as use their image to continue raising money for the cause. The social impact felt cannot be understated and it looks to be a good sign with an eye towards the future.
The Atlanta Falcons’ new stadium increases sustainability efforts.
When the Atlanta Falcons move into the newly constructed Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the team will follow in line with other teams in their green initiatives. The Falcons joined the Green Sports Alliance, whose mission is “to leverage the cultural and market influence of sports to promote healthy, sustainable communities.”
Due to their state-of-the-art technology and environmentally friendly features, the team will be able to save several hundred thousand dollars. While this isn’t a large number in the grand scheme of a team’s player budget, it is significant to expense budgets. In addition, teams are able to target specific partners who align with the green initiatives to increase revenue for the team’s bottom line.
Scott Jenkins, general manager of Mercedes-Benz Stadium and president of Green Sports Alliance, said, “I think sustainability is going to continue to grow and become more of the norm, rather than the exception – and I think that’s already the case. But when sports tries to tell the story, I think the cultural influence of sports can have a dramatic impact.” It will be interesting to see how the team continues to rebrand itself with the unveiling of its stadium. This can be a significant opportunity for the team to signal to the community that it is serious about sustainability and long-term impact.
Click here for more details.
The story of how Russell Westbrook saved Brenda Hawkins’ life.
Brenda Hawkins is Russell Westbrook’s biggest fan. She attends every Oklahoma Thunder home game and owns every jersey he has ever worn. While this may seem to be a bit much, the fandom has literally saved Brenda’s life. Both Brenda and her husband have always loved basketball. They used to attend Oklahoma State basketball games as well as Hornets games until the team left in spring of 2007. A few months later, their son, Andrew, passed away. While Brenda’s husband and daughter went back to work after grieving, she found herself falling into an unhealthy cycle. Since she had retired, Brenda had a lot of free time and she spent it at his grave. With the depression getting worse, she saw a grief counselor who recommended that she find a hobby or diversion.
Enter Russell Westbrook. The city had just received the Oklahoma City Thunder team and Westbrook was a rookie. Brenda noticed the energy that Westbrook had and she was drawn to him. Simply put, watching him play made her happy and it became a lifesaver. When Westbrook held his first basketball camp for kids, Brenda brought a group of children to attend. She’s combined her passion for teaching with her love of Westbrook. While quirky, it shows the power that sports has to truly impact an individual. In this case, Westbrook brought peace and happiness to the Hawkins’ family.
Click here for more details.