I was recently interviewed on the Giving Warriors podcast which features stories about social entrepreneurs from around the world. Hosted by the ever curious and always entertaining Dominique Silverman, we dove into a range of topics around sports, nonprofits and the recent emergence of social enterprise sports brands.
Giving Warriors is "a series of podcasts that keeps you up-to-date on the latest solutions to today’s humanitarian needs. We 'meet' via the podcast on the Giving Warrior website, and connect with leaders who are passionate about creating positive change. You’ll hear interviews with the people whose work spans diverse fields, to help their fellow men."
Thanks to Dominique and the Giving Warriors team for the opportunity to share all that's going on with social enterprise in the sports world!
The annual Ivy Sports Symposium (Friday, Nov 14 in Princeton, NJ) has quickly become one of the top sports business events of the year, and the 2014 event has some great sessions on topics at the intersection of sports business and causes. The "Sport for Social Impact: Shared Value" panel features several thought leaders in the growing Sport for Development space including Nick Gates (Coaches Across Continents), Todd Smith (Weinstein Carnegie Philanthropic Group) and Ethan Zohn (Grassroot Soccer). Later in the day, the ever-prevalent topic of diversity takes center stage with Wade Davis (You Can Play), Claude Johnson (Black Fives Foundation) and Kevin Carr (PRO2CEO) at the "Diversity in Sport: Leveling the Playing Field" session.
The day is filled with sessions that span the sports business landscape, and feature several very high profile industry leaders including:
- Jérôme de Chaunac, Global COO, Havas Sports & Entertainment
- Brett Clarke, Global Head, Business Development and Marketing Partnerships, Nitro Circus
- Bill Daly, Deputy Commissioner, National Hockey League
- Bill Duffy, COO, The Aspire Group
- Troy Ewanchyna, VP, Business Development & Digital Strategies, NBC Sports Group
- Donald Fehr, Executive Director, NHL Players' Association
- Greg Luckman, Global Head, Consulting, CAA Sports
- Pat O'Conner, President & CEO, Minor League Baseball
- Scott O’Neil, CEO, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Devils & Prudential Center
- Phil de Picciotto, Co-Founder & President, Octagon
- Marc Reeves, International Commercial Director, NFL
- Rick Shapiro, Senior Executive, MLB Players Association
- David Sternberg, Head, Media, Manchester United
- Sam Walker, Global Sports Editor, The Wall Street Journal
- Mark Wilf, Owner & President, Minnesota Vikings
As the Paralympic movement continues to build here in the US - thanks in large part to increased exposure via the web and social media, and the success of team USA athletes at the recent Winter Paralympic games in Sochi - there's a rapidly growing interest in adaptive sports. But for many people with disabilities, finding a sport they can play is the first step and often times the most challenging. If someone is interested in playing wheelchair rugby, just showing up at a local park expecting to find 9 other wheelchair athletes and an open game is not going to happen anywhere.
That was a big part of the goal behind the creation of the DisAbility Sports Festival. Started eight years ago at California State University San Bernardino by Kinesiology Professor Dr. Aaron Moffett, the 2014 event was held on Saturday October 18th, drawing over 700 athletes from 6 different states. The event is designed to introduce a wide range of sports for people with all types of disabilities. What began as a small local event has now grown into the largest cross-disability sports event in the Western US, with over 20 different sports and activities offered in one day, including Swimming, Soccer, Tennis, Sitting Volleyball, Judo, Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Rugby, Archery, Kayaking, Golf, Goalball and many others.
Earlier this year, we presented a great opportunity for Nonprofit Sports Orgs to get a big boost for their Search Engine Marketing through the Google AdWords platform and Ad Grants program. Our friends at Elite SEM - one of the premiere Search Engine Marketing firms in the country - were willing to take on the challenge of guiding a Nonprofit through the AdWords universe, helping to set-up and manage keywords, tracking click-thrus and conversions and offering several "best practices" to keep them on-track. The Google Ad Grants program provides $10,000 per month for Nonprofits to spend on AdWords, which can be a hugely impactful tool for driving traffic, attracting donors and volunteers, or raising awareness around critical issues for Nonprofit Orgs.
After reviewing multiple applicants in the spring, Coaches Across Continents was selected to receive a 5 month pro-bono consulting package. Coaches Across Continents (CAC) uses Soccer as a platform for life skills education, focusing on local social issues such as female empowerment and gender equity; conflict resolution, social inclusion, health and wellness. With programs running in 21 countries around the world CAC reaches more than 170,000 children ever year through their international network of coaches and community partners.
I checked in with both Elite SEM and Coaches Across Continents to get an update on what's transpired over the past few months, and how the work has impacted CAC's AdWords campaigns. Here are some of the highlights and comments...
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