Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hope (n) - the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best

Hope is a powerful force. It can mobilize passionate people to make change happen. And for families dealing with Lafora's Disease, it's doing just that...


Chelsea's Hope was started by the Gerber family, who's daughter Chelsea was stricken with this rare disease that causes seizures, muscle spasms, difficulty walking, dementia, and eventually death. There is currently no therapy that has proven effective against disease progression and therapy is primarily palliative and aimed at reducing seizures.


Chelsea's Hope(from "Lafora Disease currently receives very little, if any, funding from the Federal Government; perhaps because the disease is extremely rare in the United States. It is currently unknown how many children in the United States suffer from Lafora Disease. Although it is a rare, “orphan” disease, we are determined to find a cure for Chelsea’s hope and the hope of other children with Lafora Disease in other parts of the world."


A few weeks ago, I met one of the founders of Chelsea's Hope, a passionate and driven woman who's trying to rally support and spread the word for something that most people have never heard of. But for the families that she advocates for - and the kids who are diagnosed - there is a massive sense of urgency to find a cure. Something which doctors say is possible, if they had the funding to do the research. It is a race. A race for research. A race for hope.


What they do have right now though, is a chance for national exposure thanks to their entry in the NASCAR Toyota Sponsafier "design a car" contest. Their Chelsea's Hope car made the top 10 finalists, and the car with the most votes will be driven by NASCAR star Denny Hamlin at the All-Star Race Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 21st. And you can make that happen by voting.


Click on the banner below to vote for the Chelsea's Hope car design; you can vote once per day, and the voting is open until 5/01.


Vote for Chelsea's Hope NASCAR design


















Chelsea Gerber and all of the kids suffering from Lafora's Disease can use every bit of help. This isn't an ask for money - just a few seconds of your time each day for the next week to click your mouse and vote. We'll be clicking each day (from our 2 computers ;-) and we ask that you do the same. Let's get Chelsea's Hope onto the track and into the race.


For more information on Lafora's Disease visit and contact the organization at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 925-963-7122



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The Abilities Expo rolled into the LA Convention Center this weekend, and I had a chance to check out some of the great adaptive and disabled sports programs that were on showcased over the weekend. Here are some of the highlights...

United States Power Soccer Association


The USPSA is the governing body for Power Soccer in the United States. Power Soccer is the first competitive team sport designed and developed specifically for power wheelchair users. Athletes' disabilities include quadriplegia, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and many others. The game is played in a gymnasium on a regulation basketball court. Two teams of four players attack, defend, and spin-kick a 13-inch soccer ball in a skilled and challenging game similar to able-bodied soccer.


The Santa Barbara Rollin' Gauchos put on a demonstration game, showcasing the skills and talents of some great power soccer players.


Power Soccer demo game at the 2011 Abilities Expo
















Power Soccer demo game at the 2011 Abilities Expo




















For more information, visit to find a team in your area. And check out to learn about Team USA, heading to the Power Soccer World Cup later this year in Paris, France.


California Adaptive Rowing / Angela Madsen's Row Of Life

RowofLife began when Angela Madsen, a paraplegic, from Long Beach, CA USA, and Franck Festor, a single below the knee amputee, from Metz, France, decided to ROW across the Atlantic Ocean in the Woodvale Challenge-2007 Atlantic Rowing Race. On Feb. 7, 2008, after 66 days at sea, they completed that challenge. There were 22 boats in the race (4 persons, pairs and singles) and RowofLife came in 8th in the pairs class and 10th overall.


Angela and her teams set the World Record for the fastest Indian Ocean Crossing by Oar in 2009. Angela became the first woman and the first disabled person to row across the Indian Ocean and to row across two oceans (Indian 2009 & Atlantic 2007).


In 2010, Angela and a crew of 4 women completed a row around Great Britain, and she is currently planning a TransPac Ocean Rowing Race from California to Hawaii.


Angela Madsen at the 2011 Abilities Expo













Angela Madsen's Row of Life boat at the 2011 Abilities Expo























Angela also operates California Adaptive Rowing Programs (CARP) in Long Beach, CA and is actively seeking participants and volunteers. For more information, visit and contact Angela at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. " target="_blank">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Life Rolls On


Life Rolls On, a subsidiary of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, is dedicated to improving the quality of life for young people affected by spinal cord injury and utilizes action sports as a platform to inspire infinite possibilities despite paralysis.


LRO is the story of able-bodied individuals, working in concert with those with spinal cord injury, to motivate each other with the inspirational message of achievement in the face of extreme adversity. Life Rolls On utilizes action sports through their flagship programs - They Will Surf Again, They Will Ski Again, They Will Skate Again -  which pushes the boundary of possibility for those with spinal cord injury (SCI).


LRO has an Adaptive Skateboarding event coming up on June 25th at the Venice Beach skatepark in Los Angeles, CA.


Life Rolls On Adaptive Skateboarding at Venice Beach Skatepark 6/25/11































For more information on their Adaptive Surfing, Skiing and Skateboard programs, visit or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


AmpSurf is made up of amputees, veterans, friends and families of the disabled with a goal to "Promote, Inspire, Educate, and Rehabilitate people with disabilities - especially our veteran heroes - through adaptive surfing and fun, safe, outdoor activities that all can participate in."


One in five Americans struggle with a lifelong disability and nearly two million men and women have served our country in Iraq and Afghanistan and are coming home looking for ways to feel whole again and to fit back in to ”normal” life. Whether they are an amputee, blind, suffer from PTSD, have quadriplegia, or suffer from a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Whether they served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf war, Iraq or Afghanistan. Whether they are a child of autism, or a young woman who has lost a limb to Cancer, AmpSurf offers a unique program to bring the healing power of the ocean and adaptive surfing together for an experience that is both mentally and physically one of the best forms of rehabilitation on the planet.


AmpSurf has clinics and events throughout the California coast, and this year is holding its first events on the East coast, in Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Rhode Island. There's a great collection of video clips and photos of their previous events at


AmpSurf adaptive surfing programs


















You can learn more about AmpSurf's clinics and programs atwww.ampsurf.orgor email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." target="_blank">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Other notable programs at the Expo included the Autsim Youth Sports League, Heart of Sailing Foundation and the Disabled Veterans SCUBA Project. The community of disabled and adaptive sports is growing and expanding, with new and innovative programs emerging each year, and all of us at Sports and Social Change look forward to chronicling the many great stories of personal achievement by these amazing athletes!

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Wednesday, 01 December 2010 00:00

Featured Organization: SkiDUCK


ASSOCIATED SPORTS: Skiing (Downhill), Snowboarding, Snow SportsSkiDUCK
CAUSES SERVED: Children & Youth, Community, Disability Issues, Health, Poverty
EMAIL: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SkiDUCK is a national organization dedicated to enriching the lives of disabled and underprivileged children by sharing the joys of skiing and snowboarding. We are committed to partnering with local organizations with similar goals of serving disabled or underprivileged children. In areas where similar programs exist, we’re not looking to reinvent the wing. Rather, we seek to assist other organizations fulfill their goals by providing additional funding, coordinating with other providers, and sharing best-practices. In areas where the skiing and snowboarding needs of disabled or underprivileged children are not currently being served, we seek to establish a sustainable model of service with local resources and volunteers.

Click on the photos below to see a larger image

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Q: Can you briefly tell us what SkiDUCK is?


A: SkiDUCK is an acronym for Skiing and snowboarding for Disabled and Underprivileged Children and older Kids. We’re a brand new, volunteer-based non-profit organization, dedicated to enriching the lives of disabled and underprivileged children by sharing the joys of skiing and snowboarding. We're entirely volunteer-based, which means there are no paid salaries, including myself, so all of the funds we raise go towards developing programs to put children on the slopes.

Q: How did the organization come into being? What is the story or inspiration that led to the formation of SkiDUCK?


A: In the few short months since launching SkiDUCK, I’ve been asked dozens of times… “How did you come up with the idea of providing skiing and snowboarding for disadvantaged children?”


Long-story short, there are times in most of our lives when we face some really big questions. While sidelined from the ski season with a broken ankle and forcing myself into a pseudo mid-life crisis, the past year was one of deep reflection for me. A few of the questions I kept asking myself were: What if the injury had been worse, and I couldn’t ski again? How can I better use my passion for skiing for a greater good? How can I make more of a difference for others? And, how can I turn my passion for the mountains into a life-long vocation?


In retrospect, I can’t believe the idea of creating SkiDUCK didn’t occur immediately! The concept of a national organization dedicated to providing opportunities for children to experience the joys of skiing and snowboarding is such an obvious and natural fit with my personal passion and desire to make a meaningful difference in others’ lives!


This might sound crazy, but looking back, I’m now extremely grateful for the broken ankle. Otherwise, SkiDUCK may never have come into existence and I may have missed what I now consider to be the opportunity of a lifetime.

Q: You’re serving both disabled and financially underprivileged children? How do those two groups fit together?


A: It’s simply a matter of accessibility. SkiDUCK wants to provide opportunities for all children who otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to learn to ski or snowboard. Most of our focus the first season was spent serving financially underprivileged children, since there are so few programs serving these kids as compared to the number of disabled ski programs across the country.

 Most people will be surprised to learn that there are over 250 Adaptive ski/snowboard programs serving disabled children and adults. Our long-term goals are to provide additional resources to help send more kids through their wonderful, established programs and also to fill in any gaps in areas where there’s an un-served need. Our philosophy is “Partner, Partner, Partner” whenever possible; never compete with the great work others are already doing.


On the underprivileged side, the opportunities to introduce children-in-need to the wonderful world of skiing and snowboarding are tremendous!

Q: But aren’t skiing and snowboarding extremely expensive? Why would you introduce children to a sport when their families can’t afford to send them to the mountains?


A: That’s a great question, but also simple to answer. Yes, skiing and snowboarding “can” be very expensive. But it can also be relatively inexpensive, especially if skiing locally. Die-hard skiers know that a season pass is a must. For example, I’ve skied almost 1,000 days in the past 20 years, and have kept a journal of every single day - including the cost of the season passes and all the daily lift tickets. My average cost per day is about $15 (not much more than the cost of movie ticket) and it’s for an entire day of healthy outdoor recreation. Children’s season passes are much less expensive, averaging $150 or less.


Gear can also be expensive, but a child’s season rental package is often $150 or less (and much less expensive if able to find good condition used gear at ski swaps). Add inexpensive used goggles, helmet, mittens, etc., and a child could be on the mountain 35 days a season for about $10 per day.


But, for SkiDUCK’s kids none of that matters anyway! Here’s why: With our partnerships with participating ski resorts, youth service organizations and eventually ski industry sponsorships, we’ll be able to provide everything needed at NO COST to the children or their families. Not just for one day or one season, but all the way through grade school and high school! As long as the child wants to continue skiing and snowboarding, SkiDUCK will be there to help. But once they graduate they’ll have to get their own college season pass, which are also relatively cheap. Or, better yet, their first job as a ski or snowboard instructor or patroller, which always come with a free pass!

Q: It sounds like a solid model that won’t cost the families anything; but does it really work and is it that easy?


A: Absolutely! We launched February 7, 2009 in Lake Tahoe with four resorts; Squaw Valley, Kirkwood, Sugar Bowl and Tahoe Donner. In our first half-season, we took almost 130 underprivileged children for their first-ever day of skiing or snowboarding. And since some of the kids were able to come back a few times, we did just over 200 rider days total. Even better, we’ll potentially do over rider 1,000 days this season – entirely FREE for the kids and their families!


The resorts provide us with free lift tickets, rentals and lessons because they recognize the value of giving back to the communities they serve as well as the long-term potential of invigorating the industry, which has been virtually flat for decades. Not only are some of these kids going to go to college, get good paying jobs or start their own businesses, but they’ll continue skiing and snowboarding with their friends and family for decades to come. That’s a great investment for ski resorts, industry manufacturers and retailers alike!


But it hasn’t been what I would call “easy” either. We’ve been working around the clock developing the organization’s infrastructure, building awareness, promoting the unique concept and developing relationships within the industry and with youth service organizations. Like any brand new non-profit organization with big dreams of changing the world, we’re in desperate need of volunteers in all areas - from administrative and fundraising, to building web pages and chaperoning on the slopes.


Successful collaboration with the resorts and youth service organizations is fundamental to the existence and future success of SkiDUCK. And collaboration with our growing list of sponsors and individual donors is absolutely critical to providing the financial resources to make the programs work. Like a tripod, each of the three legs of the SkiDUCK model is essential for stability and long-term success.

Q: What does long-term success look like to you?


A: From fairly early on I’ve operated with the belief (that a friend mentioned) that Failure Is Not An Option - or, as he refers to as FINAO. Part of the concept of FINAO is that we can choose to define success in our own way.


As excited as I am about the potential of SkiDUCK, I can’t help but look through rose-colored glasses at times. But I’m a realist by nature, and sincerely envision a national network of local community chapters and programs either founded or partially funded by SkiDUCK at literally hundreds and hundreds of ski resorts across the entire country, serving tens of thousands of disabled, underprivileged and minority children every year! Someday we may grow beyond U.S. borders to other mountain countries around the world.


But it’s really not about the numbers. I’m absolutely certain that the impact we’ll have in many children’s lives will be much more significant and long-lasting than the simple joy of skiing and snowboarding. The sport, the mountains and the good people these children will interact with have the ability to change lives in tremendous ways!


My personal dream is that someday a child who first stepped into bindings through a SkiDUCK program will also step onto an Olympic, World Cup or X Games Gold medal podium! But setting the grand designs aside, the truest measure of SkiDUCK’s success will be years from now, when someone who first fell in love with skiing or snowboarding through SkiDUCK takes their own son or daughter to the mountain for their first day on the slopes. To be honest, that’s the dream that always brings a tear to my eye.


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A VERYNICE Design Studio is a full service, design studio dedicated to helping those who help others. Specializing in visual communication that ranges from brand identities and websites to motion graphics and magazines, they are a collective of designers, futurists, activists, environmentalists, teachers, strategists, students, authors, friends, and VERYNICE people working together to create projects that aim to change an individual's perception of the world, how design exists within it, and how design can change it.


Their unique business model - inspired, in part, by the founders of Grameen Bank - allows A VERYNICE Design Studio to provide free design services to qualifying individuals and organizations thanks to the support they receive from other client work. A project with them directly helps to fund a project for those that need their work the most.


We had an opportunity to catch up with founder Matt Manos, and asked him a few questions about the mission of A VERYNICE Design Studio, the power of design and his connection to sports...


Q: First of all, we think it's an awesome gesture to offer free design services for nonprofits, so a big "thank you." What made you want to do this?


A: You are very welcome! I started a verynice design studio in response to what I was observing in the field of design. I had a realization several years back that I had selected a career path that was entirely about selling selling selling, and therefore was quite greedy in its intentions. I was not comfortable with the idea that it was my sole duty to help products, services, and brands sparkle with aesthetics that serve as a catalyst for the opening of wallets. I wanted more. I wanted something that would aid me in my quest to use my skills as a communicator and designer to have a significant impact on the world. There are a lot of studios that offer their services to non-profits, but very rarely are projects done for nothing in exchange, and if it is a pro-bono project, it typically takes place once or twice a year - I could not find what I was looking for, so I made it.

Matt Manos, Founder, A VERYNICE Design Studio



Honestly, the process of starting VERYNICE was quite a struggle. I found myself under constant criticism for the work I was doing, due to it’s “impracticality,” its seemingly unstable model of revenue, and the fact that I was “just a kid” (I was 20 years old when I started it). It was this criticism that made me more passionate, and made it so clear that something like this really was needed in our industry. Luckily, quite a few designers were also looking for this kind of volunteer outlet, and I have since rapidly grown from “one guy in his apartment” to over 40 passionate volunteers across the globe. Thanks to the VERYNICE family’s passion, dedication, and hard work, we have been able to provide our services to 97 organizations, and have worked collaboratively in 18 countries.


Q: How does A VERYNICE Design Studio operate?


A: The original intentions of the studio was to become, ourselves, a non-profit organization. This thought ended up shifting when I learned about the emerging movement of social entrepreneurs. A social entrepreneur is a designer of business whose intentions are not in capital gain, but instead in the advancement of the greater good of society. A social enterprise is one that thinks and operates as a non-profit organization would, but has interesting design in its planning so as to be able to sustain itself and actually create a profit as opposed to relying on government funding and funding from donors. This concept fascinated me - to be able to do good while sustaining yourself and not relying on others for monetary donation. This was the model I was looking for!


Below are some examples of logos we've done for nonprofits (A special thanks to volunteers Kate Slovin, Jessica Lee, Michelle Barton and Lara Oliveira)

Examples of logos
























As a result, A VERYNICE Design Studio became the first internationally operating social graphic design enterprise. We dedicate 70-80% of our work to non-profits, free of charge, with no exception. The remaining 20-30% is for-profit, working with large accounts as well as local businesses on their design needs. I hire those that have volunteered for the for-profit work as a way to provide them the opportunity to make money on these projects, and share the wealth. As of right now, VERYNICE does not have any full-time employees - only contractors and volunteers that passionately work over the weekends and in their free time to get the work done. We treat every client (paid or pro-bono) with the exact same integrity, and give no priority to the deadline of paid projects vs. non-paid.


Q: Are there any specific qualifications for the nonprofits you choose to work with?


We actually have an application process on our website. We do not require that you are a 501c3 organization, but do like to see proof (or plans) of the great work you do, and love encountering people with sincere optimism and a firm belief that the work of their organization does change our world for the better. Also, we do not limit our pro bono services to organizations, we have also helped out individuals (do-gooders) for projects, etc.


Q: Having a cool logo is a key for a sports team or brand. Do you think having a cool logo can help a sports nonprofit organization?


A: Really, an awesome logo is key for any nonprofit organization. As a sports nonprofit organization, having a cool logo can help shape your team. This will undoubtedly provide confidence on the field, court, and in life! I mean, what athlete doesn’t want to have an awesome t-shirt, cap, or uniform? Not only does a powerful logo provide this excitement in the game, but it also shows that your organization is professional and consistent with all of the work you do.


(HRC and Red Cross logos - unknown designer)

HRC and Red Cross Logos













I find the most powerful nonprofit logos to be ones that do not solely represent the organization, but the cause itself. This gives image to a movement that can serve as an icon for change. When that is successfully accomplished - as I believe it has been numerous times, especially by HRC & The Red Cross - it is a beautiful thing.


Q: I read that you were a skateboarder growing up, and you've done design work on a cool skate deck project; please tell us about that, and how skating got you into doing design work...


A: Yes! I started skateboarding when I was 4 years old, and absolutely love the sport. A lot of people don’t know this, but a fun fact: I skated competitively in middle school (once against Tony Hawk’s son), and was ranked 4th in the Northern California division at age 12. Unfortunately, I have rare opportunities to go skate now. But I try to be a part of the culture as much as I can. Funny enough, the first ever nonprofit organization I provided pro bono design services to was “WheelChair Skater,” an organization that taught children in wheelchairs how to ride in the Bay Area skateparks.


Decks for Parks


















Recently, I initiated the “Decks for Parks” project, a sort of entrepreneurial endeavor that partners with local skate manufacturers and artists to develop quality skateboard decks that give half of their proceeds to charities such as Skateistan and the Tony Hawk Foundation to help build skateparks. Check out the online web shop at - I hope to upgrade it and expand the business in the future, and am looking forward to seeing how it does.


FREE Offer from A VERYNICE Design Studio

A VERYNICE Design Studio provides FREE design to qualifying individuals and organizations thanks to the support they receive from other client work. For information on how your sports nonprofit organization can receive free design services, please visit or contact Matt Manos at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. " target="_blank">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Thank you Matt and A VERYNICE Design Studio!

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TeamSnapTeamSnap is an award-winning web service for managing recreational and competitive sports teams and groups. It takes the drudgery out of organizing a team so that you can have more time to focus on the important stuff. With a simple but powerful online interface, TeamSnap makes it easy to keep track of rosters, schedules, game and practice availability, team payments, photos, statistics and much more. Comprehensive messaging functions keep everyone in touch, and with a strong focus on usability and simplicity, TeamSnap is software that people actually find fun to use.


You will love how much time it saves while your team will appreciate staying informed and how easy it is to use (nothing to install and works from any web browser). TeamSnap makes it easy for you to:

* Make sure everyone knows what's going on: Provide team access to the most up-to-date schedule information and you can e-mail or text everyone or a select few members with one click.
* Know who is showing up: Avoid back and forth emails by bringing everyone to a centralized place to mark their availability.
* Make sure that you get paid: Easily keep track of all of your team fees and have payments made right from the site!

Click the images below to see screen shots of TeamSnap...

{slimbox images/stories/blog/teamsnap.homepage.jpg,images/stories/blog/teamsnap.homepage.jpg,TeamSnap - Team Home Page;images/stories/blog/teamsnap_availability.jpg,images/stories/blog/teamsnap_availability.jpg,TeamSnap - Player Availability;images/stories/blog/teamsnap_messages.jpg,images/stories/blog/teamsnap_messages.jpg,TeamSnap - Messages;images/stories/blog/teamsnap.2.jpg,images/stories/blog/teamsnap.2.jpg,TeamSnap - Manager Control Panel}

With enthusiastic customers in 110 countries, and teams representing over 100 different sports and (non-sport groups), TeamSnap has quickly become one of the fastest-growing team and group management solutions on the planet. TeamLink extends the capabilities of TeamSnap to leagues and clubs and makes it easy to access and communicate with all of the teams in an organization.


How effective can TeamSnap be for sports nonprofit organizations? SkiDUCK - our featured organization on this past winter - provides free skiing and snowboarding to financially disadvantaged and at-risk youth, and is using TeamSnap to more effectivley manage their partnering youth groups and on-slope events.


"In just our second season, we'll host several hundred kids for about 1,000 free ski and snowboard days, including over 100 volunteers and 20 youth groups attending 30 plus events at seven resorts in four states" said Founder and Executive Director Clint Lunde. "As an entirely volunteer-based organization with no paid support staff, the efficiency of TeamSnap's League management tool (TeamLink) to coordinate all our groups and schedules has been an absolute life saver! The group rosters, scheduling, availability and messaging are super-easy to use, and just as easy to bring new groups and managers on-board quickly."


Lunde said enthusiastically, "We have been so busy putting tons of kids on the slopes for their first day ever and TeamSnap will enable us to expand to new resort communities and serve even more kids in the years ahead!"


FREE Offer from TeamSnap:

As a partner of Sports and Social Change, TeamSnap has generously offered to provide its service for FREE to member organizations committed to our mission. TeamSnap has offered pro bono service to teams or groups that are giving back to the community or that otherwise may not be able to afford the service. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details on how to particpate.

Thank you TeamSnap!

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LA Clippers Greater Than AIDS





I was on-hand at the LA Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks game at Staples Center in Los Angeles last night (a big "thank you" to Seth Burton in the Clippers PR dept), and had a chance to see first-hand how the team and league are uniting cause related programming with their respective brands.


Last night was the Clippers "Greater Than AIDS" promotion, to help raise awareness for AIDS testing. High marks all the way around, as the team and the league did a great job of integrating the cause within the evening's activities, with signage, on-screen promotion, videos, t-shirts, giveaways, and a half-time announcement from Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.


LA Clippers Greater Than AIDS promotion





















Even the official "ThunderStix" were co-branded to get the message out there. And I saw plenty of fans leaving with both the cheer cards and the Stix, which continues to spread the message about AIDS awareness and testing long after the game is over.


LA Clippers













Well done LA Clippers and NBA!
(and BTW, if you haven't had a chance to see Blake Griffin in person, you're missing out on one of the best young talents in the league. He's on track to be a great one...)


Here is the official media alert from earlier in the week...


The Los Angeles Clippers and Greater Than AIDS joined with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Office of AIDS Programs and Policy and the Black AIDS Institute, with support from the California HealthCare Foundation to get the word out about HIV in the U.S.  The LOS ANGELES > AIDS special game night (March 30) is organized as part of an ongoing partnership between Greater Than AIDS and the NBA and WNBA to mobilize NBA fans and local communities in response to AIDS in the United States and reduce the stigma associated with the disease.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas will address the crowd at halftime to introduce a special Greater Than AIDS message from the NBA, and fans will receive GO CLIPPERS cheer cards with 5 Ways to Be Greater Than AIDS.  Volunteers from the Black AIDS Institute and LA County Department of Public Health’s HIV prevention campaign, Erase Doubt, will be on-hand at the Staples Center to distribute informational materials that connect fans with local services.

For more information about HIV/AIDS resources and services in the Los Angeles area, visit LOS ANGELES > AIDS local partners:

Black AIDS Institute
Founded in May of 1999, the Black AIDS Institute is the only national HIV/AIDS think tank focused exclusively on Black people. The Institute’s Mission is to stop the AIDS pandemic in Black communities by engaging and mobilizing Black institutions and individuals in efforts to confront HIV.

Erase Doubt
Erase Doubt is dedicated to increasing HIV testing in Los Angeles County, driving awareness of HIV prevention, and providing updated information about HIV/AIDS treatment and care. Through advocacy and education, Erase Doubt promotes a greater understanding and respect for individuals living with HIV/AIDS and those at higher risk of contracting HIV.

For additional testing locations, click here.


LA Clippers







The NBA has partnered with Greater Than AIDS to mobilize fans, teams and local communities in response to AIDS in the United States and reduce the stigma associated with the disease. The campaign builds on the league’s longstanding tradition of supporting social causes, including global HIV/AIDS, as part of NBA Cares. The campaign includes new television and radio public service ads (PSAs) featuring NBA / WNBA players, including Pau Gasol (LA Lakers), Al Horford (Atlanta Hawks), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Candice Wiggins (Minnesota Lynx), whose father, former professional baseball player Alan Wiggins, died of AIDS in 1991. The PSAs, which debut across NBA media assets and other Greater Than AIDS media platforms this month, direct to a custom here for resources and information.


For more information on the program, visit

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Corporate social responsibility is no longer an option; it’s a necessary part of business that is both good for society and good for business.


And the business of sport is no different...


The folks at SportBusiness Group in the UK are hosting the third Sport and Social Responsibility Summit in London on March 18th. This event is a great opportunity to learn about best practices in the world of cause marketing and CSR in the sports industry.


Sport And Social Responsibility SummitSome of the highlighted topics include measurement tools for evaluating the success of social responsibility programs, the role of social media as a tool to create deeper engagement with CSR programs, and an in-depth review of a study by leading cause marketing firm Edelman on how CSR really shapes consumer attitudes and perceptions of brands.


The keynote speaker for this year's event is former NFL player and current Peace and Sport USA Chairman Jack Brewer, who will dive into the topic of "Professional Athletes: Cultural icons or social activists?"


Since I won't be making the jump across the pond for the event, I asked Luke Upton of SportBusiness Group a few questions to get a feel for what will be covered and to get his take on the state of cause marketing and CSR in the sports industry...

Q: The Sport and Social Responsibility Summit is now in its third year. Please tell us some more about this event.


A: The development of sport and corporate social responsibility campaigns is something that we’ve tracked though our lead publication SportBusiness International and other events for several years. After one particularly lively panel debate at our flagship event Sports Marketing 360 in 2008, we decided this topic deserved its own event. From that, the Sport and Social Responsibility Summit was developed and grown year on year. We are looking forward to this year's event in Central London on March 18th, 2011.

Q: What changes have you seen in the sport and social responsibility sector in the three years this event has been running?


A: Even in a relatively brief time, we’ve seen brands and sponsors move their CSR campaigns from an addition to traditional partnerships to the very heart of campaigns. Some partnerships between brands and properties are now built exclusively around CSR campaigns. Brands are realising that these programmes are a great way to engage with consumers on a genuine and consistent level. The economic downturn has actually helped grow this trend, rather than, as some feared, be one of the first areas where spending was cut.

Q: In regards to sports brands and sporting goods (i.e. – consumer goods) working with nonprofit partners and causes, what has been done well and what needs to be improved upon?


A: I think that working with causes is being taken a lot more seriously, with an emphasis on genuine partnership than a mere transaction. We’ve also seen the employees of the brands working directly with the causes in volunteer programmes and this develops a far stronger and genuine relationship. There are always areas to be improved on, but I think the question of communications is a key one. How a brand or property tells the world about what its doing is crucial, in world on instant media and citizen journalism one misstep can prove very damaging very quickly. I think brands are now a lot more aware of what can and can’t be achieved by getting involved in social programmes – there is great potential in this area, but it’s a not a magic wand.

Q: About a year ago, Tony Hawk – a founding member of Athletes For Hope – posed the question “are athletes obligated to give back?” Contemporaries from Steve Nash to Mia Hamm responded that the answer was yes, but perhaps “opportunity” was a better word than “obligation.”

Since the media, manufacturers and professional sports franchises derive most of the financial gains from consumers, and control much of the visibility in our industry, do you believe they are obligated to give back?


A: This is a very interesting area of debate. And one that will be discussed at length at this event by Jack Brewer, an ex-NFL star who now heads up his own foundation and is Chairman of Peace and Sport USA. Ideally athletes would want to “give back” and many do, some publicly and some privately and some as part of team or brand campaigns or off their own accord. But I think the key question is of it being a genuine contribution and one which the athlete really wants to make. If in “giving back” the athlete appears to lack commitment it appears almost worse than not getting involved at all.

Q: What are the steps a brand can take in fostering a relationship between their consumers and a social cause that carries beyond the purchase of a product or the attendance at an event?


A: Make the relationship genuine. Consumers are now very savvy and able to spot a insincere or ill-thought through campaign. Also ensure that communication is maintained between the consumers and cause – keep a database, use social media and think outside the box. There are a lot of campaigns out there, and most are instantly forgettable but if you create a good one, it can be fantastic for all the organisations involved.


Here's a recap of the 2010 Sport and Social Responsibility Summit:

To register for the 2011 Sport and Social Responsibility Summit please visit


We wish Luke and SportBusiness Group all the best for an amazing event!

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Tuesday, 25 January 2011 01:32

Introducing Project PicXchange

WE take photos of your team
YOU give back to your community.

What is Project PicXchange?
Project PICXCHANGE is a grassroots initiative from to encourage community participation, volunteerism and donations for local sports non-profit organizations. Through this program, amateur sports leagues and teams are provided complimentary photographs of a game or event, in exchange for their participation with a local sports non-profit organization in any of the following areas:
•    Volunteering with a preferred organization or community program
•    Participating in sports/recreational activities with an approved partner organization
•    Donating any amount of money, equipment or services to an approved partner organization

How does Project PicXchange work?

**Initially, Project PicXchange will be available only in the Greater Vancouver, BC area; we plan to expand to additional locations in Canada and the United States in the coming months.


Interested teams and leagues can inquire via email to our Outreach Manager, Arnold Guanco at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with their organization name and location. Our Outreach Manager will contact the team representative to schedule an initial meeting to outline the program in greater detail.


Once approved, participating teams will receive a list of local sports non-profit organizations. They can select an organization from the list to partner with or suggest one that will be reviewed by our staff.


The team will provide the Outreach Manager with a schedule of upcoming games and he will select a specific event or game & location for the photo shoot.


Once the event/game concludes and photos have been taken, the Outreach Manager will make watermarked proofs available for viewing via a private online gallery.


The team is then responsible for completing their community participation with an approved partner organization. Whenever possible, they must provide with “proof of completion,” either via receipt for donations, or a written/email confirmation from the partner organization.


Once the team’s community participation has been verified, they will be given access to a gallery of non-watermarked* images that can be downloaded at no charge.
*final images will have a small logo in the corner


How will my team benefit from Project PicXchange?
You are receiving FREE action shots of your team, for any personal, non-commercial use. These photos are invaluable proof of your team’s success and a tangible reminder of lessons learned from the game.


The photos will be viewed online by team members and shared with family and friends, as well as also by non-profit organizations in the network all over the US and Canada.


The experience of helping others will hopefully inspire the team members to participate in more community engagement activities where sports is used as a platform for change. And it will provide you the opportunity to exchange ideas with other individuals or groups who share the same passion for sports and social change. 

Are there any costs to participate in Project PicXchange?
No. There are no costs to participate in the program.

Where is this project available?
Initially, the program will be available to teams in the greater Vancouver, BC, Canada area.

How will we access the photos?
Once you have completed your community participation requirements, you will be sent a link to an online gallery with your photos.

Can we have our photos on CD as well?
If you would like a photo CD from your event, you may contact the Outreach Manager.

Is there a cost to download the photos online?
No; If you would like to purchase prints, you may upload the digital files to a provider

Will the watermark be removed in the final photos?
Yes, the watermark will be removed; However, a small logo will be visible in the lower left or right hand corner of your photos (see example)

Will our photos be available for download or printing even if the team has not done their community work yet?
Generally no, but it will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Can I get a summary report at the end of the year regarding the update of this project?
Yes, all participants will be updated on the status of this project including future plans and additional locations.


Project PicXchange

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I'm moderating a great panel discussion this month at the ESPNZone in Los Angeles on Sports Related Cause Marketing; we've got an all-star panel lined up, and I'll dive into topics including how the sports industry is embracing cause marketing and nonprofit programs, the key elements in developing cause marketing programs for sports brands and properties, and how sports nonprofits can develop successful partnerships with brands and corporate entities.


If you're in the LA area, please come out and join us - details to follow...

"Stepping UP The Game" Sports Related Cause Marketing ESPNZone

Presented by PIRATES: Print, Interactive, Radio And Television Education Society


The new realities facing sports and cause-related marketing offer tremendous opportunities for nonprofits to team up with sports-related partners to enhance their communications and fundraising efforts. The goal of this panel session is to illustrate successful strategic partnerships, explore the common types of sports business/community partnerships, their benefits, and discover successful CRM partnerships.


Featured Panelists:

LA ClippersSeth Burton, Assistant Director of Communications, Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers Foundation exists to foster and support community outreach programs and activities with positive educational, civic, environmental and humanitarian values that benefit and enhance the quality of life primarily for children in greater Los Angeles. To meet these commitments, the foundation will seek, accept and donate funds and in-kind items to support community outreach programs and initiatives of local children's charities and organizations.

LA GalaxyGloria King, Director, Community Development/Director, Los Angeles Galaxy Foundation
The Los Angeles Galaxy Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting and creating educational, health, and recreational activities and programs for children in southern California, with a specific focus on assisting underserved and at-risk youth. The Galaxy Foundation is committed to encouraging, educating, and empowering the children in our community.

Special OlympicsKelly Pond, Assistant Vice President Development, Special Olympics Southern California
The mission of Special Olympics Southern California is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

project BLUEVipe Desai, Founder, project BLUE
Project BLUE launched as a surf industry initiative dedicated  to keeping our playgrounds safe and thriving. Through project BLUE, leading  brands in the surf industry have come together to collaborate on products and  retail initiatives to support the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association  (SIMA) Environmental Fund.

We Play To WinKasia Muoto, Founder, We Play to Win
We Play to Win is a non-profit  organization that uses sports as a vehicle to engage, educate, inspire and  empower disadvantaged youth, with a focus on young women. Through our programs  we deliver the message that there is a future and a HOPE, prompting these  young people to discover and achieve their purpose and God-given potential,  make positive life changes, and act to enhance the health and welfare of their  communities.


Moderated by:

Howard K. Brodwin, Managing Director, Team Marketing Systems & Founder of is a  comprehensive guide to sports non-profit organizations, with a mission of  building the ultimate "all-star team"  of organizations, athletes,  executives and fans to initiate meaningful social change. Here you'll find  FREE tools and resources to help industry leaders and sports fans connect with  charitable programs around the world.


Event Producers: Howard K. Brodwin, LaFern Cusack, Andrew Weisser and Phyllis Tan


This event is part of an education program for nonprofit professionals and public relations representatives, offered by PIRATES, the Print Interactive Radio and Television Educational Society.



Wednesday, January 19, 2011
8:30 a.m. Check-in and Continental Breakfast by Wolfgang Puck Catering.
9:00am-10:00am Program (approx. 1 hour)
 1011 S. Figueroa Street, Suite B101 
Los Angeles, CA 90015


$17.00 MEMBERS Breakfast Meeting
$22.00 NON-MEMBERS Breakfast Meeting
*Includes breakfast and 2-hour parking in LA LIVE Olympic East Garage.


Reserve Your Spot Today!


***As a non-profit organization every dollar counts! If you reserve via phone, email or website and fail to attend, you will be billed. You can pay ahead of the meeting via the online links below or pay with cash or check at the door. Exact change is appreciated.


RSVP to 1-800-PLANK(15) or 
via e-mail to Yvonne Voisin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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One of the reasons the world embraces "the beautiful game" of soccer (or football, for those outside the 50 states), is access - all you need is a ball and a place to play. But while those appear to be simple needs, they're not always easily met. In many urban and developing areas, make-shift soccer balls are created out of trash, twine and anything else that can be tightly condensed into a sphere. And the "pitch" could be a safe place where there's enough room for a small game of 3-on-3.


The folks at the Urban Soccer Initiative have created a platform to give inner city kids that place to play. Their mission is simple and efficient: The Urban Soccer Initiative improves soccer pitch accessibility in cities by bringing high-traffic, smaller-sized pitches to urban neighborhoods where space for full-sized fields is limited or non-existent, and leading in the restoration of high-traffic urban soccer pitches that are in a state of disrepair.

"These inner-city residents face barriers to participation in sports, due to a myriad of factors. The most palpable of these revolve around an inability to participate in sports due to of a lack of resources (money, accessible transportation, time, etc.). Within this population, we target those demographics most likely to benefit from the installation of a soccer pitch in their community."


Access? Granted.


For more information on the Urban Soccer Initiative, visit and watch the video clip below.


The Urban Soccer Initiative from Jasyn Polowitz on Vimeo.


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