Yesterday, I spent the day at the SF Giants game, as BSS was again responsible for coordinating a Community Outreach day on behalf of our client PG&E. It was a beautiful, warm day in San Francisco that made it easy to note how dramatically our climate has changed over the past few decades. On Earth Day, it’s important to note how much there is to do to generate awareness and remind consumers to give their business to companies that support the environment and commit to sustainability.
Given the “green fatigue” that has developed in some quarters of the marketplace, we must remember that the sustainability movement is still advancing, with eco-friendly initiatives now commonplace and almost routine. One only needs to follow news coming from industry newsletters like SmartBrief on Sustainability, CSRwire, or Joel Makower’s blog GreenBiz to see daily reports of actions being taken by corporations to address environmental and bottom line interests through green policies.
While walking through the ballpark on a Green Ballpark Tour, I was struck by how much the Giants and their partners – most notably PG&E – do to achieve lofty sustainability goals. The Giants have won MLB’s Green Glove Award as the greenest franchise five years running now – going back to when PG&E first partnered with them to place solar on the ballpark and to obtain LEED Silver status, which they received in 2010. Hearing head groundskeeper Greg Elliot talk about the creative ways they conserve water and use organic products and natural landscaping techniques for a more conscious approach to field maintenance, one is struck by how well the greening of sports is progressing.
Still, I realized how the green messaging we heard on the tour must sound like background noise to many people, and wonder how much it really feels relevant to the average person. It seems to me that sustainability messaging is more important than ever, and that those of us in the communications space must continue to find new ways to connect with people directly in a language that will reach them. Using sports, entertainment and other sponsorship-friendly platforms to communicate relevant sustainability messaging remains an extremely viable and powerful tool for corporations and NGOs to reach diverse audiences with both their own messaging and consumer calls-to-action. We have to keep being more creative and effective, and not give up our efforts to grab the audience’s attention.
As our work at BSS has evolved the past couple of years, we have spent a great deal of time on civic projects with inherent green strands. While not leading with sustainability messages, these projects and the organizations driving them have shown how sustainability can be a natural feature of any major event, community project or new building. We’ll review some of these projects in the days ahead and suggest ways that new properties can be thinking of sustainability through strategic partnerships of many varieties, including sponsorship.
Sustainable sponsorship is in our future to stay. Let us know how we can help your organization engage in this vital and challenging practice – just one of many ways BSS can help organizations enhance their bottom line and community connection through sponsorship and strategic partnership.