At the Beyond Sport Summit in London, in the days leading up to the Summer Olympics, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France spoke passionately about his sport’s efforts to drive sustainable behavior amongst millions of fans through the NASCAR Green platform. Today, he joined National Basketball Association (NBA) Commissioner David Stern on a panel at Yankee Stadium entitled Beyond Sport United:Sports Teams for Social Change.
The conversation centered on how teams and leagues can use their resources to engage with their communities in a more sustained, impactful way. The commissioners also discussed how community engagement and philanthropic efforts can also benefit teams and leagues’ objectives across departments and enterprises.
“Themission of Beyond Sport is critically important,” said France. “I look forward to collaborating with our friends from other sports to find ways that we can work together to galvanize our respective industries in an effort to make a substantive impact on the lives of local communities and fans of sport throughout the world.”
In May 2012, NASCAR became the last founding member of a coalition of leagues that includes Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Soccer (MLS), the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), as well as the NBA. The leagues are part of Beyond Sport's wider global network to promote, develop and support the use of sport to create positive social change.
“Beyond Sport United is anevent born out of the idea that professional sports teams, as heroic brands with historic resonance, have the profound ability to be hubs of positive influence and resource within their communities,” said Nick Keller, founder of Beyond Sport. “What impressed me at our London event was how much of what NASCAR was doing to drive social change here in the U.S. resonated with a global audience. I look forward to seeing that same dynamic in action at Yankee Stadium today.”
The day consisted of panels and workshops that strive to identify ways that specific social issues can be addressed by sports teams, leagues, and their partners. The conversation also focused on the business and organizational benefits of community engagement and social responsibility.
In addition to France, NASCAR was well represented at the event throughout the day through a range of other activities. Among them:
- · NASCAR Hall of Famer and The NASCAR Foundation Board Member Rusty Wallace joined a Players Panel to explore how teams and leagues have supported, and can better support, players in their philanthropic work. Moderated by Mike Greenberg from ESPN, the panel also included Mark Teixeira (World Series champion and founder of the Mark Teixeira Charitable Foundation), Derrick Brooks (former Super Bowl champion and founder of Derrick Brooks Charities), Aimee Mullins (Paralympian, actress, fashion model and activist) and Swin Cash (WNBA Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist).
- · Dr. Michael Lynch, NASCAR’s managing director of green innovation, participated in a breakout session called Sustainability & Environment:Innovation, Efficiency and Creativity. Joining Dr. Lynch was Rich Sotelo, vice president, operations, San Jose Sharks and Todd Reeve, CEO, Bonneville Environment Foundation.