By Ken Reed
Several sports stars, including Naomi Osaka, Marcus Rashford, Megan Rapinoe and Lewis Hamilton, have seen their social followings and engagement rates soar after using their platforms for social justice causes this year. Socially-responsible brands have seen a similar boost.
The increases have been driven largely by younger, socially-conscious fans and consumers. According to Nielsen Data Fan Insight research, 48 percent of 16 to 29-year-olds say they have an increased interest in socially responsible brands in 2020, a year marked by the Covid-19 pandemic and social justice protests. Older age groups have also seen a spike in interest in this category. Forty-six percent of 30 to 49-year-olds and 34 percent of 50 to 69-year-olds say they are more interested in socially responsible brands in 2020.
“The social upheaval that’s been caused by the global pandemic is likely to reshape what sports marketing looks like in future,” said Samantha Lamberti, a consultant for Nielsen Sports. “As a result, we will see a shift in brands realigning their marketing strategies to ensure they support different social causes.”
The growing interest in companies that conduct business in socially responsible ways could change the branding and marketing efforts for both athletes and their sponsors moving forward.
“We will see this continued change in behavior with brands not only adapting their own strategies to ensure they align themselves with social causes but we will also see them work closer with athletes that represent similar values and beliefs as they do in order to be seen by consumers as authentic,” said Lamberti.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group, whose mission is to defend academic integrity in higher education from the corrosive aspects of commercialized college sports.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
Episode #4 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Biggest Issue in Sports Today? Brain Trauma – The guest is Patrick Hruby, a journalist who has done extensive research and in-depth writing on the topic of brain trauma in sports, most notably football.
Episode #3 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Coaching Styles with Sports Sociologist Jay Coakley – The guest is veteran sports sociologist Jay Coakley, a former college athlete who went on to earn a Ph.D. in Sociology from Notre Dame.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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