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 #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.” We discuss overzealous adults in youth sports, the dangers of sport specialization, youth sports entrepreneurs and the profit-at-all-costs mindset, and the growing socio-economic gap in youth sports.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
Episode #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan.
Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
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.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon