By Nicole Weissman
Earlier this month, the All Sports United Consortium gathered for the first time in Washington, D.C. The convening, held at George Washington University, included existing leaders wanting to share best practices, sports professionals looking to expand their knowledge of philanthropy, and young people hoping to pursue a career in this growing area.
Consortium members heard from Dr. Lisa Delpy Neirotti, Associate Professor and Director of George Washington School of Business Sports Management Programs, who described the university’s Graduate Certificate in Sports Philanthropy. The first-of-its-kind program, set to begin in May, draws on the experience of thought leaders and industry professionals to teach best practices and create a network for future leaders.
Following Dr. Delpy Neirotti’s presentation, the consortium enjoyed a talk from Jeff Bliss, President and CEO of The Javelin Group, a global marketing consultancy with particular capabilities working with sporting events and sports organizations on behalf of corporate clients. Drawing comparisons to trends in the broader corporate social responsibility field, Jeff found agreement from the group when discussing the shift away from donations and other traditional philanthropy and in the direction of creative sponsorships and other arrangements with strong shared value.
Consortium members divided into groups to discuss the ideas Jeff presented, and share their own challenges and experiences in sports philanthropy. When the larger group re-convened at the end of the final hour, each small group presented its findings, marking the first of what will be many discussions of best practices for the All Sports United Consortium.
Moving forward, the consortium will continue to act as a unit in identifying and advancing best practices, with both in-person and virtual meetings planned as follow-up to this month’s successful Washington convening.