The Purpose and Power of Sports

Levi Strauss & Co.
February 17, 2016

The San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee and 50 Fund were committed to making Super Bowl 50 the most shared, participatory, and charitable Super Bowl in history. Further, they were committed to accomplishing this goal in a Net Positive way that benefited the entire Bay Area – socially, environmentally, and economically.
To honor that mission, in/PACT and Citizen Group co-hosted the “Purpose & Power of Sports” Symposium in the week leading up to Super Bowl 50 to discuss the Host Committee’s purpose-driven strategy. Industry thought leaders discussed how brands are using sports and entertainment to engage and activate fans around a single purpose, whether that’s sustainability or community programs, during a series of panel discussions.
Jim Stengel, President and CEO of The Jim Stengel Company and Adjunct Professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, was the keynote speaker for this event. His presentation focused on “Purpose as the Management Philosophy of the 21st Century.” Following Stengel’s presentation were two panels. 

Jim Stengel

Jim Stengel

The first, featured our CEO Chip Bergh and was moderated by Neill Duffy, Chairman of the Super Bowl Host Committee Sustainability Sub-Committee and President of in/PACT. Chip was joined by fellow panelists Keith Bruce, CEO and President of the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee and Kamba Tshionyi, Chair of the 50 Fund. The panel focused on engaging fans and activating purpose through the power of sports.
When asked about the impact we wanted to have on Super Bowl 50 as the most sustainable event to date, Chip commented, “This is going to make a lasting impact and it’s going to change the way major sporting events happen in the future. This is not a one-off.” He then added, “This becomes the new normal. I think the challenge for the next Super Bowl Host Committee is how do you take what this team has done and take it to the next level.”

When asked about how the idea of creating the most sustainable Super Bowl came to be, Keith shed some light. He prefaced his remarks with the point that sustainability today is still a quite general, loosely defined term and so shared the parameters they used to define it.
“We said, let’s define sustainability through the eyes of the Super Bowl Host Committee and what we can control and measure.” He added, “We had this amazing canvas on which to paint in terms of how we present Super Bowl 50 to the world. And so the idea of being net positive really resonated.”
He said the team simplified their sustainability goals down to four key pillars:
1). Reducing our impact on climate change and operationalizing this idea of Net Positive.
2). Responsible use of materials and resources.
3). Engage consumers to get involved and take action. Keith called this the “holy grail” of sustainability.
4). Deliver social benefits to the community. Keith called out the Play Your Part program specifically.

The second panel was moderated by John McNeel, CEO and co-founder of in/PACT and featured panelists Robin Raj, Founder and Executive Creative Director of Citizen Group; Amar Sharany, Chairmain and Co-Founder of in/PACT; and Gabriela Isler, philanthropist, Miss Universe 2013, and in/PACT’s Chief Millennial Officer.
Panel 2_full
The event also included the launch of in/PACT’s Play Your Part campaign. Rapper and activist, Prince Ea, interviewed our very own Executive Vice President and President of the Levi’s Brand, James Curleigh, on the importance of sustainability for companies in the 21st century. You can watch the video here on the in/PACT Facebook page.
We walked away from the event feeling inspired to—through sports—work together toward a greater purpose that benefits the environment, Bay Area communities, and the generations to follow.
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