The Super Bowl: More Than A Game

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and wide receiver Richard Sherman celebrate victory in Super Bowl XLVIII.
Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and cornerback Richard Sherman celebrate victory in Super Bowl XLVIII.

By Neill Duffy

Each year, the Super Bowl not only showcases the best in sports entertainment, but also provides an opportunity to put sustainability on a global stage. The NFL has long focused on environmental stewardship through its events and facilities, culminating in an annual showcase of its efforts at the Big Game. And as we look forward to the milestone Super Bowl 50 in 2016, the goal is to take sustainability to a whole new level.

Working in partnership with Bay Area public officials and the NFL, the San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee wants to deliver Super Bowl 50 as the most shared, most participatory and most giving Super Bowl yet … And we want to do so in a “net positive” way – socially, environmentally and economically.

Sustainability has been a foundational element of Super Bowl 50 since day one, even woven into the fabric of the bid for the game. Simply put, it is our commitment to actively look for ways to use the Super Bowl as a platform for good.

We’re approaching our operations with a focus on reducing the impact of our actions on climate change, and responsibly using materials and resources. We also aim to leverage the immense engagement power of the Super Bowl to inspire fans to embrace sustainability personally. And finally, we are investing in our region by donating 25 percent of all monies raised by the Host Committee to nonprofits focused on improving the lives of young people living in the Bay Area through our legacy initiative, 50 Fund.

Why? Because we want to deliver a Super Bowl experience that will not only set the bar for the next 50 Super Bowls, but will also celebrate our communities and the people of the Bay Area like no other event has done before. And that celebration includes creating positive impact that lasts long after the final whistle is blown.

Pie in the sky? We don’t think so. Our approach to operating in a “net positive” way has become a central organizing principle which drives all of our decisions, helping us to plan more efficiently, more effectively and more responsibly.

Being “net positive” is also creating opportunities for us to engage with corporate sponsors in new ways, enabling them to share their sustainability story and showcase their sustainable products and services to an engaged and passionate audience.

In 2016, after Super Bowl 50 ends at Levi’s Stadium, we hope our scorecard shows that we put on a great event, we made a real impact on the community and we made an impact that will last long-term. Because that is a game where everyone is a winner.

Image credit: Flickr/Anthony Quintano

Neill Duffy provides brands, sports properties and non-profits with strategic, commercial and engagement solutions that embrace “profit and purpose” to achieve positive social, environmental and economic impacts. Neill is Co-Chair of the San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl Host Committee Sustainability Sub Committee and tasked with leading the Host Committee’s sustainability efforts around Super Bowl 50. about.me/neillduffy

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