In this day and age, sports organizations possess powerful platforms that can be leveraged for the greater good. And addressing issues related to injustice and inequality are two pivotal examples. Deloitte described this ever so eloquently in their US sports outlook 2021 report when they wrote: “Social justice has become so critical that future growth will likely be predicated upon how authentic organizations are in responding to this challenge. Players and fans increasingly expect leagues and teams to play a proactive role in the social justice movement. Deloitte’s Global Millennial Survey 2020 supports the notion that a proactive response to social injustice may be especially important to younger generations, many of whom tend to be more values-driven in how they engage with brands and businesses.”
That is why today’s episode is centered around making social justice a key component of your marketing strategy. Please note that we are not encouraging you to exploit social justice courses for the sake of marketing your sports organization. We are rather, encouraging you to find the course that your organization is passionate about and then make a concerted effort to make a difference within that area. This is such a crucial distinction because we as human beings are very good at spotting when someone is being disingenuous. So the key here, just like the Deloitte report so eloquently put it, is authenticity.
This is something that Alba Pardo, the co-founder of the Women in Action Sports, also spoke about when she guested on the podcast in episode 34. So, do check that episode out. In a nutshell, making social justice a part of your marketing strategy is saying to your supporters, we see you and we hear what you are passionate about. We will meet you halfway to ensure that, together, we build a more equal sports industry.
Moreover, it is important to note the intricate relationship between sports and society. Research continues to prove that this relationship yields significant benefits for everyone involved. Not just the societies themselves, but the individuals that make up that society as well. Some people say that sports and politics don’t mix. And by politics, they include things such as protesting against discrimination on the basis of race, sexual orientation, for example. I don’t aim to substantiate or discredit this statement in this blog post, but I want to rather highlight an important fact that we overlook when we fixate on this line of thought. This fact is that sports is a mirror of society. And because of the deep sense of belonging and identity sports evoke in fans, sports can be a very powerful force for change in society.