Independent Study Preview!

Since I declared my third concentration in Social Impact & Responsibility, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to incorporate course elements that would align this field of study with my interest in sports business and sports philanthropy.  Luckily, this is a new concentration with a lot of flexibility, so I was able to design an independent study based on the work I’ve been doing on behalf of an organization called Athletes for Hope, which will fulfill the concentration’s ‘experiential component’ requirement.

It’s called Social Scores: A Critical Analysis of Sports Philanthropy in the United States, and here’s a little bit of what you can expect:

  • Overview of the Landscape of Sports Philanthropy
    • I’ll be doing a lot of research, looking into the current state of affairs of sports philanthropy, identifying trending topics, areas of interest and popular initiatives and programs that have been taken on at all levels- individual athletes, teams, leagues, corporations, sports-related nonprofits, etc.
  • Critical Analysis of Existing Initiatives
    • After identifying the major players and trends in this field, I’ll be looking to see which projects and initiatives have made the most impact and then try to pinpoint various methods others can adopt to increase their reach, effectiveness, and overall impact.
  • Recommendations for the Future
    •  Following my critique of the industry’s current involvement, I will present my own ideas for potential growth and improvement.  Whether it be through an emphasis on strategic marketing for a particular initiative, further development for programs focused on an under-served issue, or a need to address fragmentation within a given sport, I’ll be looking to flesh out logical and sustainable means of addressing pertinent issues that have impacted the overall effectiveness of existing endeavors.
    • One particular aspect I’ll be evaluating will be the level of collaboration among all of the individual stakeholders currently engaged in sports philanthropy;  I’m curious to see how much collaboration there currently is, as well as identify critical areas in which collaboration among, for example, athletes, teams and leagues could significantly bolster the effectiveness of any given social initiative.

Technically, my independent study will be done next semester, during which time I’ll be writing 2 position papers- one that identifies a specific initiative that I feel brings the greatest overall social impact to the sports industry, and one that yields the least- before I compose my final prognosis report evaluating the industry as a whole.

Until then, I’ll be busy researching!  I’ll post all the interesting findings I come across right here, so be sure to check back and track my discoveries as I put the entire sports industry under the microscope!

UP NEXT: A look at how teams and other organizations are transforming school curriculum using their respective sports! Stay tuned! 🙂

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