A couple or weeks ago, I got a chance to return to my old stomping grounds in Philly for the 2013 Beyond Sport Summit and Awards. This year, I attended the Summit as a Business Support Partner, getting the chance to consult with one of the Beyond Sport winners on impact measurement and marketing. I had a great time reconnecting with some of my Wharton mentors and advisors, as well as engaging with a diverse group of like-minded professionals from all corners of the world and all aspects of the sports industry.
Such a wealth of knowledge was shared over the 3 day event, from executive panels to practitioner workshops. One of my favorites was “The Big Interview” when ESPN Anchor Kevin Negandhi discussed the societal benefits of sports’ intersection with politics with NBA Commissioner David Stern and Former Philadelphia Mayor and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. Commissioner Stern made it clear that social responsibility should be considered an obligation among sports organizations and figures because of the tremendous potential for impact achievement they possess. (Read more of my thoughts on this in my Sports Networker article here.)
Here’s my highlight reel of key takeaways:
- Education is the Key: Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie said that education is our biggest national security issue. I was excited to learn about efforts like the Phillies’ Science Day at the Ballpark and others that promote STEM education through sport at the Beyond Innovation event. #Fundamentals
- Teamwork is Essential: Brian Dawkins reminded us that “Together, everyone achieves more.” His statement was personified by the dramatic transformation the East Lake community in Atlanta has undergone, made possible by the collaborative efforts of the East Lake Foundation, the PGA Tour and the Coca Cola Foundation. #GoTeam
- Glass Slippers and Glass Ceilings: I learned that there are only three women in pro sports front offices, two of which work for the Yankees. We still have work to do. #GirlPower
- Success is Personal: Special Olympics CEO Tom Shriver called for a mental paradigm shift surrounding athletic ability. Personal bests should be what counts most, regardless of the abilities of others around you. #WhatsYourRecord
- It Takes Courage: Beyond Sport Founder, Nick Keller, concluded this year’s summit with a challenge to be Relentless, Resilient and Restless in our courage to go beyond sport and change the world. #Ready
Congratulations to the amazingly talented and dedicated people working in organizations that were shortlisted and given awards at this year’s event. I look forward to next year
Beyond Sport is a global organization that promotes, develops and supports the use of sport to create positive social change across the world. Each year, the world’s leaders in sport, business, innovation, philanthropy, development and government come together for an event often described as ‘unmissable’, ‘a hub for social change’ and ‘the place for networking and partnerships to be done’.