One of the most effective ways to publicize your sports greening efforts is to use online outreach to offer examples of greener practices, inspire others to get involved, and encourage them to share the news. Online sports greening engagement can also help track fan interest in these initiatives. Follow website traffic and social media engagement to gauge ongoing student and fan interest in your sports greening efforts and events.
Consider using the following online outreach strategies to enhance your sports greening outreach and engagement.
Consider establishing a “green” or “sustainability” page within your athletics and recreation departments’ websites. A sports greening webpage provides a base for all outreach about your program and is a valuable tool for presenting your work to the public. Keep this green page fresh by populating it with updated information about recent initiatives and photos.
Consider including the following types of text content:
- The name, logo and mission statement for the sports greening program
- Short bios of students involved in the sports eco-committee, include at minimum their class, major, sport (if relevant), a headshot, and any projects they’re currently working on
- Short bios of athletics and recreation staff involved in or supporting the sports eco-committee
- A brief statement from the Athletics Director (or other sports leadership on campus) supporting the sports greening program and stating the value of this work
- A brief statement from the school President (or other campus leadership) supporting the sports greening program and stating the value of this work
- A statement about the environmental and social benefits of this program, reminding visitors why environmental stewardship is important
- Information about upcoming sports events and ways to volunteer or support the sports greening efforts
- Green tips for students and fans
- A list of sports greening accomplishments to date
- Links to departmental or campus sustainability reports
- A list of current and/or planned sports greening projects
- A list of supporting partners and sponsors
Consider including photos and videos of:
- Students, fans, staff, mascots, and players performing “acts of green”—such as recycling, using a reusable water bottle, or bicycling
- Eco-committee and recycling green teams in action throughout your venues
- Environmentally-intelligent infrastructure—such as renewable energy installations, recycling receptacles or motion-sensor light systems
- Environmental signage around your sports venues–such as green infrastructure signs (e.g. by recycling bins, water fountains, elevators, showers, and paper towel dispensers), green tips posters, environmental education booths or banners
Use the green page of your athletics and recreation websites to keep fans and the general public up to date on any new green initiatives across your sports departments, to recruit volunteers/partners/sponsors, and to attract new press coverage. To encourage buy-in and support, emphasize the value of the sports departments’ commitments to the environment and to the local community by including information about the environmental and social benefits of greener sports practices. Update your website content as regularly as possible with any news coverage, press releases, newsletters, or social media outreach.
Once you have set up a green page on your athletics and recreation website, partner with the communications and media staff responsible for the website to monitor public interest in these pages. To track interest in your sports greening pages, use website metrics like “visitors,” “keywords,” “bounce rate,” “conversion rate,” and “traffic sources.” These engagement numbers, alongside data on operational resource savings, can help you make the case for additional investment in your sports greening work.
SOCIAL MEDIA OUTREACH
Consider incorporating environmental messaging into your social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, or any others that your sports department’s media team uses. These messages could include anything from quick facts about your environmental achievements to photos and short video clips of fans getting involved in your recycling program on game days, possibly alongside mascots, staff members or athletes. Any of the above content ideas are valuable additions to your social media outreach as well.
Unique content about your green progress will enrich your existing social media material, strengthen your green brand, and provide fans with more incentives to follow your department and institution on all social media platforms. Fully integrating your green material with all other social media outreach will help demonstrate that your environmental commitments are fundamental to your department’s values and actions.
This unified outreach approach will also help athletics, recreation and the institution as a whole attract more positive press coverage of your environmental initiatives, whether from local newspapers, radio shows, or bloggers and other emerging forms of media. Coordinate any sports greening social media outreach with the institution-wide social media team as well as any institutional-level sustainability outreach to maximize the content on all of your school’s platforms.
Once you’ve started integrating green messaging into your athletics and recreation social media outreach, partner with the communications and media staff responsible for these social media channels to monitor public interest in these posts. Consider using social media metrics such as “consumption” and “sharing” to track interest in your sports greening content.
Remember to integrate these environmental engagement numbers with any other data you may have on the impact of your program to help make the case for additional investment in your sports greening work.
COLLEGIATE SPORTS GREENING WEBSITES
- University of Colorado Boulder: Ralphie’s Green Stampede
- University of Florida: Florida Gators Sustainability
- The Ohio State University: Zero Waste at Ohio Stadium
- University of Michigan: Athletics Sustainability
- University of Washington: Go Purple. Be Gold & Green Husky Green Team
- University of Pennsylvania: Athletics Eco Reps
- Yale University: Bulldog Sustainability
- Columbia University: EcoLions
- Bowdoin College: Bowdoin Green Athletics
- Middlebury College: Greener Athletics
- North Carolina State: Wolfpack Athletics Training For A Sustainable Future
- Indiana University: Greening Cream & Crimson
- University of Georgia: Sustainable Athletics
- The Ivy League: Ivy Green Initiative
- Davidson College: The Next Play
PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE & TEAM GREEN PRESS RELEASES
- Portland Trailblazers Earn LEED Certification
- MLB Clubs Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Earth Day
- EPA Honors NHL Clubs’ Commitment to Food Recovery
- Solar Panels to Be Installed at Qwest Field
PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE & TEAM GREEN WEBSITES
- NHL Green
- MLB Team Greening Program
- NBA Green
- Philadelphia Eagles Go Green
- MLS W.O.R.K.S. Greener Goals
- US Open Greening Initiatives
- Cleveland Indians – Our Tribe Is Green
WEBSITE METRICS RESOURCES
- RevSquare: Step-by-Step Guide To Promoting Your Events Using Social Media
- Salesforce: The Quick Social Media Guide to Event Planning
- Constant Contact: Add Social Media To Your Event Strategy