Beyond Sport United hosted more than 80 sports teams from across the globe Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at Yankee Stadium to speak about the role sports plays in social change both on the macro and local/community level. It was sponsored and attended by all of the major North American sports leagues (MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL, NHL and the WNBA) with most of the commissioners representing their respective leagues.
It was pretty special to be involved in such an event, and not just because we spent all day in Yankee Stadium, (in the suites, VIP sections and even in the dugout). The star power was impressive in who attended, I’ve attached a list of some of the who’s who at the end, but the most impressive thing was the work that so many organizations are doing in the community and how many are looking for even more impactful ways to engage their communities. But let’s not be completely naive, the business of making money was still a prominent piece alongside the positive impact message.
As for the takeaways – all I can say is attending was more than worth the adventure it took to get down there (that’s a whole ‘nother story). By making it a priority to attend and be there, a lot of great connections were made, some potential new board members were found, and the willingness of those attending to want to help and connect was remarkable. It truly was a case of finding a way to be in front of the right people at the right time in the right place.
**Just to give a shout out to some of the incredible people who took the time to bounce ideas around with me, Jennifer Koltnow and Elliot Perry (Memphis Grizzlies), David James (RBI Program – MLB), Christian Aviza (Coaches Across Continents), Eli Wolff (Brown U), Amanda D’Annucci (Dance 4 Peace), Deanna Ford Castellini (UGive.org and Cincinnati Reds), Alex Doty (FSG), Jennifer Moeller (Northwestern U), Megan Barlett (UP2US), and Marc Davies (Standard Charter Bank)**
Along with being sponsored by MLB, NHL, MLS, NBA, WNBA and the NFLSome of the attendees – Roger Goodell (Commissioner, NFL), Gary Bettman (Commissioner, NHL) and Don Garber (Commissioner, MLS). Additional special guest attendees included Rita Benson LeBlanc (Owner, New Orleans Saints), Avraham Burg (Former Speaker of the Israeli Knesset), Brian Burke (president and General Manager, Toronto Maple Leafs), Christina Lurie (Owner, Philadelphia Eagles), Dikembe Mutombo (NBA All-Star and founder of the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation), Allan Houston (Assistant General Manager, New York Knicks), and Mike Richter (Former NHL Hall of Famer and Managing Director of ECP Capital).