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Super Bowl 50 Fans Asked to Play Their Part to Help Make Big Game Net Positive

Image Credit: Play Your Part/Super Bowl 50 Host Committee

Upgrading facilities to be LEED-certified, reducing carbon emissions, using recycled or compostable foodservice products, and diverting waste from landfills are common ways that sporting events are going green. However, especially with large events, much of the impact is contributed by the fans. Companies can use their advertisements to promote behavior change, or offer recyclable, zero-waste sporting goods, but truly engaging fans can be a daunting and difficult task.

The San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee, in collaboration with social cause marketing agencies in/PACT and Citizen Group, is taking on the challenge. To help meet their goal of delivering Super Bowl 50 as a “Net Positive” event, the Host Committee launched a new campaign this week: “Play Your Part” will recognize and reward fans for their sustainable behavior.

“Super Bowl 50 fans have an important role to play in helping us achieve the goal of delivering Super Bowl 50 as a net positive event. We can’t do it without them,” said Host Committee CEO Keith Bruce.

“Given the millions of fans that the Big Game attracts, there’s a huge opportunity for all of us to join together and play our part in shaping a better future,” in/PACT CEO John McNeel added.

Fans can perform or pledge to perform actions such as taking public transit or riding their bike, using a reusable water bottle, properly recycling waste, or hosting a sustainable Super Bowl party. When they make a pledge to take action, fans will automatically be entered to win a pair of tickets to Super Bowl 50 and other prizes. Participants will also be rewarded with “GoodCoins” that they can use to support environmental causes. By giving their GoodCoins between January 25 through February 7, fans can weigh in on how the 50 Fund’s $200,000 Sustainable Environments Game Changer Grant will be allocated to a short list of Bay Area environmental non-profits.

“By leveraging the Bay Area’s leadership in technology, sustainability and philanthropy, we have the opportunity to create a real legacy,” said Robin Raj, founder and executive director of Citizen Group. “We’re proud to work with the Host Committee and in/PACT to set a new standard for how future major sporting events can engage and support their communities for years to come.”

The Play Your Part website also has information on actions that the Host Committee is taking to meet its net positive goal, including offsetting unavoidable emissions through TerraPass, serving locally sourced and organic food options, participating in a food recovery program to redirect food waste, running a “Fan Express” charter bus with pickup points throughout the Bay Area and electric bus shuttles for media personnel, and more.

Hannah Furlong is an Editorial Assistant for Sustainable Brands, based in Canada. She is researching the circular economy as a Master's student in Sustainability Management at the University of Waterloo and holds a Bachelor's in Environment and Business Co-op. Hannah… [Read more about Hannah Furlong]

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