Communications - overview

Introducing environmentally responsible practices into your event is important in its own right. But just as important is how you communicate what you're doing to the people and organizations that come in contact with the event, namely:

  1. Athletes and spectators
  2. Sponsors
  3. Suppliers and vendors
  4. Staff and volunteers
  5. Local community groups and residents
  6. Local government

Below we detail communications ideas for your two primary audiences: Athletes and Spectators, and Sponsors. Contact us for ideas you might want to adopt for the other groups.

Think of your event as a "teaching moment" and athletes and spectators as your students. They learn by observing and participating in the eco-practices at the event. Some will take home what they learn and integrate the practices into their daily lives. For example, if your event composts food waste, some participants might decide to set up a backyard composter. Your environmental practices can have a profound multiplier effect that ripples through the community.

Sustainable practices also create new business opportunities. You now have the opportunity to attract a new set of sponsors from the 'green community of companies' that sell environmentally responsible products and services. For example, solar power companies, organic food and grocery companies are now sponsorship candidates.

You can also reenergize existing sponsorship relationships - car companies and apparel companies, for example. They can integrate information about the environmental attributes of their products and services into their marketing messages. The same goes for local businesses such as hotels and restaurants.

To fully leverage both the teaching moments and the business opportunities you need to integrate your environmental practices into your overall communications plan. This process starts before anyone registers for the event and continues through to the sharing of the results of you eco-initiatives.

Your green communications strategy should includes all the usual tools such as the web (your own site plus social media tools like Facebook and Twitter), e-newsletters, ads, and press releases. You should also include information about your eco-practices into sponsorship presentations and communications with suppliers and vendors. And you should add it to the agendas of meetings with local government agencies and community groups.