There are so many unique ways of engaging fans in our sports world, at all levels, in sustainability.
There are a lot of opportunities to avoid re-inventing the wheel by looking to other organisations and groups to support development of Australian activations for green leagues and fan engagement platforms.
Stay tuned for an in-depth article coming your way on this.
For now, here is an example of one small organisation - Pledgeball.
Pledgeball, a UK based organization, seeks to unite and mobilize sports fans to take everyday actions to reduce their impact on the environment and at the same time, support their team. The platform works primarily across Football (Soccer) and Tennis. They have plans to expand to fans of other codes around the world.
Pledgeball grew, inspired by family, for family to mobilise action. You can read about the early days of the project on the Green Sports Blog.
Pledgeball works by encouraging and supporting fans to engage in sustainable lifestyle actions by gaining points for their team to earn a place on the Pledgeball League ladder that runs parallel to the on-field performance, championship ladder. Fans compete virtually by choosing from a list of pledges and Pledgeball supports fans to carry out these pledges by providing supporting information and resources. The team of fans that pledges to save the most carbon emissions wins that round. Teams positions on the Pledgeball League ladder is determined by the cumulative amount they have pledged to save.
Pledgeball has many partnerships across the UK including with the Birmingham County FA “Save Today, Play Tomorrow” program and most recently the Lawn Tennis Association for Britain. They have also been one of the organisations behind Green Football Weekend.
By using an aggregator Pledgeball can break down how much carbon pledges save, by sports, leagues, clubs and across the whole program.
“The organisation’s focus on ‘pledging’ is based on academic research and practical experience of engaging football fans with issues such as climate change. Pledgeball’s theory is that publicly pledging makes the efforts that people are already making visible, building a sense of efficacy – that it is possible to do something and that doing something makes a difference, thus broadening people’s appetite to do more. It also prompts conversations between football fans about climate change – helping to normalise action and build a sense of collective empowerment around a mass social activity. The ‘league table’ also helps fans to feel they are part of a broader community taking action.”
If you would like to experience Pledgeball firsthand and see what it is like to engage in climate action for your team, you can!
Pledgeball is creating an internationally accessible FIFAWWC fixture and ladder so that fans from around the world will be able to make a pledge for their team every game. Even if your team is not finishing high on the leaderboard for on field performance you can boost them up the Pledgeball ladder for a better climate future.
You will also be supporting female particpation. Pledgeball is working with partner Nixi Body to raise awareness about and support action on period poverty.
Follow Pledgeball at