COMING OFF ONE OF THEIR MOST POPULAR AND SUCCESSFUL SEASONS, BOTH THE NBA AND NFL TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THEIR POPULARITY IN ORDER TO BENEFIT SOCIETY
The 2011-2012 league year was another success for the NBA and NFL. Both leagues have used their popularity to benefit society, and have taken advantage of their global influence with their respective “green initiatives.”
The NBA Cares program has been an incredibly successful since its creation in 2005. The program has raised more than $190 million dollars and provided more than 1.9 million hours of hands-on service, while also building over 700 places around the world where kids can play, learn, and live. The NBA Green Initiative is one of five programs that makes up NBA Cares and is aimed at developing a personal responsibility towards environmental issues and generating awareness and funding to protect the environment. The NBA utilizes its partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to assist with this program.
The biggest part to NBA’s green movement is their NBA Green Week. For the third consecutive year, the NBA has partnered with the NRDC for Green Week. According to NBA.com, “Throughout the week the NBA highlighted league, team and player environmental initiatives including in-arena awareness nights, recycling programs and hands-on service projects.” During this year’s Green Week, all 30 franchises wore Revolution 30 uniforms, made from 60 percent recycled materials.
It should come as no surprise that the NFL jumped aboard the green movement’s bandwagon after the NBA’s original success. This past season, two NFL teams unveiled new green energy installations. The Washington Redskins installed 8,000 solar panels at FedEx Field, while the Seattle Seahawks installed a 3,750-panel collection on the roof of CenturyLink Field.
The most impressive NFL energy project comes from the City of Brotherly Love. The Philadelphia Eagles have been working on a project that will make Lincoln Financial Field one of the premier energy-efficient sports facilities in the world. The Eagles’ stadium will be self-sufficient, by creating an integrated sustainable energy solution, which will consist of solar panels and micro wind-turbines. Annually, they will provide almost six times the power used during a season’s worth of home games.
In the past few years, many professional sports leagues have upped their attempts to go green. Now, MLB and NHL have joined the race, working to become more eco-friendly. If these leagues can pass their green initiatives to their fans, it will significantly increase awareness and encourage people to become more environmental friendly in their daily lives.