The International Sponsor Council is the world trade organization for corporate sponsors. In support of its mission to promote and protect the collective interests of sponsors, the ISC is launching Sus10ability, a platform to promote corporate sustainability programming and to integrate it with sponsorship.
“The ISC works to raise efficiency for the sponsors,” stated ISC CEO and Chief Sustainability Engineer, Terry Cecil. “Corporations are leaders in sustainability. It’s just no one knows it. Sponsorship can change that for sponsors. For most major corporations, there’s a disconnect between sustainability and sponsorship. This has to change. Sustainability and sponsorship could result in increased budgets for sustainability and making rock stars out of sustainability executives. Of course, they need to engage for that to happen.”
Cecil added, “We need to educate the sponsorship industry and fans on sustainability. Internally we consistency on that definition. Sustainability is a formula and too often we are seeing positioning that ignores the economic and social legs. The environmental leg is key and a great opportunity for sponsorship activation, it just doesn’t work alone. As an example, many major issues for the sports industry affecting sponsors involve the social leg. The ISC is focusing on these issues. A few examples include Athlete Doping, CTE, FIFA reform, security and safety, Qatar’s kafala system, among others.
“Brand reputations are at severe risk if sponsorship isn’t aligned with sustainability commitments. In the case of CTE, it’s real Even the NFL admits to it although a few involved in sport are denying it. Any company that has safety as a core value to its brand is in conflict when sponsoring a sport with high incidence of CTE if they aren’t active in supporting both a solution and education on the dangers. “
“There are huge positives to the integration between sustainability and sponsorship including raising industry efficiency of sponsorship, positioning sponsors as relevant and valuable through their respective sustainability programs and ensuring that sponsorship is a positive impact on the world. There may not be a higher calling for our industry and bigger opportunity for sponsors.”