Maybe one of the more selfless acts in sport is the assist. Recognized in basketball and hockey and soccer, the assist is the perhaps the ultimate team accomplishment, forgoing the glory of the goal or the point so that another can succeed. Ever valuable, often overlooked.
So it is the value of the assist that really came to light this week through the work of the group Sports For Social Change. Seizing on the well-established platform of “Giving Tuesday,” the first Tuesday in December when brands look to individuals to kick off the holiday season by undertaking an act of service, SFSC created the Give An Assist platform for sport.
The object was to rally sports fans to “Give An Assist” to those in need through Donations, Volunteering, Coaching, Fundraising, Shopping for Socially Responsible Gifts and more. The act was not as important as the effort…people were asked to support with time, ideas or a few extra dollars at intermission or halftime of a professional game. The message was amplified through social media, which created the platform of #GiveAnAssist across the US & Canada on #GivingTuesday, which helped link those looking to do a positive work associated with sport, and rewarded all who engaged with the chance to win some solid prizes, including a signed copy of NBA Hall of Famer John Stockon’s new autobiography, “Assisted.”
The website made giving through sport easy…it has countless links to charitable efforts formulated by teams, leagues and individuals which any fan could connect with either virtually or in real time. There was no minimum donation of time or effort, and in many cases the programs were also supported by community brands who also extended the reach or in some cases doubled the fundraising efforts of those involved. This was not a telethon, which ended after a given amount of time or when a dollar goal was reached. It was meant to take the most precious commodity fans have…time…and have them use that time in support of their team for a greater good. There was no loser, only winners in the effort, all done by social media and word of mouth.
At the end of the day what was accomplished? Sure some dollars were raised and a select number of philanthropic efforts got some greater exposure. However the main goal was to serve as a reminder that sport can have a great positive impact on millions because of its devoted and passionate fan base, and empowering those fans, with a little swag tied in, to act in a positive fashion starting on December 3 and moving towards the holidays is a very powerful effort, one that any engagement brand should be proud of and should look to exemplify.
For more information on Sports for Social Change and their efforts, visit their website, and take a few minutes to give back.