It’s easy to take the low road; post funny videos, pile on to a poor story and off it goes; you are in the conversation. However many times the high road, although often it is a tougher story to tell, is the best one, especially in sports, which somehow finds a way to be the salve for many problems social, ethical, monetarily, and on and on. The stories of triumph always amaze us, lift our spirits and keep us going. One person who has made finding the good into a labor of love is Sab Singh, the one man band behind the site Sports Doing Good. Who is he, why did he do it and why does he he keep it going? We caught up with him to find out more…
Where did the idea for Sports Doing Good come from?
The idea in its earliest form was a result of encouragement I received from colleagues to start a blog after I wrote a couple of pieces for Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal dealing with sports and social entrepreneurship and development. I was, and am still, learning about the area and I thought that instead of reading articles and saving them on my computer, I would just save them online. Hence, Sports Doing Good. The newsletter was borne from my desire to reach more people in a more time efficient manner. I subscribe to several newsletters and thought that would be a good way to go.
How much info is inbound vs. you trying to find content?
I do get a fair amount of content sent to me but it is usually 1 or 2 stories that make it to the newsletter. (However, I will get the other items out on Twitter and/or Facebook.) The balance comes from my own reading of A LOT of articles and news items. While I regularly see pieces from a few sources, e.g. the New York Times, the stories can really come from anywhere. One thing that we have added to the newsletter is the “10+” section. The stories here come from a few organizations that always have things to share. We include the title of the article and a link back to the original piece but don’t excerpt any of the article nor include a picture/video.
How many people actually work on the newsletter each week?
It is just me. I have had an intern a couple of times but not in a few years. I would love to have some help from them while also giving them exposure to this part of the sports business world.
Is there a longer-term plan for what SDG can evolve into?
I am struggling a little bit with this. From the beginning, I saw this being bigger than a blog/ newsletter. My hope was that, someway, somehow, this would turn into a media platform that would showcase nothing but good things in sports. I still think it can happen. And I believe it does not have to be limited to sports. I would love to see a channel/video service dedicated to all good things. I am positive a large audience would be interested in such content. There are a few people in the industry I have thought about approaching about this so stay tuned for some activity, I hope.
Are there one or two amazing anecdotes that you like to tell about the newsletter?
There have been so many great stories, it is hard to single one or two out but I will try. I never forgot the story about a young lady in Kentucky participating on her high school’s bowling team.
Admittedly, that doesn’t sound that special. However, the young lady, Whitney Foster, is special. Whitney has arthrogryposis, a rare disease characterized by deformed joints and drastically reduced muscle and tendon function. The condition has left Foster unable to extend her arms and barely able to manipulate her hands. In the face of this huge challenge, Whitney found a way to bowl and earned a place on her high school team. Even though the story is more than 4 years old, I still feel that sense of wonderment, respect, and admiration for Whitney. Life may seem too hard at times for most of us but it is not, at least not when compared to what some have to deal with on a daily basis. Whitney is doing it and often it is with a smile on her face. Here is the link to Whitney’s story Postscript, Whitney has continued to bowl as an NCAA athlete at Bellarmine University.
In addition to being put in a good mood whenever I am working on it, the newsletter has given me opportunities to interact with so many great people, some who I have admired from far and more who have emailed to express how the newsletter makes them feel and to “keep up the great work.” I also have been to a few events, e.g. Beyond Sport United, ESPN’s Sports Humanitarian Awards, that put me in the company of many new people doing some great things. I am lucky.
This is a passion project for you; tell us about your teaching as well?
I am an Assistant Professor of Sport Management at Farmingdale State College in New York. This is my seventh year at the school. I teach a variety of classes such as Sport Law, Social Media in Sport, Strategic Sport Management, International Sport Management and Current Topics in Sport. I have really enjoyed my time at Farmingdale. Being in the world of academia feels right to me so I am glad I made the decision to pursue it after 12 years as a management consultant.
Have students been engaged with SDG?
You know, they have not to a significant degree. That is a failing on my part. I have had a couple of interns who were very good and a couple who were not. I would love to get some assistance with various aspects of the newsletter, including content procurement, marketing and social media, and business development. I may spend some time on this over the summer and hopefully can set up some positions for the fall.
Where would you like it to evolve into in the next few years?
I would like to partner up with other like-minded individuals and organizations to ramp up this “good media” idea. There are already places out there doing it on a smaller scale. From a technology standpoint, there are changes making the presentation of content, including digital content, relatively easy to do. The option of doing a YouTube channel or of an OTT effort is there. I hope to be part of that in the near future.