Welcome to the latest issue of Sportcal Insight.
Sustainability, once considered nothing more than a CSR box-ticking exercise, has propelled itself into the public consciousness in recent years, and sport has been quick to lead the charge.
It is permeating all walks of the industry, with brands and rights-holders championing partnerships for purpose and media outlets striving to reduce the environmental aspects of sports broadcasting.
Most of these initiatives are subtle, and many, particularly on the broadcast side, have been fast-tracked by the coronavirus pandemic. With fewer personnel allowed to be on-site or pitch-side, remote production has come to the fore, and industry commentators believe it is here to stay. Yes, there’s a brutal cost-saving element, but there’s a planet-saving one too.
On the events side, the sustainability message has been anything but subtle. Extreme E, the much-anticipated SUV electric motor racing series, will finally get under way in April with a goal of highlighting the damage to the planet caused by climate change. It’s very much sport with substance.
In this sustainability special issue, we talk to stakeholders across the industry about the work being under taken to put sport at the forefront of environmental change.
We also catch up with Eurosport president Andrew Georgiou about the launch of Discovery+, the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, managing through Covid-times and the pandemic acting as a catalyst for change.
Elsewhere, Orlando’s bid to become a Fifa World Cup 2026 host city is analysed, and there’s a snapshot of the commercial value of women’s sport.
I hope you enjoy the issue
Jonathan Rest, editor