As we all know, it takes time to get someone to do something different, especially when it’s out of their comfort zone. For many decades, we’ve all known that there is a greater need to care for our lovely earth and although new measures are put in to place all the time, our old habits still get in the way. However, it’s all about good, regular communication and encouragement, to get the public to do what you want them to do.
Manchester United is one of the biggest, iconic UK football clubs, it’s a brand within it self and is recognised all over the world with about 660 million fans – Manchester United is definitely powerful enough to communicate positive messages of caring for the environment and turning their fans into environmentalist. Well, maybe not to the extreme of becoming an environmentalist, but if they can encourage them to do a regular contribution by doing something as basic as placing the plastic and glass bottles into the right recycling bins rather than dumping them in the regular bins without a second thought, then at least some positive difference would’ve been made.
As there is a strong correlation between sports and good behaviour change, this will also be a good way to encourage the younger generation and to develop good habits while they’re still young, as plenty of them look up to these footballers as icons and role models.
Other sports teams around the world have recognised the need to promote environmental-care, for example, the Barclays Centre in New York, home to the NBA Brooklyn Nets basketball team, runs competitions for local businesses. These businesses have to implement some energy efficiency measures and who ever achieves the highest performance will win signed memorabilia and free tickets to watch the games.
The Seattle Mariners baseball team holds weekly challenges in which fans have to answer a set of questions. The clues are kept at recycling points around the stadium. The winning prize is a tablet computer.
So competitions can be an effective way to get the wider public involved in environmental-care. After all, it’s the chance of winning a prize that makes it more attractive. But could there be a down-side to holding competitions? Will this really improve the fans’ behaviour towards environmental-ethics even when there isn’t a competition or challenge involved?