NASCAR’s expanding role among global influencers of sport continues this week as Chairman and CEO Brian France participates in Beyond Sport’s annual summit in London. The Summit begins today, a few days before the start of the 2012 Olympiad.
On Wednesday, France will participate in a panel entitled “Mobilizing Millions,” in which he will highlight NASCAR’s efforts in green, diversity and charitable giving. Joining France will be Dr. Robin Peterson, CEO of the South African Football Association; Jamie Oliver, celebrity chef, Emmy Award-winning television personality and health advocate; and Paddy Harverson, official spokesperson for Prince Charles, Duke of Cambridge.
Moderated by Dr. Michael Lynch, NASCAR’s managing director of green innovation, the conversation will look at how sport can be used as a tool to trigger large-scale change. Panelists will analyze how sports organizations, personalities and governing bodies can use the power of sport to improve lives, positively change behavior, or empower people on a global scale.
Additionally tomorrow, France will present Beyond Sport’s “Sport for the Environment” Award to a recipient who has put forth significant efforts to reduce sports’ impact on the environment.
“A key part of Beyond Sport’s mission is to bring together people from different spheres to share their experiences and to learn from each other,” said Nick Keller, founder of Beyond Sport. “Between them, through inspiration and education, these people and their organizations have changed the outlooks, perspectives and even living habits of millions of people around the world, and their insights are invaluable.”
The Beyond Sport summit is convened to celebrate, promote and drive sport-led social change. The event features networking opportunities, panels and action-led working sessions that include influencers from the worlds of sports, business and government. It will play host to a wide range of global luminaries, including Muhammad Ali, David Beckham and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
In May, NASCAR accepted an invitation to join Beyond Sport, a global organization that promotes, develops and supports the use of sport to create positive social change. NASCAR joined a coalition of leagues that includes Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, the National Hockey League and the Women’s National Basketball Association as part of Beyond Sport’s wider global network. NASCAR is the first and only motorsports organization aligned with Beyond Sport.
In addition to France, each of the following panelists will share their unique perspective with the global audience:
· Dr. Robin Peterson, CEO of the South African Football Association. Peterson is one of the most influential figures in African sport, and will talk about the power of the Rainbow Nation’s most popular sport and how it can genuinely help unite and build a nation.
· Jamie Oliver, celebrity chef, Emmy Award-winning television personality and health advocate. His popular program “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” has earned him wide notoriety as a critic of processed foods in public schools and was recently awarded the Harvard School of Public Health’s Healthy Cup Award.
· Paddy Harverson, a key player in the media relations world from a number of perspectives, but is best known for his role at the Clarence House as the official spokesperson for Prince Charles, Duke of Cambridge. He spent four years as director of communications for the Manchester United Premier League football club and most recently coordinated communications for the union of Prince William and Kate Middleton. He will discuss the major shift in modern media and its significance in influencing people’s behavior for the better.
The involvement of NASCAR in a summit such as this one shows the growing influence of the sport on the international stage. Perhaps in some future Olympics, auto racing can take it’s place as an international competitive event, alongside baseball, soccer, and swimming. Wouldn’t that be cool?
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