Hey everybody, I’m Brian Clapp, VP of Content and Engaged Learning at WorkInSports.com and this is the Work In Sports podcast…
If I say the New York Yankees - you know who that is right? Of course you do…
Big Ten Network -- you know them, familiar with their work recognizable brand…
Adidas, Under Armour, Puma - sure
US Soccer Federation -- of course.
Have you heard of Laureus? Likely not. And yet, Laureus has made a larger impact on the world through sport, than any of the aforementioned brands we are all so familiar with.
Sports is a simple industry. Athletes and events - everything in sports branches off these two pillars. Ticket sales, trainers, coaches, scouts, operations, travel, equipment, apparel -- it all branches off of athletes and/or events.
You hear that phrase “change the world” and it sounds like an ad campaign from a brand trying to make you think, they are more altruistic than they are. They are trying to sell you a message rather than an action.
Laureus lives that action. Change the World isn’t a banner ad for them, it’s a repeatable mission statement, put into action by their everyday.
Founded under the Patronage of Nelson Mandela, Laureus Sport for Good uses sport as a powerful and cost-effective tool to help children and young people overcome violence, discrimination, and disadvantage in their lives.
Over the past two decades, they have developed a worldwide charitable infrastructure to use the power of sports to end violence, discrimination and disadvantage. It was Nelson Mandela who said, “Sports has the power to change the world.”
And while most of us hear those words and agree, but do nothing about it. Laureus is actively working to make it happen.
It is my honor to introduce you to this purpose-driven sports organization, who is changing the world through sport. Here is Laureus Sport for Good Chief Executive, Adam Fraser.
1: There is so much I want to talk about in regard to Laureus and all the organization does to improve the lives of people through sports – but I want to dig a little into your background and personal story first.
You’ve gone on quite the journey in your career – the first 5 years of your career after graduating from the University of Leeds, was in journalism. What led you to sports and why was working as a journalist your first career choice?
2: It’s quite the transition going from reporting on the World Cup and Formula One to the foundation/advocacy/fundraising side of the industry. Where were you and what was happening that led you to this dramatic shift not only in career but overall purpose?
3: You became the executive director for Sports Industry Group and Communication Director for Benchmark – their tagline is “creating and investing in purpose-driven businesses” so this was your transition move in a way, starting you down this path of sport for good.
What was that initial feeling like being involved with a company with a different set of goals than others you had worked for prior?
4: Going from journalism to the Public Relations/Communication Director side seems like a pretty natural transition, what were the biggest challenges transitioning to this role?
5: After Benchmark you transitioned to your current organization – Laureus Sport for Good. I want to dig into your roles within the organization, but first, let’s look through a broader lens.
Nelson Mandela, famously said “sport has the power to change the world” – I’ve read this quote a thousand times. I had never listened to him actually say it until yesterday, and it gave me a whole different feeling.
What does it mean for someone in your position, as Chief Executive of this organization, to feel that connection to purpose from someone like Nelson Mandela?
6: I did not realize that speech was from the inaugural Laureus World Sports Award in 2000. The rest of the quote goes on to make powerful statements like – sport has the power to inspire, to unite people, and speaks to youth in a language they understand and can create hope where there was once despair.
I believe these things to be true – but how does Laureus operate in a way to help make it true?
7: Laureus supports many programs across the globe who use sports as a mechanism to help with education, employability, health, inclusion, and a peaceful society --- define that role for us, what does it mean to support these programs, what role does Laureus play?
8: I don’t mean this to sound dramatic, but there are many problem areas of our world. Climate change, mental health, education, violence, discrimination – how do you go about focusing on the efforts of your group? Or is that not important, and the mission is to help where help is needed?
9: Tell us a little about the Laureus World Sports Academy – you have sporting legends on the roster out there in the world making a difference – explain what they do and the goals of this aspect of Laureus.
10: We’ll finish up with this – so many people want to have a career with purpose, something that makes a difference in the world. What is the best way for someone to tailor their education, or internships or overall focus so that they can find their way into a career as fulfilling and rewarding as yours?
I hope you all gathered from this, that while I love to promote the big brands, and I think they are fun and exciting places to work, there is a lot to be said by living a purpose-driven life and career. The team at Laureus is making a tangible difference in the world and that deserves to be celebrated.
Consider what’s most important to you as you go about choosing your career path. Maybe working on the foundation/advocacy side of the industry is the path you were meant for…
That’s it for today, thanks for listening, thanks to Adam Fraser… and thanks to Laureus.