NFL fans have at least two things in common. We like football and we need a habitable planet to live on. If the NFL mobilized its huge fan base to Go Green, imagine what we could accomplish.
Fans attending games can avail themselves of gameday events like electronic recycling, participate in stadium waste reduction programs, and enjoy an organic grilled veggie wrap. This is perhaps when and where team and stadium efforts to go green are the most visible.
Due to the dearth of NFL stadiums in my area, I took to the Internet to conduct my research on the NFL’s efforts to green its fans.
Greening Fans Online
Millions of NFL fans visit NFL.com and team websites each month1 which provides the NFL with an excellent opportunity to promote its Go Green message along with the latest news and stats.
Unfortunately, information about green initiatives and green stadium improvements is almost nonexistent on team, stadium, and NFL websites. This is the case even for teams and stadiums that have received a lot of press about their green efforts.
Only 6 of 32 teams have any sort of go green webpage (Atlanta, Denver, Houston, Minnesota, Philadelphia, and St. Louis) and most of them are weak. Seattle and San Francisco, teams based in treehugger cities, scored zero for green messaging.
4 stadium websites provided information about green practices and infrastructure (Georgia Dome, MetLife Stadium, Sports Authority Field at Mile High, and University of Phoenix Stadium).
NFL.com contained one post from 2011 entitled NFL Green.
The Atlanta Falcons is the only team website with a “Green Initiative” link on their homepage. Granted it’s at the bottom in between the Miller Lite and Ticketmaster links, but it is there. In my opinion, although it is not great, the Falcons have the best green page.
Fans visiting the “Green Initiative” page can learn about actions the team is taking to reduce their environmental impact, watch short videos featuring team players getting “green infractions,” and obtain information on what they can do to go green.
Greening Fans on TV
17,303,347 fans attended NFL games in 20122 while 200,000,000 watched them on TV3. Gameday green practices and events are good and can help educate fans on green issues and learn green habits, but television clearly has the ability to reach far more fans.
I consistently watch NFL games on TV during the regular season and the playoffs, and never miss the Super Bowl. I have yet to see a Go Green ad, heard an announcer promote going green, or seen a TV interview on the topic. Have you?
The NFL is missing a huge opportunity to engage hundreds of millions of NFL fans on a mission that is essential to everyone on the planet.
Greening NFL Fans – Let’s Take Action
Imagine an NFL game with no fans sitting in the stands booing and cheering. What if no one tuned into Monday Night Football? Without fans, there is no NFL. Fans have power and influence.
For instance, it was not all that long ago the NFL realized women are football fans too. Not only do we have women sideline reporters, we are starting to see women in the broadcast booth (finally). More ads aired during NFL games are aimed at women. Teams have fan clubs for women. You get the picture.
As another example, take stadium food. Along with the beer, soda, and junk food expected at a football game, fans can now opt for organic, vegetarian, and locally grown food in many stadiums. These food choices are available today because fans demanded it.
This photo slideshow entitled, “Raider Nation – The Next Generation” says it all. (click the photo to view slideshow)
I am disappointed my favorite team, the Oakland Raiders does not have a Go Green page nor does O.co Coliseum. So, I sent an email to the Raiders asking for information on their green initiatives. I did not receive a reply.
NFL fans, let us take action. Let us tell the NFL we demand they Go Green and let us Go Green ourselves. Every action counts.
- 2012 London Olympics – Lasting Legacy
- 2012 London Olympics Sustainability – Feeding the Masses
- 2012 London Olympics Sustainability – Recycling and Composting
- Carbon Offsets – Air Travel
- Green Sports Alliance – “A better way to play”
- Greening Super Bowl XLVII
- Greening the NFL – Teams and Stadiums
- How Green are Super Bowl XLVII Official Sponsors?
- Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)
- Quantcast Corporation – NFL.com Rank and Traffic
- The road to $25 billion, by Daniel Kaplan, Sports Business Journal, January 28, 2013
- NFL 2012 TV Recap – NFL Communications, January 3, 2013 (link invalid as of October 2015)
- Green Sports Alliance
- NRDC – Greening Advisor
- U.S. EPA – Green Sports (link inactive as of 06/2018)
- Wikipedia – National Football League