European Sponsorship Association chairman pledges support to Pathfinder Project
European Sponsorship Association chairman Karen Earl has pledged the organisation’s support for The Pathfinder Project which aims to plot a roadmap for the future of sport by creating a wide-ranging debate among stakeholders including governing bodies, governments, businesses and the media.
Speaking at the close of the 2014 ESA Summit in London, Ms Earl said ESA would play an active role in discussions aimed to find answers to some of the many questions over the future relationship between sport, business and society.
She was responding to a challenge issued at the congress by Pathfinder Project advocate Patrick Nally, one of the architects of modern sports marketing and creator of the sponsorship blueprint which continues to generate $billions for events including the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup.
Today he believes sport can be a tremendously positive force in health, culture, education and business but recognises that challenges including doping, murky governance, inequality, corruption and government inactivity have to be addressed in order to shape the future landscape.
“Sport has never been more influential but at the same time it has never faced so many challenges. Sport has the power to change the world; it has the power to inspire,” he said.
“However, sport is a big jigsaw puzzle and the challenge is how best to fit all the pieces together.
“For sport to be effective it clearly needs a re-think. It needs a new direction if we are to meet the challenge of the future.
“We need coherent policies and we need leadership. It is important that these policies are developed by a collective of all of the different stakeholders in sport. By coming together we can create a collective dynamic to encourage positive change.”
Nally is an advisor to UNESCO, the United Nations Educational and Cultural organisation which has also committed to the Pathfinder Project along with academic institutions including Harvard University.
Patrick Nally said:
“I am delighted with the response of delegates to the ESA Conference and the understanding that there are many questions which must be answered if sport is to achieve its potential as a positive force. We appreciate the support of Karen Earl and her colleagues and look forward to their active involvement in the months and years ahead.”