That Covid-19 has caused anxiety, stress and disruption are a given. The world of sport has been impacted as heavily as most other sectors, with 2020’s major events now hanging in the balance. The question now is what sport is still able to do to help.
Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski and his partner were quick to respond, donating 1 million Euros to the ‘We Kick Corona’ campaign. ‘We Kick Corona’ was set up by Bayern Munich players Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka to help fund the health and social care sector to fight coronavirus. The campaign has raised over 2.5 million euros to date.
Meanwhile Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and his agent Jorge Mendes have announced plans to fund essential medical supplies for the San Joao Hospital in Portugal. The Portuguese International has reportedly bought over 200,000 gowns and three ventilators for the hospital. Ronaldo also plans to purchase 50,000 protective masks over the next few days and to donate them to hospitals throughout the rest of the country.
In the United Arab Emirates, the Dubai Sports Council has launched a Social Media campaign entitled ‘Be Fit, Be Safe’ encouraging its online community to exercise indoors. This happened in direct response to the closure of many of the region’s sports facilities.
Motorsport is also getting involved. As many of its key manufacturers have expertise in technical equipment, the F1 sector is collaborating with the UK Government and Health Authorities to speed up the production of more ventilators for intensive care units.
Global sportswear giant Nike has creatively re-thought its normal marketing strategy by releasing a powerful message via social platforms. The message “If you ever dreamed of playing for millions around the world, now is your chance. Play inside, play for the world” is bound to hit home to its online community and influence its competitors to follow suit. The company has also donated $15 million towards the Oregon food bank, Community Recovery Fund and the Oregon Health & Science University.
Over the coming days and weeks, we can expect to see more examples of the sports industry using its power and influence in positive ways, despite having been hit economically by the pandemic. And while the sector’s budgets, revenue and commercialisation will always be scrutinised by many, and criticised by some, in my opinion, any organisation which can provide support to a disadvantageous situation deserves credit.
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