The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off on Thursday at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand. National teams from all 32 nations have settled in Australia, with their final preparations underway for the biggest women’s tournament to date. Players and fans are counting down the seconds until the action begins. But engagement ball he does not want idle fans on the sidelines, he wants them to be participatory members of football’s fight against climate change.
Just a week ago, it was Announced that 44 of the players who participated in this summer’s tournament organized the largest player-led campaign against climate change. This collective action involving players from three nations and two environmentally and socially conscious non-profit soccer organizations: common goal and football for the future – is a strong signal of player intent on climate action. Pledgeball is now inviting the wider football community to demonstrate their collective power to reduce emissions.
In the words of founder Katie Cross, “Pledgeball is a fan-initiated, fan-run charity that brings fans together to take a stand on environmental sustainability.” The research-backed organization is volunteer-driven and seeks to harness the collective power of the football community, which Cross describes as “unmatched” because of the excitement and sense of belonging it generates, to drive change. But Pledgeball is just the tool: the fans are what make it work.
Using the promises tab On the Pledgeball website, fans of all countries and faiths can commit to simple climate actions that reduce their individual carbon emissions. Fans simply select the nation they support and the game they are committed to and submit. The pledge is then uploaded to the website, which tracks the overall reduction in CO2 emissions per game thanks to fan efforts.
But it doesn’t end there. Fans can also enjoy protecting the venues where their teams play, which is why Pledgeball uses the game schedule to pit fans of different teams, in this case nations, against each other. The nation whose fans commit to reducing the most CO2 emissions wins the game and moves up the league table. Prizes are also up for grabs; everyone who pledges to support a team is entered into a prize draw, and the more games fans support, the more times they are entered to win prizes. One of the great prizes on offer is a BT-Sport jersey signed by his team of experts, which includes former professional soccer players Robbie Savage, Owen Hargreaves, Steve McManaman, Chris Sutton, “The Beast” Adebayo Akinfenwa and presenters Lindsey Hipgrave and Jules Breach.
Pledges can be as simple as cutting back on animal products, taking a shorter shower, picking up trash on the street, or switching to energy-efficient lights. These commitments are not designed to change the world overnight, but to create new behaviors in a community with enormous potential to drive change. like charity science tab He states, “small individual changes can snowball into massive, broader societal change”, and that is the ultimate goal of Pledgeball, to provide a platform through which football fans can help change the world. for the better.
Bristol City FC fan Katie Cross founded Pledgeball after noticing adverse reactions from her fellow footballers to discussions of climate change. This prompted Katie to show fans what could be done about the weather through the power of collective action. She started small, organizing a tournament for her local club in which everyone had to commit to a weather-related pledge. The response was positive and she brought the idea of hers into 2020. Positive Sport Summit. In September of the same year, his program was being put to the test at English non-league club Whitehawk FC.
The whole idea of Pledgeball was based on the science of fan mobilization and collective action. Under the guidance of Professor Mark Doidge, then at the University of Brighton, Masters student Jennifer Amann studied the Pledgeball pilot program at Whitehawk FC. She created a survey that was sent to fans before and after the show aired, and did semi-structured interviews with fans about commitment to climate change, environmental activity, and their clubs. He recommendations from Amann and Doidge’s study show that not only is a large section of fans aware of the seriousness of climate change, but they could form an important collective to address the problem. However, as individuals, fans are transfixed by the enormity of the problem and feel they have no agency or impact.
Doidge believes that the key to engaging fans is to meet them on their own terms. This means buying into the culture of the sport they love and understanding and connecting with the identity of their team and region. She says that governing bodies or clubs shouldn’t lecture fans, and given the chance, many fans are willing to bring solutions to the table. For him it’s about trust and authenticity.
Pledgeball has used this information to meet fans halfway. Instead of telling fans they need to change their actions and emphasizing individual commitment, the organization is making it easier for fans to create real change. Also, he is using sportsmanship to create competition between groups of fans. While your teams compete on the field, soccer fans can compete off it while helping the environment. This looked better during last season Green football weekend in the United Kingdom
In its first year, the event, organized in part by Pledgeball, generated more than 63,000 engagements and an emissions reduction of nearly 119,000 pounds of CO2 (54,000 kg of CO2) in one weekend. It also saw more than 55 million impressions on social media and helped raise awareness of sustainable actions fans can take to reduce emissions.
The charity is designed to generate a flurry of collective action through regular commitment: every week during the season there is a league game to commit to, and during the World Cup there will be 64 games in just 32 days, which over time it generates new behaviors. between groups of fans.
Amann saw the creation of new behaviors at the end of his study. Here are the statements from two fans after the completion of the pilot program at Whitehawk FC:
“What I hadn’t realized is that change can’t be a difficult thing. It can be something that is pure pleasure, that you really want to do new things. So you just love it.” (Interviewee 5, 62, F)
“I’m still doing all the things that I committed to doing, so it’s not just about committing and doing it that week or whatever. I have continued to do what I had promised myself. It has become part of the routine.” (Interviewee 11, 61, F)
The Women’s World Cup offers an even bigger platform for fans to create change than the regular league. According to Professor Doidge, who became a Pledgeball trustee after helping Amann conduct his study, the tournament will help increase global recognition that women’s soccer is just as important as men’s, and Pledgeball’s campaign will help generate positive environmental behaviors as the tournament progresses. He believes that the intense nature of the tournament will allow fans to easily engage on a repeat basis, as there will always be a game going on.
Cross hopes the tournament will generate excitement even among casual fans or the non-soccer community. When asked what he would say to fans whose country isn’t in the World Cup, or to people who aren’t fans but care a lot about weather issues, he said they should get engaged anyway. Cross insists that people shouldn’t feel like they need to commit to their national team; in fact, they may commit to climate action because they feel strongly about a certain issue, such as water availability, extreme heat, or access to feminine products, or because they feel an affinity with a specific nation. She also encouraged people to find a personal connection by researching the stories of the women who compete and the struggles they’ve faced to get to where they are.
Finally, Cross notes: “Women’s soccer is amazing, soccer and stories, and it offers opportunities that men’s soccer doesn’t. I sincerely hope this is considered and taken advantage of as this brilliant game grows in its own right.”
With just two days to go, fans can prepare for a transformative tournament. As the players chase glory on the field, fans will push for environmental sustainability, knowing that their actions are helping Pledgeball achieve its two main goals, “collectively reduce emissions and take a stand on environmental sustainability,” and supporting the girls’ access to sports and education.
But it does not end on August 20. While the victors enjoy the celebration, fans will move on to the next competition, hopefully with a renewed desire to address sustainability. Fortunately, they can follow through on their climate promises when the league season kicks off in their country because Pledgeball has the architecture to be used around the world – all it takes are fans willing to make a difference.
The author will commit to the games in the United States and Spain to reduce their climate footprint over the next month and create more sustainable habits.