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Greening the NFL Draft 2019

May 20, 2019


One of my family's favorite movies is DRAFT DAY with Kevin Kostner as the decisive general manager under pressure from all sides. It's a fascinating--if fictional--look at the Draft from behind the scenes.


The Penn State Sustainability Institute has established a relationship with the NFL Environment Program via our partnership with PepsiCo. Smeal students and faculty have been key partners from the recent NFL Draft to the Super Bowl. 


More than 30 Penn State students, including many from Smeal, were Sustainability Ambassadors at the NFL Draft held April 25 – 27, 2019 in Nashville, Tenn. Marketing professors Karen and Dave Winterich also attended bringing their unique perspective on marketing strategy, behavior change and communications. The students and faculty worked together with the NFL Environment Program to make the fan experience at the draft more environmentally sustainable.


Success Through Partnerships

Ron Johnson and Smeal Sustainability Director Erik Foley are working with Penn State’s Sustainability Institute and Recreation, Parks and Tourism (RPTM) leaders on this engaged learning opportunity. The Sustainability Institute's Doug Goodstein (pictured right) has played a particularly key role in leading the partnership work with the NFL Environment Program. Also key has been Smeal Sustainability Advisory Board member Carl Pfleger, former VP of Global Operations at PepsiCo.


Power in Numbers - 600,000 people attended the NFL Draft and were potentially reached by this effort

At the NFL Draft, students learned how to manage a large-scale event and how to teach fans, young and old, about sustainability. In addition, they had fireside chats with NFL leaders (VP Operations, VP Communications, Directors of Environmental Programs and SVP Corporate Social Responsibility). In addition, they met with leaders from the Nashville and PepsiCo.  All in all a great hands on learning experience for our students. Check out a few student photos from their trip...