Score big with the Green Team!
Tiffany Richardson’s career began with a bachelor’s in Kinesiology from Sonoma State University. She then went on to earn her master’s in Sport Management from the University of San Francisco before receiving her Ph.D. in Recreation, Sport and Tourism from the University of Illinois. She is now a full time faculty member of Sport Management at the University of Minnesota and continues to be involved with sports, serving as a faculty advisor for Women in Sport Careers. Tiffany is also involved with local sports team like the Minnesota Twins as a board member for the Minnesota Twins Community Fund. Tiffany is a member of the North American Society for Sport Management and the Sport Marketing Association. She also started the university’s Green Team, who attend professional sporting events to spread knowledgable about composting, recycling, and trash as well as informing fans about the green efforts in the sports world.
How did Green Team get its start?
Minnesota Twins hosted the All Star game in 2014 and we were asked to put together a Green Team to work the events. Those events include the World Series and the All Star Game. The University of Minnesota Sport Management department has been coordinating the All Star Game since 2014 but has since opened Green Team opportunities campus wide through the course SMGT 3751: Sustainability through Sport and to any students interested in getting involved.
How do most students get involved with Green Team?
Through friends, through flyers, through courses on campus, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat. Through any and every medium a student or I can come up with to get in touch! Even this blog!
What is a typical event like for a Green Team member?
We meet, we get to know each other, most likely take public transportation to our destination, then the team spreads out on the concourse to engage with all fans. Educating is the mission of the Twins, for example, to reduce waste in Target Field!
What kind of reactions do you see from fans?
Fan response is tepid at the beginning as fans are adjusting to the Green Team’s presence. However, as the events continue, fans become more comfortable and willing to engage with Green Team members. What makes the interactions even better is the support from the Twins Organization which I use to prepare for the All Star Game and MLB which keeps their support strong by asking us back year after year!.
Why would you encourage people to become a Green Team member?
It is a great way to learn about sustainability, sports, and how sports is lessening its footprint when it comes to the generation of waste in our industry. You can combine two things you love, sports and the planet! And I don’t think that’s so bad…
What kind of impact do you see Green Team having on not only the student volunteers, but the fans as well (or sports in general)?
Hopefully the fans will see that their favorite sports teams/leagues are passionate about doing the right thing: reduce, reuse, recycle, and they take these same principles into their daily lives at both home and work.
What does the future of Green Team look like?
We are constantly evolving, we have added more Wild hockey games in 2017, and we are adding the X Games in the summer 2017/18. Expect MLB to continue the partnership with the University of Minnesota Sport Management in 2018 and beyond.
When is the next Green Team Event?
We are currently working with the Minnesota Twins and are taking names for this summers 2017 X Games at US Bank Stadium and I encourage anyone interested to fill out our volunteer form to get involved! It’s going to be fun, educational and active! They’ll even get to meet all the folks putting on the event. It’s taking place at US Bank Stadium, and they will receive event tickets, concert tickets and a swag bag!
Sports is a great way to explore a sustainability passion and I encourage all to get started early! I welcome all, regardless of your major, just bring the work ethic and the passion and you will always have a spot and a place to grow!
Banner picture courtesy of GraphicStock