MARCH 2019

Rights holders, brands and the UN Global Goals
By Matthew Yeomans

Nike throws its marketing weight behind #BlackLivesMatter campaigner and ostracised NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Patagonia commits all US$10 million of the savings it received from a federal tax cut to climate change and conservation causes. Gillette tackles “toxic masculinity” and misogyny in a new Super Bowl advertising campaign.

These are just three of the more high profile sustainability and social impact efforts undertaken by companies recently – part of a growing movement of brands taking a stand on issues that concern consumers – especially Millennials and Gen Z.

One recent survey found that 60 percent of Gen Z (those born after 2000) support brands that take a stand on issues they believe in regarding human rights, race and sexual orientation. Now consider that, by 2020, Gen Z will account for 40 percent of global consumers and this two billion strong bloc will wield an estimated US$44 billion in purchasing power.

These young consumers have access to more information about brands and companies than ever before and their perceptions about the quality of products and the credibility of the companies that produce them are being shaped by online opinions in real time. No wonder then that Gen Z consumers are demanding honesty and authenticity from brands and that they want those brands to respect people and the planet.

To meet these expectations, thousands of businesses around the world are looking to embrace the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – a global roadmap for sustainable business development that has been embraced by 193 countries. Achieving the goals is worth an estimated US$11 trillion for the world of business. But companies know they can’t address the 17 goals alone. They need partners and this is where the world of sport can play a big part in helping brands win the trust of Gen Z.

The issues addressed by the goals - such as gender equality, diversity, inclusivity and building strong communities - are core values for many sporting bodies and organisations. Partnering with sports organisations that understand and embrace the SDGs can help brands demonstrate their own commitment to the goals and so win the trust of consumers.

Already, major brands have embraced the importance and the potential of the UN SDGs to build stronger and better businesses. By aligning with the SDGs the world of sport can help many other companies do the same.

About Matthew Yeomans

Matthew is the founder of Sustainly, a consultancy specialising in SDG strategy for brands.

He heads up sustainability marketing at The Sponsorship Experts, Paul Poole (South East Asia) Co., Ltd.

Through Matthew The Sponsorship Experts offer insights, strategic consultancy and executive learning to rights holders helping them create and structure rights that support the UN goals and are attractive to Millennials and Gen Z.

We help rights holders understand how the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) impact them and how they can use these SDGs to build the future of their business to make a difference.

Rights holders aligning themselves with the SDGs are extremely attractive to brands and have an edge of over those that are not aligned.

Hundreds of large companies are fully committed to the SDGs including:  adidas, Aviva, Barclay’s, Danone, HSBC, McDonald’s, Nestle, Nike, Pepsico, Puma, Sky and Unilever… to name a few.

The goals will create an estimated US$11 trillion in value for the companies that get their priorities right and communicate their work effectively to investors, consumers and governments.

The 17 SDGs were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 and supported by 193 countries. They cover a list of 169 sustainable development targets to achieve by 2030.

The SDGs cover social and economic development issues including poverty, hunger, health, education, global warming, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, urbanisation, environment and social justice.

Paul Poole (South East Asia) Co., Ltd. is an independent marketing consultancy based in Bangkok, Thailand specialising in commercial sponsorship and partnership marketing, working with both rights holders and brands - acting as a catalyst by bringing them together and maximising the relationship.

We have packaged, sold and managed sponsorship and partnership opportunities for a wide range of rights holders and worked with many of the world’s leading brands to source and engage the right sponsorships and partnerships for them to maximise.