Wednesday, March 9, 2011

LIVESTRONG Sporting Park: A Symbol of Hope, A Testament to Collaboration

How partnerships and collaboration bring out the best in the business world.

"Working together, ordinary people can perform extraordinary feats." -- Anonymous
Yesterday, Sporting KC (formerly the Kansas City Wizards) proved this quote to be true when it announced its partnership with the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the club's new $200 million stadium to be named LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.  And with a portion of all stadium revenues, including ticket sales and concessions, funding the foundation's advocacy work, it seems like this partnership would only happen in a fairytale.  But it's happening...and in our own backyard. 

The partnership between Sporting KC and the Lance Armstrong Foundation is a testament to the power of collaboration.  This "match made in heaven" has developed into a mutual relationship in which both parties seem to benefit.  But the relationship is meant to do much more than that- it has been made to change the world.

According to Sporting KC CEO Robb Heineman, the club plans to raise anywhere from $8-10 million for the fight against cancer through 2016 (Yahoo! Sports).  Not only this, but the partnership has also helped the generate the development of local cancer survivorship services for Kansas City residents and beyond.

"Professional sports provide a powerful vehicle to affect positive change in the world," said Lance Armstrong of the partnership.  "LIVESTRONG's partnership with Sporting Club gives us an innovative opportunity to advance the cancer fight in this region and we are eager to get started."  (

Armstrong discusses the impact that LIVESTRONG Sporting Park
will have on Kansas City and beyond.

Innovative indeed.  For LIVESTRONG, the partnership doesn't even cost a penny.  But this joint movement between Livestrong and Sporting Club is more than just a partnership and unique business agreement; it is an initiative to save lives through the power of collaborative work and strong partnerships.

"Obviously, the cause is very important to us, but the association with LIVESTRONG for us is significant," said Heineman.  "If we're trying to have a differentiated approach to Kansas City from the other sports teams, this gives us that.  So we can see those kinds of benefits, but the key driver was how we can go find an organization we believe is committed to the same sorts of things that our ownership group is committed to and that will be committed to investment in Kansas City."  (Kansas City Business Journal). 

The partnership is unique, and so is the stadium.  LIVESTRONG Sporting Park will seat 18,500 at soccer games and 25,000 at concerts.  In addition, the stadium will be one of the most technologically advanced stadiums in the US as it focuses on fan experience through WiFi access, themed club environments, IP television networks, and a membership affinity platform. 

The LIVESTRONG Sporting Park will become a symbol of hope and inspiration to people affected by cancer around the world.  The collaborative efforts on both sides of the partnership just go to show that here are bigger and better things out in the business world than making money, hitting it big, or becoming the next Mark Zuckerberg.  Through strong mutual partnerships, we can make the world a better place, one soccer game at a time.

Thanks for your Think Big efforts, Sporting KC and LIVESTRONG!

Written by Allison Way.  Allison is a writer and editor for Think Big Partners, Kansas City's early-stage business incubator and startup accelerator.  To read more of Allison's work, check out the Kansas City Entrepreneurship Examiner as well as her articles on Helium, eZine, Newsvine and BrooWaha.  Follow Allison! @AllisonThinkBig

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