March 14, 2022

Partnerships for Change

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By Morgan Alessi

Over the past two years, charitable giving as an entirety increased while global factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic changed society. As social distancing and political opinions separated us, this last year or two the odd connotation of money bringing societies together often times rang true. Corporations around the world began to increase and publicize their CSR and charitable giving in parallel.  

Even prior to the pandemic, as consumers, deciphering between genuine corporate charitable values and ones linked solely to marketing strategy was a difficult task. Now more than ever, organizations are exploiting the public relations benefits of giving back. The issue, with so many exaggerated corporate responsibility initiatives and corporate charitable gifting programs, companies that are truthfully dedicated to a cause are getting lost in the crowd. 

Profit percentage donation is the first and most obvious sign that a company is putting its money where its mouth is. Cold hard numbers can be the clearest and most true sign of a warm-hearted organization. Similarly, if the company is activating its charitable values by including ambassadors in its philanthropic efforts, you can oftentimes assume that giving is a priority to the organization. 

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Included in almost every athlete partnership the Athelo Group has incubated is a philanthropic activation. When an athlete and brand hold the same values, why not join forces to give back, do good, and connect over shared ideals? More times than not, a company with strong community values and a shared charitable connection with an athlete will become excited about the philanthropic proposal. Including a charitable event, custom line with proceeds going to a shared cause, or whatever it may be to give back is something that truly takes sponsorship to the next level and connects a brand, its sponsored athlete, and consumers. 

Companies including but not limited to Snow Monkey, Mannkind, and Chobani have all proven their genuine charitable efforts by creating amazing philanthropic collaboration opportunities.  

In 2021, the vegan ice cream brand, Snow Monkey and its founder Rachel Geicke were joined by World Surf League surfer Brisa Hennessy to create over 300 meals for the Institute of Human Recourses Hawaii. With Snow Monkey and Hennessy sharing values within their community as well as their love for plant-based foods, this charitable collaboration was one of authenticity which became the foundation of their inspirational multi-year partnership.  

Biopharmaceutical company, Mannkind worked with Children With Diabetes and NTT IndyCar driver Conor Daly to inspire twenty young teens by having Conor share his Type 1 Diabetes journey with children experiencing the same condition. Through telling his story and teaching these children how to live their lives to the fullest, starting with go-kart races, Conor and Mannkind create a true community impact event. Although publicized, the national television attention was used to inspire children outside of the twenty kids that attended the event. 

Chobani recently released their co-branded limited edition packaging called the Hero Batch with Operation Homefront. With this collaboration, Chobani and Operation Homefront have raised over 2 million dollars which will be donated to support and serve America’s military families. 

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With these three brands used as prime examples, the importance of actually implementing corporate charitable giving is clear and concise. Working with ambassadors, athletes, or collaborative organizations is the most authentic way to initiate public or private community contributions while engaging your consumers, employees, and audience demographic.



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