2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Sports Matter: The Need to Support Youth Sports

#sxsw #SaveSports SXsports


Youth sports is nearly perfect as a strategy to create a better world. Kids love to play and participation teaches them essential lifelong values - teamwork, setting and reaching goals, perseverance, managing adversity, budgeting time, building confidence, and giving back. This is why supporting youth sports should be a bedrock of American community life. However, between 2009-2011, more than $3.5 billion in funding cuts have reduced opportunities for kids to play. Given our common national experience of youth sports and our obsession with professional sports, how this happening? As one effort to reverse the trend, the DICKS Sporting Goods Foundation is launching the "Sports Matter" initiative, which will rally community donations to save teams around the country threatened by funding cuts through a new crowdfunding platform, and also match those donations. But more help is needed. What else can we all do to ensure that all kids have the opportunity to play? This session is part of the brand new SXsports programming at SXSW 2014.



Grant Garrison

Dir of Strategy


Grant Garrison is a Co-Founder and Director at GOOD/Corps, GOOD's social innovation consultancy. Drawing upon experience in philanthropy, community organizing, the nonprofit sector, movement-building, marketing and social innovation, Grant helps clients across sectors identify opportunities for transformational social and business leadership that leverage core competencies. Together with the multi-disciplinary team at GOOD/Corps, Grant develops partnerships that involve research-driven program design, public engagement, collective impact, and just about whatever else is required to realize a compelling vision for accelerating social impact. Grant has led initiatives with Dick's Sporting Goods, the Pepsi Refresh Project, Starbucks, 100Kin10/The Carnegie Corporation of New York, Origins, The Nature Conservancy, Girl Scouts of the USA, Aquafina, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Prior to joining GOOD/Corps, Grant served as a Program Officer for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and a consultant to diverse independent sector organizations.


Ryan Eckel

VP Brand Mktg

Dick's Sporting Goods

As Vice President, Brand Marketing at Dick’s Sporting Goods, Ryan is responsible for the development of brand strategy and identity, brand and vendor marketing campaigns, digital marketing and PR.

Prior to Dick’s Sporting Goods, Ryan spent nearly 10 years at PUMA SE, most recently as Head of Marketing for Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa and India, where he was responsible for leading all aspects of PUMA’s brand growth and localization in those markets. Previously at PUMA, as Global Head of Marketing Strategy and Operations, Ryan led the development of PUMA’s brand strategy and positioning, global category marketing and consumer research. He started at PUMA as a Global Strategic Planner, based in Herzogenaurach, Germany.

Ryan holds a B.S. from Yale University and lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and two children.

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