- Kevin Roberts – Red Rose Consulting - https://redrose.consulting -

Winning The Future – Sports As Inspirational Player

Like many of you I’m here because I love sport, in all its facets as a:

And I find it hard to distinguish one role from the other. I’m just a sports nut.

We live in a VUCA world: Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous. The challenge to sport is to reframe the world as Vibrant, Unreal, Crazy, Astounding. superVUCA.

Our challenge? How do we, together, take sport forward in a VUCA and superVUCA world.

There is Good News, and there is Bad News.

First, The Bad.

Instances and even patterns of lockouts, corruption, voting fraud, match fixing, doping, violence, ticket inflation, burnouts, content piracy, poor infrastructure, elite fiefdoms (representation of women in sports leadership is static at 13%), grotesque pay, racist chanting, crap administration, gender bias, sportsmen as bad role models for young people, and finally, the gross commercialization which is causing consumer alienation.

And now the Good News: Sport is still about the dreams of participation, transparency, equity, democracy and diversity, upping participation to build healthy lives, building the world as an all-inclusive sports stadium.

On the specifics,

So how do we all work together to help make the world a better place through sport?

“Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.” – Bill Shankly

Before we tackle the future, let’s quickly remind ourselves why sport can create a better world.

Sport can create a better world because by core definition it is competitive. Vince Lombardi said: “Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.”

Sport showcases human potential. And uniquely through sport we can shape humanity.

Sport is a key vehicle for reducing the gap between the haves and have nots. It is truly The Working Man’s Ballet…an escape route for many born into poverty and underprivilege.

Sport can create a better world because it develops people everywhere, building physical and mental health, promoting social inclusion, fostering cooperation and community.

Sport can create a better world because sport’s currency will grow. We live in the 20/20 always-on, instant-everything ‘sport my way’ Age of Now.

People today live in and for the moment – a psychological state that live sport delivers on like nothing else.

Sport can create a better world because it unites everyone.

This incredible universal language harmonizes us, be it:

So whether you own rights, draw fans, operate events or package content, you are – one and all – under mega-moral obligation to help get this business of sport right.

The Love / Respect Axis is a fast intuitive reality. Let’s check the state of the sports industry. Is it here…


This is how you get lift off in any field, and win big on it – whether you’re commercial, governmental or a cause.

To help elevate the world of sport, the value that you create as owner, administrator, sponsor, broadcaster, trainer or ‘property’ should be in this zone.

Where do you sit? Where do you want to sit? Are you a Brand or a Lovemark?

Lovemarks has 3 secrets that pump life into brands.

The secret is to put yourself in the heart of the audience. Not bringing them to you, but asking to be invited into their individual hearts.

Building respect and winning love is about leadership, leading through actions that turn lives around.

Here are 3 Leadership Actions to help you lift the industry and make the world a better place, and win.

Action #1 Lead with Spirit

Success in creating anything of value starts with a Dream.

When we are purpose-inspired, we respond to the only audience question that actually  matters, the question on every sports viewers’, fans’, players’ and payer’s lips.

Not how good are you, not how cheap you… but:

“How will you improve my life?”

Answer this, and you become priceless.

Inspire people to become the best they can be in pursuit of a shared purpose.

To inspire externally, create movements – inspiring others to join you. Marketing is dead! ROI means Return on Involvement.

To inspire internally, give and demand four things:

Responsibility, Learning, Recognition, Joy 

Action #2: Lead with Creativity

You may have the strongest army—but it cannot conquer ideas.” – Shimon Peres

In a superVUCA world, the crazies reign. Creativity has unreasonable power. Creative leadership is the difference.

Creative Leaders generate lots of small ideas, continuously.

Creative Leaders reframe constantly.

Steve Jobs, presence into absence. Just don’t remove too much….

Creative Leaders Surprise with the obvious.

From ‘Soccer Golf’ to ‘Space Pen’ – To develop a pen that could write in space, NASA spent millions on advanced technology. The Russians used a pencil.

Creative Leaders Ask 3 questions of any idea:

Action #3 Lead with E’s & F’s

A D E:                From                To

Assess                50%                20%
Decide                30%                10%
Execute               20%                70%

And keep the 3Fs front of mind:

As you go forward in sport, put every single decision you make to one test:

Will this make the world a better place?