At the beginning of the 2012 NFL football season, The Washington Redskins unveiled a major stadium upgrade they had made over the off-season. No, it wasn’t luxury skyboxes. And it wasn’t a state-of-the-art Jumbotron or a four-star concession stand, either. It was a whole bunch of solar panels – 8,000 to be exact. They were installed by NRG Energy, a Princeton, New Jersey-based power generation company, and are estimated to provide up to 20 percent of FedEx Field’s energy on game days and 100 percent on non-game days. There are also ten electric vehicle charging stations available for fan use – free of charge.
So do you think the Skins quietly built the largest solar power installation at any NFL stadium and simply went about their business? If so, then you don’t know Dan Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins. Snyder amassed a fortunate in marketing and communications before his life in the NFL, and he uses what he learned to promote one of the most successful sports franchises in the world. No matter what his organization does, he makes sure everyone knows. If you don’t believe me, Google “FedEx Field solar panels” to find a seemingly endless list of articles and news releases. Here are just a few:
- http://content.usatoday.com/communities/thehuddle/post/2011/09/redskins-begin-powering-fedex-field-with-solar-power/1 – .UGHQVI5wa20
Because of their PR blitz, Dan Snyder and the Washington Redskins will get much more from their solar panels than a simple reduction on the ol’ electric bill – and that’s the point. Companies need to always think of how they can leverage their energy efficiency and sustainability efforts. It can help them be seen as innovators and leaders. Isn’t that who people want to do business with? I know I do. In the end, these solar panels won’t help the Skins score any touchdowns, but in my opinion, they’ve already won.
TAGS: Corporate Sustainability, Environmental Issues