A group of Glion students have shown that sport and sustainability can be a powerful mixture, thanks to an Applied Business Project that’s given the International Floorball Federation (IFF) the evidence it needs to put caring for the environment at the heart of its future strategy.
It’s fast, all-action and a sport with appeal across age and gender… and now floorball is looking to break out of its traditional European heartlands and attract a wider audience.
If you don’t know floorball, here’s a taster:
The sport’s governing body is the International Floorball Federation (IFF). It recently approved a strategy for 2021-2032, which it calls Strengthening the Foundations. At the heart of this strategy is raising awareness and visibility of the sport, in order to grow the numbers playing and watching it.
The federation began this process as it should: by talking to its own community. And in doing so it focused on an issue that everybody is concerned with just now: environmental sustainability.
Carrying out this project was a job that landed on our campus doorstep, and it became an Applied Business Project for three Bachelor students: Salman Alhowaish, Mahmoud Hoteit and Yuma Yamada.
“The fan survey was central to our project and it was a really interesting exercise, since we didn’t find a single other sports federation that has surveyed its community specifically on their perceptions around sustainability,” explains Yuma.
“We asked the community about how they build environmental elements into their daily lives; what should be IFF’s approach to sustainability; and how floorball events can be made more sustainable.”
The survey revealed strong support for the IFF to set an example when it came to environmental issues – not just in its own events but also by giving encouragement to its fan community to live more sustainably. Three-quarters of those responding agreed – many strongly – that the floorball community’s commitment to environmental issues will help to improve the sport’s public image.
Working from the findings, the Glion students came up with a number of recommendations and actions for the IFF to consider. These included doing more to promote the federation’s sustainability credentials through infographics and feature articles; they also recommended nominating well-known players to be Sustainability Ambassadors, focusing on those with a strong social media presence such as Finnish star Eliisa Alanko and Sweden’s Alexander Galante Carlström.
“I think our findings gave the IFF some comfort that their sustainability plans were aligned with the feelings of their communities,” adds Yuma. “At the same time, the information we provided was also a good wake-up call as to how deeply people feel about these issues today.”
The IFF was happy with the project outcome, according to Tero Kalsta, Sales Coordinator. “Having insight about our fan communities’ views will keep us on the right track in our sustainability work,” he says. “This also provides our partners evidence on how they can align their own sustainability strategy in the IFF property. I would like to express our gratitude for the great work done by the Glion students, as well as to their mentor, Lecturer Anu Laukkala.”
· To discover more about floorball, visit the IFF website