EcoMedia, a CBS Company, was founded to serve one simple mission: To channel corporate advertising dollars to effective nonprofits, thus improving the quality of life in communities across America.
Through our patent-pending EcoAd®, as well as our EducationAd℠ and WellnessAd℠, EcoMedia presents projects and initiatives in critical need of funding — books for underserved children, housing for veterans, meals and safety checks for seniors, distractive technologies for chronically ill children, etc. — to brands whose products, services or corporate responsibility goals align with the cause area.
A portion of the brand's ad-spend on CBS TV, radio, and/or digital media then goes to fund a critical project and support tangible positive outcomes in the community.
Childhood obesity is a national concern affecting thirty percent of Americans under age 20. The issue extends into adulthood as obesity negatively impacts academic achievement and physical and mental health. Unfortunately, access to healthy food, nutrition education, and fitness activities remains unequal and inconsistent for many communities. EcoMedia sought to directly address childhood obesity by supporting community-based initiatives that promote long-term health and wellness.
Through our WellnessAd program, we brought UnitedHealthcare's (UHC) Do Good. Live Well. Volunteer Initiative, a program devoted to decreasing hunger and ending obesity through employee volunteerism, together with Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation (CRSF), a nonprofit organization working to teach critical life lessons to at-risk youth living in America's most distressed communities through sports-themed programs.
We collaborated with these partners to identify cities and regions where nutrition and fitness programs would be most impactful, and from there, designed the "Team8 Tour: Building Healthy Communities," a national campaign to support youth health and wellness through facility renovations, volunteer days, and sports-themed activities in eight cities across America.
The campaign pursues a tri-fold purpose at each of its eight stops. In partnership with a community-based organization, such as the Boys and Girls Club of Cabarrus County (Stop 3), the Team8 Tour facilitates a volunteer event, like building a walking trail in a local park (Houston, Stop 1), encouraging the entire community to embrace the campaign's mission.
Additionally, the Team8 Tour leaves a permanent fixture at each stop with enhanced fitness or nutrition facilities, such as the renovated community garden at Tarkington School of Excellence in Chicago (Stop 4). CRSF also implements its long-term programming in every city to complete the Team8 Tour's three-pronged purpose. This consists of CRSF's Healthy Choices, Healthy Children initiative, which teaches nutrition lessons and sports activities to helps kids avoid obesity. In at least one high school per city, CRSF also activates the Uncommon Athlete program, which uses sports as a platform to encourage positive leadership among student athletes.
EcoMedia creates video content, branded social media, and traditional promotional materials to further amplify the campaign's message. Our documentary-style vignettes are hosted on EcoMedia's YouTube channel and promoted via web and social media by EcoMedia, CRSF, and UHC's Do Good. Live Well. Volunteer Initiative, bringing public attention to the issue of youth health and wellness.
The Team8 Tour is unique in the way it pools the resources and strengths of the organizations involved: Do Good. Live Well. volunteers work tirelessly to make tangible improvements to sports and education facilities at each of the stops; CRSF's passionate team mentors students in every city to inspire and encourage them to make positive life choices with respect to themselves and their communities; and EcoMedia brings the talented teams together in order to facilitate dynamic, long-lasting impact for the communities we serve together.
The extended nature of the campaign, spanning eight cities across the country throughout the year, also builds incredible momentum. The Team8 Tour links the organizations that adopt CRSF programming like Uncommon Athlete, creating a network of support for students and administrators alike, while simultaneously adapting to the specifics of each locale. It is a truly holistic campaign that works toward the long-term wellness of underserved youth on an institutional, community, and national level.
Through the Team8 Tour, EcoMedia will distribute $450,000 in total funding to Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation to launch and expand CRSF programs in each of the eight cities. The initiative is estimated to impact more than 10,000 students through approximately 1,200 hours of volunteer service by the campaign's end.
Seven of the eight Team8 Tour stops have already impacted over 8,000 individuals. Through the campaign's volunteer projects, three community/school gardens have been built in addition to a walking path, a weight room, and a basketball court.
Kenny Baldwin, Founder of Spring Spirit Baseball in Houston, illustrates the power and potential of the renovated facilities: "On this block alone there are 1,600 kids under the age of twelve. Within a two-mile radius there are 10,000… Without this [sports] complex, their world is in their apartments, trying to stay safe. So to have the opportunity to have a [basketball] court here, out in the open like this, is a huge blessing for us."
Combined with CRSF's programming and day-of sports activities, improved infrastructure equips students with the space and support to make positive choices and build healthy communities — the core goal of the Team8 Tour. The volunteer effort, facility improvements, and program implementation will continue to promote youth health and wellness in Denver where the tour concludes in October.