Global partnership and marketing firm CSM Sport & Entertainment announced the launch of its social impact consulting practice in North America. Building off its decades of success serving cause-related clients and tapping into the company’s strengths in developing collaborative partnerships, CSM’s social impact consultancy helps brands identify actionable and relevant ways to align purpose with partnerships that deliver meaningful social and business impact.
As an integral member of CSM’s consulting leadership team, Adrienne Ankola-Rochetti has been named vice president of Social Impact, reporting to Peter Honig, President of the company’s North American Consulting business. Ankola-Rochetti has developed well-respected expertise in relationship-based sport marketing through her experiences at the NBA, Purpose, Let All the Children Play, and in developing CSM’s insights-driven Purpose Through Partnerships initiatives.
Recently, Ankola-Rochetti and the CSM team have led social impact collaborations for the children’s healthy snacks brand GoGo squeeZ and its commitment to youth participation in sports; Athletes Unlimited – a new professional sports league that has developed unique, athlete-driven platforms for civic leadership and non-profit alliances; global financial services firm Citi and its Paralympic sponsorships; Avon in continuing its legacy of support and action in the fight against breast cancer; and helping guide global toy and media company Hasbro’s iconic My Little Pony brand into the purpose-driven marketing space.
“Our dedicated focus to guiding brands into impactful relationships is a natural progression for our business,” said Christa Carone, who was recently named head of CSM North America following years as a client-side chief marketing officer and president of a media company. “With clients like Susan G. Komen, National Park Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Sesame Workshop, and The NYC LGBT Center, we have established roots in cause marketing that shape our unique approach to helping brands find meaningful and purposeful partnerships.”
With 70 percent of consumers saying it’s important for brands to take a stand on social and political issues*, and 64 percent finding that brands that actively communicate their purpose are more attractive**, the marketing landscape is increasingly showing more empathy and responsiveness to consumers’ expectations.
“While marketers aspire to be truly authentic in their purpose-driven campaigns,” Carone added, “CSM turns ideals into action, making social impact more than a ‘nice to do’ but a ‘must do’ that results in measurable and meaningful benefits.”
“We are just starting to scratch the surface on the benefits for brands and for our society when companies invest in sport and elevate the voices of athletes to inspire positive change,” said Ankola-Rochetti. “Imagine the societal progress we can achieve if the magnetic energy surrounding leagues and properties, the strong influence of athletes and celebrities, the deep connections among communities of fans, and the extensive reach to diverse, multi-generational audiences is mobilized as an unstoppable force for good?”
“Brands need to ‘walk the talk’ and ensure partnerships are rooted in practical meaning,” added Honig. “Adrienne’s experience of working for brands of every size, professional sports organizations and non-profits bolsters our knowledge in the full spectrum of societal issues. We’re here to help companies find that North Star and to collaborate with partners who share their ambitious paths to societal progress.”
*based on 2019 consumer sentiment survey from Sprout Social
**based on Accenture’s 2018 Global Consumer Pulse Research