Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Charity Miles: With One App, Anyone Can Become a Sponsored Athlete & Change the World

Last night I was listening to an NPR segment on Jeremy Lin's shiny new contract with Houston and why the Knicks likely couldn't afford to match it (speculation is that it wasn't the luxury tax after all, but Dolan's hurt feelings).

I started wondering if there was still a sport in the U.S. that anyone played professionally just for the passion of it rather than the huge contracts, signing bonuses, and endorsement deals.


Which made me sad, because in most every other industry and field professionals can easily have passion projects where they explore their skills and put them to use in whatever way they see fit. But you don't see many professional athletes being able to explore any passion or interest beyond their chosen field - at least for the duration of their pro career - because of time constraints and even contractual constraints/obligations.

I suppose I shouldn't feel too bad because these men and women are getting paid enormous amounts of money and are able to retire at a young age and THEN pursue such passions. But still, it was a moment of reflection.

Which is a tenuous way of introducing a new gizmo I found today for your gadget. Charity Miles is a smartphone app that suddenly transforms us regular plain Janes into "sponsored athletes."

I'll let that soak in for a minute.

But instead of doing it all for the money and being obligated to wear a bunch of logo-bloated merch or drink only grape-flavored HEED, this sponsorship is strictly of the do-gooder variety. When you use Charity Miles, corporate sponsors will donate $0.10 (biking) or $0.25 (walking and running) per mile to the charity of your choosing. Pretty neat, huh?

Here's how it works:

The 2012 Olympics in London are about to get underway, during which we will see a bevy of advertisements by athletic sponsors. Some will be good. Others will just be annoying.

Download and use this app to help pave a new road to corporate sponsorship - one of amateur and novice "athletes" logging the miles on behalf of their favorite charities.

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