May 19, 2020

Shock Top partners with IndieGogo and NGOs for California drought relief

CSR
Crowdfunding
corporate social responsibility
Anheuser-Busch
Cinch Translations
3 min
Shock Top partners with IndieGogo and NGOs for California drought relief

How focused has your business been on the concept of corporate social responsibility? Has your team been doing its part to make the world a better place?

If not, you may want to consider getting started. In addition to the feel-good aspect of contributing toward a more positive planet, it’s also a great way to build partnerships and connect with your consumers.

[Related: Corporate philanthropy initiatives are good for business]

AB InBev brand Shock Top strengthened its corporate social responsibility program this week, and it’s making California’s drought crisis a top priority.

The beer brand recently announced the launch of Shock the Drought, a CSR campaign partnering with IndieGogo and various California-based non-profit organizations to identify and support new ways to help consumers exercise water conservation and bring some drought relief to California.

According to Jake Kirsch, Anheuser-Busch VP and leader of the brand, Shock Top chose the California drought as a CSR issue to pursue in large part because of the beer’s California roots and its strong fan base within the state:

"One out of every four Shock Tops sold in the country is sold in California, and 95 percent of our flagship Belgian white brand is brewed in California, so we’re really rooted in the state and have been for a long time," he explained.

[Related: Moulton Niguel Water District effectively manages California’s drought crisis]

The Shock the Drought campaign will be funding various campaigns currently aiming to save water in different ways, and it’s starting its campaign with a $100,000 donation to Drop-A-Brick, an invention described as “a modern, eco-friendly innovation that sprang from the classic drought tactic of placing a real brick in a toilet’s tank to save water.”

Project: Drop-A-Brick originally sought funding on IndieGogo in 2014, and Shock Top’s support is helping the brand scale up its production and supply 10,000 free Drop-A-Brick 2.0 water savers to consumers interested in doing their part to save water.

According to estimates, that funding should help everyday California people save millions of gallons of water each year. IndieGogo added to Anheuser-Busch’s press release to express its excitement about partnering with Shock Top on this project:

“Indiegogo empowers a global community of changemakers to turn their ideas of today into the innovative products of tomorrow,” said Jerry Needel, senior vice president of sales and market development at Indiegogo. “As a California-based company, we’re proud to be the crowdfunding platform fueling Shock Top’s efforts to identify and bring water conservation technologies to life.”

[Related: [VIDEO] Despite using 80% of resources, big agriculture is spared water restrictions in California]

Moving forward, Shock the Drought’s FAQ states that the CSR campaign will be working with California-based water conservation efforts like Save Our Water and Save the Drop to identify other breakthrough water-saving innovations on IndieGogo, and will put from $50,000 to $100,000 toward potentially impactful projects throughout the year. Furthermore, consumer engagement and heavy social media promotion aim to bring awareness to the issue.

A smart CSR campaign is one that is engaging and appeals to consumers, addresses an issue that is affecting and of concern for your demographic, and can make a real change that consumers can see.

With this new project, Shock Top and AB InBev seem to be hitting the mark. 

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Jun 21, 2021

How AWS helps NASCAR delight its fans

AWS
NASCAR
3 min
Customer obsession and working backwards from the customer is a mantra of Amazon Web Services (AWS), epitomizing its partnership with NASCAR

AWS needs no introduction to readers of Technology Magazine but we rarely get an opportunity to look closely at how it serves the sports sector. All major sports draw in a huge supporter base that they want to nurture and support. Technology is the key to every major sports organization and enabling this is the driving force for AWS, says Matt Hurst, Head of Global Sports Marketing and Communications for AWS. “In sports, as in every industry, machine learning and artificial intelligence and high performance computing are helping to usher in the next wave of technical sports innovation.”

AWS approaches sports in three principal areas. “The first is unlocking data’s potential: leagues and teams hold vast amounts of data and AWS is enabling them to analyze that data at scale and make better, more informed decisions. The second is engaging and delighting fans: with AWS fans are getting deeper insights through visually compelling on-screen graphics and interactive Second Screen experiences. And the third is rapidly improving sports performance: leagues and teams are using AWS to innovate like never before.”

Among the many global brands that partner with AWS are Germany's Bundesliga, the NFL, F1, the NHL, the PGA Tour and of course NASCAR. NASCAR has worked with AWS on its digital transformation (migrating it's 18 petabyte video archive containing 70 years of historical footage to AWS), to optimize its cloud data center operations and to enable its global brand expansion. AWS Media Services powers the NASCAR Drive mobile app, delivering broadcast-quality content for more than 80 million fans worldwide. The platform, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaStore, helps NASCAR provide fans instant access to the driver’s view of the race track during races, augmented by audio and a continually updated leaderboard. “And NASCAR will use our flagship machine learning service Amazon SageMaker to train deep learning models to enhance metadata and video analytics.”

Using AWS artificial intelligence and machine learning, NASCAR aims to deliver even more fan experiences that they'd never have anticipated. “Just imagine a race between Dale Earnhardt Sr and Dale Jr at Talladega! There's a bright future, and we're looking forward to working with NASCAR, helping them tap into AWS technology to continue to digitally transform, innovate and create even more fan experiences.”

Just as AWS is helping NASCAR bridge that historical gap between the legacy architecture and new technology, more customers are using AWS for machine learning than any other provider. As an example, who would have thought five years ago that NFL would be using  ML to predict and prevent injury to its players? Since 2017, the league has utilized AWS as its official cloud and ML provider for the NFL Next Gen Stats (NGS) platform, which provides real-time location data, speed, and acceleration for every player during every play on every inch of the field. “One of the most potentially revolutionary components of the NFL-AWS partnership,” says Matt Hurst, “is the development of the 'Digital Athlete,' a computer simulation model that can be used to replicate infinite scenarios within the game environment—including variations by position and environmental factors, emphasizing the league's commitment to player safety.”

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