Do you know a wizard behind the curtain?


You do now.

I just wanted to let you in on a little secret. SportsNet – a very special adaptive sports and inclusive recreation program that I’ve worked with during the past year – was recognized by the “Marketing Over Coffee” podcast for its story sharing website. SportsNetNY.org won the award in the category of Inspirational Stories.

The Marketing Over Coffee Awards honor those who have done exemplary work in marketing over the past year. The awards also seek to honor those who educate, have a commitment to their community, are professional, and do work of the highest quality.

The SportsNet site is important because it’s the first time that SportsNet (a program of nonprofit agency Rochester Rehabilitation) created an on-line story sharing experience and fundraising initiative. I am humbled and honored to have played a role in the SportsNet “13 Stories for 13 Years” campaign, web site strategy, and writing.

Not only do I receive a cool coffee mug, but also I can add “award-winning writer and marketing wiz” to my name. (I could have done that anyway because I won an award from the Public Relations Society of America for a utility company’s press kit eons ago, but it just seemed like a frumpy “old” wizard hat.)

Marketing Over Coffee is an Internet radio program (podcast) hosted by the dynamic duo of John Wall and Christopher Penn who discuss all traditional and new marketing with a pinch of sarcasm.  Their chemistry works: more than 1,000 marketing professionals listen to the show daily.

One of the inside jokes about awards in Marketing and PR circles is that as long as you pay your application fee, you can get a trophy for just about anything. As John Wall wrote on his blog a couple of years ago “…half ass agencies hope to dupe green clients into believing that they really are “award winning” while “others at large organizations often have a person applying for awards as one of their major job functions.”

So with that in mind, the Marketing Over Coffee awards started off as a counter-culture joke to give awards to folks they liked and were doing something cool. If you paid attention to the show and submitted something thoughtful, you could win. Best of all, you didn’t have to pay an entry fee.

What started off as a joke, however, took a different turn. First-time winners like me take the award seriously and view it as an opportunity to step out from behind the curtain to showcase important work and stir up a little excitement in the land of Oz.

I share this recognition with a great group of people from Rochester Rehabilitation, SportsNet, and the Al Sigl Community of Agencies who’ve helped raise more than 72% of SportsNet’s fundraising goal.

I also want to thank and recognize Form Collective for designing and developing such a beautiful and functional site and Ben Gonyo for filming and editing the “Introduction to SportsNet” video featured on sportsnetny.org.

Of course none of this would have happened without the wonderful folks who allowed me to share their stories about living healthy and active lives.

If you like to read and share stories, I invite you to share and spread the word about SportsNet and it’s story sharing site. You can sign up to receive a fresh, new, inspiring story delivered to your inbox each month on sportsnetny.org.

If you know of anyone living with a disability or medical condition who wants to live healthy and get active, please tell them to take a look at what SportsNet has to offer.

Thanks for reading and sharing!