The NBA Championship will hit Toronto this week for the first time starting Thursday night. Is there no more natural a union for litter prevention than with a sport that involves putting something in a basket?
McDonald's tried a two-week advertising campaign in Germany some years back in connection with world soccer and litter: Same idea, different sport. It reaped results, a 62 per cent increase in bin usage over the course of the promotion.
Scotland linked its national anti-litter initiative to the 2014 Commonwealth Games it hosted in Glasgow.
For Toronto, Ontario, where littering behaviors are prolific and, although unlawful, frequently go unchecked, this is an opportunity to target a demographic associated with littering: ages 18 to 35, and smokers.
An anti- litter campaign/contest would benefit everyone. Clean city, great environment, lower costs, higher property values, less crime.
The Toronto Raptors’ championship run has all the right elements for a superb awareness push: sports celebrities, corporate sponsors, a major league with an established fan base and social media channels, TV opportunities, community engagement possibilities, and an unbeatable theme, a natural tie-in: “Put It In The Basket”. It presents the chance to involve partners like beverage, fast food, confectionery, packagers and others whose products contribute to the litter stream.
Other places hold little prevention contests, everything from trash can-painting for kids in Montana to car giveaways in Texas.
Texas gave away a car as part of a statewide anti-litter sweepstakes. University of Northern Tennessee student Justin Truby, of Denton, received the keys to his 2016 Ford Fusion SE Hybrid during a Dallas Cowboys - Washington Redskins game in front of a hometown stadium crowd in Arlington on January 3. It was a big deal, done to mark 30 years of “Don’t Mess With Texas”, a celebrated anti-litter campaign.
Encouraging people not to litter during the NBA finals in the City of Toronto would be akin to a slam-dunk for litter prevention, which doesn't receive the attention it deserves for a problem of its size.