Earlier today, Kevin Martinez, ESPN vice president of corporate citizenship, received the 2020 Trailblazer Award from The Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals (ACCP). Martinez was honored because his “leadership, strategy, and programs have demonstrated significant business and societal impact” and because his “CSR vision has set forth a commitment to providing access to sports for underserved youth and the demonstrated capacity to maintain long-term programs to build leadership skills and empowerment through sport.”
ACCP is the industry leader for convening and developing corporate giving professionals.
“Being recognized by my peers is an incredible honor,” said Martinez. “I’m so appreciative of my team, without whom the Trailblazer Award wouldn’t be possible, and the support we receive from ESPN leadership. Guided by our purpose to inspire social good through sports, I’m incredibly proud of the impact we’ve been able to achieve, and look forward to continuing to work with our partners across the industry to continue to make change.”
Martinez was named vice president of ESPN’s corporate citizenship team in February 2013, and since then has led unparalleled impact on both the business and communities across the globe. Five years ago, Martinez developed a new strategy to drive revenue, strengthen key business partnerships and create value for the brand, all while helping the most vulnerable in the community of sports build a better path to the future.
Martinez’s vision set forth a commitment to providing access to sports, which has enabled 1.7 million people to play since 2015. Additionally, his strategy set forth a commitment to helping youth develop leadership and empowerment skills through sports. Additional accomplishments during his tenure include:
- Martinez had the foresight to make ESPN the Global Presenting Sponsor of Special Olympics Unified Sports, bringing people with and without intellectual disabilities to play, train and compete together. Since ESPN became the global presenting sponsor in 2013, Unified Sports participation has expanded by 172% to nearly 1,815,000 (adding nearly 1.15 million participants in 6 years); while Unified Sports coaches grew by 464%.
- Girls in urban communities drop out of sports at twice the rate of boys. To help increase participation of African-American and Hispanic girls in sports, Martinez worked with the Women’s Sports Foundation to create Sports4Life, which seeks to get diverse girls in sports and helps them develop empowerment skills. Since its inception, nearly 60,000 girls have been served through the program.
- Martinez created Shred Hate, Choose Kindness, a unique and innovative program from ESPN, X Games and Major League Baseball that is designed to teach empathy and compassion and stop bullying in schools. In its first four years, Shred Hate was implemented in 130 schools, has trained over 11,000 teachers and staff, and has provided 90,000 students to date with the tools to stop bullying.
- Under Martinez’s leadership, ESPN’s fundraising efforts for the V Foundation have doubled since 2013. The strategy includes closely engaging with sponsors and donors, using all ESPN platforms to spread the message, and empowering staff across the company. In 2019, ESPN reached a major fundraising milestone for the V — raising $100 million for cancer research since its inception in 1993.
Prior to working at ESPN, Martinez was the executive director of CSR at KPMG and president of the Home Depot Foundation. He developed and led Starbucks early community affairs and partner programs.
About ESPN Corporate Citizenship
ESPN believes that, at its very best, sports uplifts the human spirit. Its corporate citizenship programs use power of sport to positively address society’s needs through strategic community investments, cause marketing programs, collaboration with sports organizations and employee volunteerism, while also utilizing its diverse media assets. For more information go to www.espn.com/citizenship.
About The Association of Corporate Professionals
Founded in 2005, ACCP is a membership-based organization chartered to champion the Corporate Citizenship professional. ACCP connects members to information, peers and resources and cultivates educational opportunities that promote better stewardship of corporate resources to magnify social and business impacts. For more information visit www.accp.org.
Contact: Diane Lamb [email protected]