July 19, 2021

Recently Published NYU SPS Tisch Institute Organizational Paper on Chelsea FC’s Response to COVID-19 Pandemic Sheds Light on the Way Sports Organizations Can Play a Critical Role During Crises

Written by NYU School of Professional Studies Preston Robert Tisch Institute for Global Sport Clinical Professor Lee Igel, the Paper Explores How the Club Made Strategic Decisions to Support Fans, Partners, and the Community at Large

NEW YORK, July 19, 2021  During the hours, days, and weeks following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, sports organizations around the world began planning on how they could step up their responsibility in helping their many constituents as the crisis unfolded and beyond. Over the past year, Chelsea FC has successfully demonstrated how businesses deemed “non-essential” could play a critical and meaningful role during the pandemic.

In his recently published organizational profile titled “Chelsea Football Club – An Example of Social Responsibility During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Lee H. Igel, PhD, a clinical professor within the NYU School of Professional Studies (NYU SPS) Preston Robert Tisch Institute for Global Sport, identified the club’s many ongoing efforts and new initiatives, which were designed to respond to the needs of fans, employees, neighbors, partners, and the greater community during the pandemic. The profile - - which includes reflections from executives at Chelsea, Chelsea Foundation, Britain's National Health Service (NHS), and Refuge charity who worked on these efforts - - describes the decisions and actions that led the Club to creating and advancing these new initiatives as well as building upon existing programming in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Igel points out that since its earliest recognition about the realities of the spread of COVID-19, leadership and people across the Chelsea organization grasped that the best way to manage the coming changes and disruptions would be by providing stability. That stability would come through grounding everything in the values and principles that had gone into Chelsea becoming a world-class organization. Meaningful results would follow decisions and actions that fit those values and principles. From there, the Club could steer into opportunities that contributed to making a real difference in the community.

“By continuing to take responsibility to respond to the needs in its communities since the beginning of the pandemic, Chelsea stands as an example of the powerful role that sport can play in society and the positive impact it can have when people focus on doing the right things,” Igel noted.

According to Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, who is quoted in the profile, “We realized that we wanted to—and we had an obligation to—do some things for our community. It was our owner, Roman Abramovich, who said, 'Let's identify what we can do that is really going to make a difference.'”

For members of the media who would like to interview Lee Igel about his organizational profile on Chelsea FC, please contact Michael DeMeo at michael.demeo@nyu.edu or Alka Gupta at aag13@nyu.edu.

About the NYU SPS Preston Robert Tisch Institute for Global Sport
The globally-ranked Preston Robert Tisch Institute for Global Sport of the NYU School of Professional Studies is a widely recognized, global leader in sport business education. Its goal is to develop the future leaders of the sports industry by providing them with the tools to innovate and lead in complex times. The Tisch Institute’s curriculum is built around three themes that are reshaping the industry—sports technology and innovation; globalization; and new, emerging fan behaviors. Through its degree programs—the BS in Sports Management, the MS in Sports Business, and the MS in Global Sport, along with its certificate and executive education offerings, the Tisch Institute offers a world-class education to those just entering the field, as well as to seasoned professionals who seek to advance in the industry by harnessing the power of the digital and global transformation of sport, the evolution of the fan base, and the changing dynamics of sport consumption.

Located in the heart of NYC, the Tisch Institute and its students benefit greatly from their close proximity to many of the world's leading sports leagues, teams, athlete representation firms, sports marketing agencies, and sports venues. The Tisch Institute also has established itself on the global stage as a premier sport business educator, with industry connections to sport partners around the world. Faculty members are leading experts in their fields, imparting their knowledge and sharing their connections with their students. A network of more than 1000+ alumni worldwide, makes the Tisch Institute the ideal place to gain the NYU education that will help students and professionals to “change the game” now and in the years to come. Learn more about the Tisch Institute for Global Sport.

About the NYU School of Professional Studies
Celebrating 86 Years of Excellence in Applied Professional Education

For 86 years, the NYU School of Professional Studies (NYU SPS) has been a deeply respected institution of higher education that is grounded in applied learning. From its early years, training returning World War II veterans to fulfill the nation’s urgent need for skilled technical workers, it has evolved into a professional education powerhouse that offers 20 graduate degrees, 13 bachelor’s degrees for traditional and post-traditional students, four associate’s degrees, and a plethora of continuing education courses and credentials.

NYU SPS is a thought leader, and serves as an incubator for new ideas in industries that are constantly changing, including real estate, real estate development, and construction management; hospitality, tourism, travel, and event management; global affairs and global security, conflict, and cybercrime; global sport and sports business; publishing; marketing; public relations; project management; executive coaching and organizational consulting, human resource management and development, and human capital analytics and technology; management and systems; translation; and professional writing. It is focused on building skills that open doors to opportunities in emerging fields and global markets. NYU SPS faculty members are leading experts in their areas of discipline, with a hands-on approach that encourages students to push beyond their limits and to break new ground.

Home to some of the largest and most prestigious industry conferences in the world, including the Schack Institute of Real Estate’s Capital Markets Conference, REIT Symposium, and National Symposium of Women in Real Estate; and the Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality’s International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference, the School’s invaluable connections to industry leaders is a truly distinguishing factor in the education that it provides. Through career development services and resources provided by the NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development at NYU SPS, guest lecturers, site visits, participation in numerous conferences and events, and Global Field Intensives, students benefit from an NYU education that will set them apart. In addition, they have the opportunity to learn from and network with more than 30,000 NYU SPS alumni who live, work, and contribute to innovation in industry around the world. To learn more about NYU SPS, visit: sps.nyu.edu.

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Michael DeMeo