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Community Consciousness – Brands That Invest in Concepts of Community

toms-shoes-and-stokeshare-community

As a student of sports marketing, the most interesting concept I have explored is corporate social responsibility – the idea that businesses should hold themselves to a certain degree of ethical standards. This policy has arguably been one of the most influential drivers motivating large companies to look past their bottom line – making money. However, some brands have made human kindness the cornerstone of their business model.

TOMS and StokeShare – The big event

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TOMS Shoes is a proud partner of StokeShare

On Thursday, April 9th, StokeShare hosted its first partnered event with TOMS at their flagship store in Venice, CA. Our friends at Rider Shack Surf Shop led a surfboard repair workshop to promote sustainability over waste. Guests brought in all different types of boards – with damages ranging from small chips to larger cracks – to learn the proper repair techniques that would give their boards a second breath of life. During the workshop, Santa Monica Brew Works provided the complimentary beer that was served in reusable stainless steel cups designed by Cupsco, who are located in Laguna Hills, California.

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The StokeShare Team – Joel, Jay, CJ, and Kaitlyn

I personally made the trip down from San Francisco and had to drive back up the next morning. Why was I willing to make the 12 hour, 775-mile round trip drive as an unpaid Northern California intern?  The answer is quite simple. Community. From the moment I joined the StokeShare team, I was welcomed into a community that shared my passion for outdoor adventure and the conservation of nature. I’ve made it a point to interact with this second family as much as I possibly can.

At the event, I noticed some interesting ways that TOMS was facilitating the growth of this community.

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Venice locals gather for StokeShare’s Surfboard Ding Repair event at TOMS’ flagship store

Creating a mission: TOMS has donated shoes, provided clean drinking water, and restored sightto millions of people worldwide. This global effort has encouraged local customers, businesses, and athletes to support their cause. TOMS’ mission promotes their community, and the TOMS community promotes their mission. This symbiotic relationship is central to the success of the company, as well as their global welfare initiatives.

Creating a space: TOMS’ Flagship store provided us with the perfect atmosphere to bring together local patrons and businesses – as well as a few out-of-towners – in support of developing a larger sustainability-minded community. They have succeeded in creating what sports marketers refer to as the “third place” – an environment where people spend time apart from work and home. But why does that matter?

Brands like TOMS are creating worth in more than just the material goods they produce. By creating the capacity for their local followers to meet, interact, and learn collectively, TOMS Flagship store has facilitated a community that can grow to further support its global mission.

The StokeShare way

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Jay filling a ding on Mark’s board.

StokeShare operates within a sharing economy. We facilitate the peer-to-peer accommodation of outdoor adventure gear so users can own less and do more. We wanted to hold an event to bring together members of the Southern California community and introduce them to local companies, all while promoting environmental responsibility and an appreciation for adventure sports. We did just that!

By featuring a local craft beer from an independent brewery, an innovative eco-friendly cup by a local business, and a board repair demo by a local surf shop, we were investing in the value of businesses that support the same local community that StokeShare exists to serve.

StokeShare is an inherent builder of community. We have created a mission of “sharing stoke” and giving our users who are limited by space, time, or money, the chance to go on epic outdoor adventures. By connecting users worldwide, our brand seeks to create spaces for local adventurers to meet, as well as to facilitate the global exchange of stoke through our website space. Join us at stokeshare.com 

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CJ is StokeShare's Marketing Director. He's either working, snowboarding, backcountry hiking, or climbing (terribly).

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