Just because sports are on hold, doesn’t mean we have to sit on the sidelines

Join us in the #mustwin fight against COVID-19

By | 3 minute read | April 17, 2020

On paper, my job is to showcase IBM’s technology in the context of some of the world’s greatest events, like the Masters, Wimbledon, the U.S. Open or the GRAMMYs. But in reality, I’m in the business of making memories.

Last year, my team facilitated unforgettable, first-hand experiences for hundreds of our clients and their families. Some saw Tiger Woods win his fifth Green Jacket. Some watched Coco Gauff capture the world’s imagination at Wimbledon. And others mourned the death of Kobe Bryant with thousands of others in the Staples Center at the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards.

Like all of us, I’m missing these and other live events during the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, I’m missing the people that share these moments with me – our partners, our clients, our colleagues. And I miss the memories we create together, which endure long after the events themselves. This, more than anything, has provided me a true sense of purpose throughout my career.

But during this difficult time, my team and I are finding a new sense of purpose, however temporary. We’re working to redirect the competitive spirit of the sports community, and the creative passion of the music world, toward the fight against COVID-19. In other words, we’re taking advantage of this break in the action, to take action.

As a rallying cry for this effort, we’re borrowing a phrase from the sports world: #mustwin. If you are as passionate about sports as I am, you know this somewhat overused phrase is meant to describe a critical game in a tournament or series, when the stakes are highest for a particular team. And I think we can all agree on two things right now: 1.) We are all on the same team in the fight against COVID-19; and 2.) This is a true must win.

For our part, we’re encouraging our colleagues, our partners, and the sports and entertainment community as a whole to participate in any number of humanitarian efforts already underway. Some of them are from IBM, like Call for Code, which asks millions of developers around the world to conceive and create software solutions that will help communities manage through the COVID-19 crisis. Or World Community Grid, which asks ordinary people, like you and me, to donate unused processing power so the scientists at Scripps Research can calculate a cure.

But there are so many other ways to join the fight. Look at what our friends at the U.S. Open are doing, transforming the National Tennis Center into a temporary hospital. Or the work the Recording Academy is doing through MusiCares, raising much-need money for musicians who suddenly find themselves unable to perform in public.

I can’t wait to have our beloved events back. To be together again with our partners, clients, colleagues and friends. To make more memories. To celebrate the games, the athletes, the music and the artists.

But for the moment, there are new heroes to celebrate. The doctors and nurses. The grocery store clerks. The researchers, scientists, and epidemiologists. The people doing the hardest work during the hardest times. And they need our support.

So remember: Just because music and sports are on hold, doesn’t mean you have to sit on the sidelines. If you would like to get involved, visit our #mustwin page here, which celebrates the good work of our partners, and offers a number of ways to contribute to the cause. And if you’re in the sports or music industry, and you’d like us to add your own initiatives to the list, reach out to me @IBMSports.

Stay healthy. Stay safe.