Craig Jonas, the CEO of impact investing company CoPeace, is a believer in caring about the long-term future of our world, but Jonas says it also has the advantage of being "a good business decision." Now Jonas is looking to bring that mission to the athletic world with CoPeace Sport.
This new subsidiary will focus on the passion and power of global sports while at the same time utilizing CoPeace's business philosophy: to evaluate, invest in, and manage growing, profitable businesses that have a measurable social and environmental impact.
CoPeace Sport's plans for growing its client base includes organizations seeking to benefit from a transition from the non-profit space to the for-profit arena.
"We have been discussing it for a long time and CoPeace has matured enough to bring on another wholly-owned subsidiary,” Jonas told FOX Business in a recent interview. “Many of our personal contacts are in the world of sport and together we know sport can be a powerful force to do good in our world.
“The timing is particularly appropriate now, with athletes’ bringing their voices to the racial and social justice equation."
Players, coaches, and leagues across the globe have been outspoken this year about racial injustice and other important social issues. Jonas saw it as an opportunity for CoPeace Sport to connect with them to help invoke change because it will serve as a smart business and financial decision in the long run.
“It’s a good business decision especially amidst COVID-19, the struggle for racial justice, and climate crisis reality,” Jonas said. “Investments that take into account a more inclusive bottom line are outperforming more traditional business. Much of the potential change must be accompanied by many levels of education. With athletes having a different kind of pedestal, they have the opportunity to amplify the message.”
Jonas says if athletes utilize their respective brand value in line with impact investing, the benefits will be much more sustainable -- especially for disadvantaged communities that typically have not had access to opportunity that CoPeace can bring.
Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson and 10-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul both got involved in the impact investing space with one of CoPeace’s investment portfolio companies, Uncharted Power. Johnson is a board member for the company, while Paul is an investor.
Jonas believes that sports will continue to serve as a bridge to underprivileged areas and will prompt young people to care more about the world and create more opportunities for them to make a difference.
"Athletes can have a lot of positive influence on so many communities,” Jonas said. “Chris Paul and Magic Johnson are incredible examples of people who have used their celebrity in deeply positive ways, and both have invested in companies that show a path to strong returns as well as positive social or environmental impact.
Jonas added: “Sport is much more than just another industry in our country. It is a major socio-cultural practice. And the foundation of that socio-cultural practice is the concept of fair play, or an equal playing field. It’s that sense of fairness that all sports fans value and share that can be tapped into to inspire fans of all stripes to fight for justice in areas beyond our stadiums and arenas.”