League Humanitarian Leadership Award

League Humanitarian Leadership Award

The League Humanitarian Leadership Award honors a professional sports league for driving social impact by using all of its systematic resources. Through programmatic and philanthropic investments, the league strategically engages with athletes, teams and business partners to create positive social impact.

2019 League Humanitarian Leadership Award Winner


The National Hockey League was recognized with the League Humanitarian Leadership Award for their efforts to create the most inclusive experience for the entire hockey community. The NHL is the architect of hockey's Declaration of Principles - a joint commitment supported by 17 hockey organizations from around the world serving professionals and amateurs - to promote, inspire and effectuate positive changes in the hockey experience for all players and their families. In partnership with the National Hockey League Players' Association, the NHL developed an on-ice Learn to Play initiative - which has introduced more than 50,000 children to ice hockey at low to no-costs since 2015 - and Future Goals Hockey Scholar - a STEM-based, hockey-themed digital learning platform with a reported 84% increase in understanding of science and math principles. The NHL's Hockey is for Everyone initiative includes both a year-round campaign to recognize and celebrate non-traditional audiences and a support system for 26 affiliated nonprofit hockey organizations across North America that offer underprivileged and disadvantaged children an opportunity to play hockey. These programs reach 8,000 children a year and leverage the sport to build character, foster positive values and develop important life skills. The League's environmental stewardship remains unsurpassed as it counterbalanced 100% of its energy needs for three consecutive years, launched a first-of-its-kind water restoration program, and offset the carbon footprint for air travel during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Past Winners

2018: WWE

WWE was honored with the League Humanitarian Leadership Award. WWE leverages the power of its brand and platforms to help address important social issues worldwide. Providing support on issues including diversity and inclusion, education, military and providing hope to critically ill children, they utilize their events, talent and media platforms to create measurable impact. In 2017 alone, WWE generated 3.1 billion impressions, held 237 events in the community and donated over $25 million in media value to its community partners.

2017: USTA

The USTA Foundation (USTAF) is in the business of serving up dreams, and with more than 300,000 under-resourced children participating in 165,000 hours of USTAF programs in 2016 their impact is far reaching. USTAF supports the National Junior Tennis & Learning network of more than 500 chapters that offers free or low-cost after school tennis as a way to engage underserved youth to stay in school and build their potential on and off the court. Between 80 and 90% percent of youth who participate in USTAF programs report improvements in learning core educational components, self-confidence, decision-making and physical activity. Additionally, over 90% of the seniors in USTAF programs graduate from high school and 90% of their scholarship recipients attend college for four years. USTA's holistic approach to community giving reaches throughout organization, from the hands-on approach of USTA chairman Katrina Adams, to the diversified support of tennis professionals, corporate partners and business stakeholders.

2016: NBA

In 2015, NBA Cares celebrated its 10th anniversary, and with the NBA All-Star Game in New York City, the league ambitiously engaged more than one million youth in basketball through 754 events across the five boroughs. This includes hosting an unprecedented 100 basketball clinics in just one day. And as part of the annual NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service, hundreds of volunteers from the NBA family joined NBA All-Stars to sort and pack 160,000 pounds of food to benefit more than 10,000 New Yorkers in need.