She's Connecting the San Francisco 49ers With Their Bay Area Community
Photo Credit: Jennifer Stewart/AP/Shutterstock
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For over eight seasons, Stacy McCorkle has been helping the San Francisco 49ers connect with their Bay Area community. The Girl Scout alumn is the football team’s director of community relations, and she organizes over 100 events and programs to unite and uplift the community through their love of sports.
“I oversee the 49ers community outreach efforts for players, their families, and the front office staff, shaping the vision for our partnerships with community-based organizations,” McCorkle tells CircleAround. “Attending the 2017 ESPY Awards, where the 49ers won ESPN Humanitarian Sports Team of the Year, was certainly another career highlight!”
Among other things, McCorkle organizes legacy events, such as donation and fundraising appearances, military appreciation meetups, and the Faithful Fatherhood Initiative, which honors fathers and father figures who have shown exceptional dedication and commitment to fatherhood and their families in the Bay Area.
Having the ability to make people smile or feel loved, encouraged, appreciated, or celebrated is priceless.
During the pandemic, McCorkle thought up new, innovative ways to connect the football team with their community. “No one could predict what level of COVID-19 restrictions we’d face,” she explains. “My team had to come up with multiple plans to account for having fans in the stadium vs. no fans, virtual vs. in-person events, and everything in between.”
The virtual events proved to be a big success, bringing even more people closer to their home team in some ways. Arik Armstead, defensive end for the team, was able to continue his reading program by visiting classrooms virtually using video conferencing technology. The sessions were then recorded so that anyone could access the special moments from anywhere.
“Much of our work this year will focus on supporting those affected by COVID-19 and social injustices,” McCorkle adds. “Unfortunately, the populations we typically work to support are also the ones disproportionately affected by the pandemic and racial inequities, so we’ll continue to support them as effectively as we can.”
Unfortunately, McCorkle can't do it all, though. “We have to be focused and strategic to meaningfully impact the causes we do support. Most people who work in community relations inherently want to help everyone and it NEVER gets easier to turn things down.”
Despite having limited time, it's clear McCorkle's work with the team pays off. “Our players have the ability to change people’s lives with even the briefest of interactions,” McCorkle tells CircleAround.
“I am fortunate to work with an extraordinarily talented group of people that orchestrate moments, like a child with cancer meeting their favorite player, players surprising single mothers affected by the pandemic with rent, or giving nonprofit partners a new way to connect to their communities. Having the ability to make people smile or feel loved, encouraged, appreciated, or celebrated is priceless.”