2020: A Year in Review
It has not been a good year for Ultimate, yet the community's strength and positivity has shone through without fail. The unwavering support of the game and its players has proven that the sport we love stretches beyond the field.
Although 2020 had many challenges, we want to point the spotlight at some of the opportunities it gave us.
Climate Neutral Certified: 600 Metric Tons of Carbon Removed from the Atmosphere
There is perhaps no greater threat to humanity as a whole than the ongoing climate crisis. In 2020, we at BE Ultimate were able to fully transition into a Climate Neutral Certified organization, something that we would not have been able to accomplish without the continued support of the ultimate community and our valued customers. With your help, we were able to eliminate 600 metric tons of carbon from our atmosphere, and while that alone won’t fix our ecological problems, we can’t help but feel that thanks to you we were able to take our first steps. Not only that, but your feedback provided us with the motivation to eliminate our old, wasteful individual plastic packaging and replace it with compostable equivalents.
We’d like to thank you, our customers (in particular Nick House at Newfoundland Ultimate), as well as our Brand Ambassador Levke Walczak for pushing us to implement these sustainable practises.
Olympic Jersey Competition: 18 Countries Represented
Ultimate has long been kept from the pantheon of sports showcased at the Olympic Games. In 2020 and 2024, it was once again denied the chance. A different group of athletes might take this personally, or feel resentful, and yet once again the ultimate community has pushed through with positivity and pride. Knowing that the designs may never be used in the official Games, we still received more than 60 submissions to our Olympic Jersey Competition this year, for countries all around the globe. Not only were there some truly magnificent designs, but you continued to show up throughout the voting process to eventually crown Liam Ullman and his Hong Kong design with the top prize. As if joining together as a community wasn’t enough, many of the top selected designers chose to donate their profits to charity.
We applaud everyone who entered the competition and everyone who voted. We also want to thank our partner DiscMemes for all their help with the contest and the suppor throughout the year.
Hindsight Posts: 39+ Combined Years of Ultimate Experience
In many aspects, ultimate is still an up-and-coming sport, but that doesn’t mean it lacks veterans. We are so grateful to the seasoned players who contributed to our Hindsight series to help share the amazing effects that ultimate has had on their lives. Through them we were able to learn and experience nearly 40 years worth of stories. Whether it was their reasons for getting into the sport, their love for it, or simply the feeling of a well-played game, each generous contributor offered relatability and insight into not only ultimate but ourselves as well. These players are some of the best of all time, and we are humbled, honored, and grateful to be able to tell the stories of such legends of the game.
The selfless act of simply sharing who they are is an embodiment of the game’s spirit. It is through this ideal of openness and empathy that ultimate can continue to thrive with every new generation of players. Thanks Nasser, and MG for sharing your stories.
12.7k Minutes of BE Videos Watched
With so much of what’s important to Ultimate being unavailable, new methods were sought to scratch the frisbee itch. Where you used to be able to head over to the local field to watch friends duke it out, or schedule a quick toss-around to improve your skills, now we’ve seen you migrate online for the same reasons. Across all our social platforms, you've watched over 12.7 thousand minutes of our BE Ultimate featured videos. In other words, instead of watching Die Hard 20 times, you were keeping up with ultimate and the incredible people who play it. It’s the equivalent of spending 8.8 straight days watching ultimate videos. The stories, tips, and personal experiences that athletes shared through these videos drove views and engagement higher than any previous year. It’s the incredible care that both elite and amateur athletes, subject and viewer, have for the game that keeps it so special.
Thank you to Naomi for sharing your journey and inspiring countless players around the world. Thank you to Jenny and Noah for showing us the hard work and dedication need to have such distinguished Ultimate careers.
21 Different Charities Donated To
Ultimate is an empathetic sport. Because players put themselves in each other’s cleats, it remains the only high-level sport without referees. And still, that unyielding empathy to fellow humans extends further past the realm of competition. Nowhere is this better demonstrated than in your willingness to give this year. During 2020, we offered teams the chance to donate profits to a charity of their choice, and the opportunity was taken up with relish, not only by the 22 elite teams who chose to donate but through the sheer amount of good created from your donations. From every corner of the globe, teams came out to help their local communities and aid in the ongoing fight for justice and equality.
Look out for increased efforts in the new year as we continue to push towards more equitable practises and full B-Corp certifcation.
Ignite and Fuel Programs
Fitness and training saw their own challenges in 2020. It would be easy to take a break from training with most gyms being closed for extended periods and no specific tournaments to train for. Despite this, our Ignite and Fuel guides saw overwhelming positivity. The Ignite training program, which highlights movements to train specifically for ultimate, was developed in collaboration with Bert Abbott, Tim Morrill, JP Riopel, and Mike Haddock. The Fuel nutrition guide breaks down the basics of healthy eating specifically for Ultimate and was developed by elite players and registered dietitians Elsa Chu and Daisy Lin.
The fact that these professionals were willing to contribute so much time and knowledge to help us develop programs that will benefit the ultimate community for years to come is a blessing, and we are so grateful. We look forward to implementing feedback and continuing to build out a system of resources for athletes to benefit from going forward.
BE Ultimate would never be able to achieve any of our goals without the amazing people who play the sport, and frankly, we wouldn’t want to. From coaches to organizers to players to spectators, it has always been the people that make ultimate such a special game, and we are honored to have been a part of the community this fateful year. The resilience and positivity that we’ve seen will hearten us for years to come. More than anything at the end of this rollercoaster, we want to say thank you. Thank you for helping us better ourselves, thank you for keeping ultimate the beautiful game it always has been, and thank you for the layouts, the hucks, the skies, the cellies, and the games still to come.
Stay safe, happy holidays. See you next year.