The Real Athlete Blog


Expert Contributor: Allison Collinger



Allison Collinger

Founded by Allison Collinger, AHC Consulting LLC provides strategic communications, social media, branding, planning, training and facilitation services to a variety of clients. Current and past clients include: American Camp Association, Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, Circus Harmony, Coro Leadership Center, Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation, GO! St. Louis, Major League Baseball, the St. Louis Rams and Rams Foundation, The Sports Philanthropy Project and The Youth and Family Center.

Prior to the formation of AHC Consulting, Collinger served as the director of corporate communications and community outreach for the St. Louis Rams – overseeing the Rams community outreach team, the Rams Foundation and the team’s off the field public relations initiatives. Her leadership helped to create a unique brand of strategic sports philanthropy – including the formation of Healthy Youth Partnership, a collaborative of more than 75 organizations addressing the issue of childhood obesity.

From 1989 to 1997 she was an award winning public relations professional at Fleishman-Hillard, Inc. During her tenure at Fleishman-Hillard, she played a role in the approval and opening of the Edward Jones Dome, the Kiel Center and the MetroLink light rail system. Her work has been recognized with several national awards – three Silver Anvils, the highest award bestowed on public relations programs by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), and a CIPRA for creativity in public relations. In 2001, she was named to the St. Louis Business Journal’s Forty Under Forty, a list of accomplished individuals under 40.

In addition to her professional involvement, she was a founder of the Diversity Awareness Partnership and serves on the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri President’s Advisory Board, the boards of the Press Club of Metropolitan St. Louis, The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, and the National Council of Jewish Women’s Community Advisory Board. She speaks regularly at local and national seminars on communication strategies, sports philanthropy, special events, and fundraising and gives freely of her time to counsel young people who are seeking career advice.

Collinger holds a B.A. from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, is a former Coro Fellow in Public Affairs and a graduate of the 1996-1997 Leadership St. Louis program. She resides with her family in Richmond Heights.


Most Recent Articles

  1. Marshall Faulk: Making a Difference On and Off the Field

    by Allison Collinger 08-06-2011 01:12 PM Philanthropy | Human Relations | Special Event

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    During my career in and around the National Football League, I had the opportunity to work with many great players!

    My early work to secure an NFL expansion team for St. Louis included NFL Hall of Famer Walter Payton. Payton made a mark on the football field, but also off of it. The NFL's highest award for player community involvement, the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, was renamed in his honor.

    Ironically, as the head of the Rams Foundation from 1997-2009, I got to work with another legendary running back! This weekend I salute another champion on and off the field - Marshall Faulk. As Marshall is inducted this weekend as the first St. Louis Ram, I reflect on the opportunities we had to help Marshall make an impact on St. Louis.

    Faulk was born February 26th, 1973, in New Orleans, Louisiana to parents Roosevelt and Cecile Faulk. The youngest of five brothers, he grew up in the Desire Housing Projects 9th ward. Sports were always a great escape from the bad influences in the neighborhood and at a young age began shaping Marshall into the man he is today.

    Faulk's love of the game started early on while playing at George Washington Carver High School. He excelled at four different positions: quarterback, running back, wide receiver and cornerback, even lettering in track and field. Marshall also excelled in the classroom, and especially loved math. He learned early on the importance of good grades and a strong education.


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  2. Making the Most of Athlete Philanthropy

    by Allison Collinger 08-01-2011 11:55 PM Philanthropy | Human Relations | Marketing

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    Sporting the same shoes as the ones featured on Sharapova or spotted on the hottest new NBA celebrity can definitely make an ordinary pair of sneakers feel a bit more glamorous. There’s no denying the ever-increasing influence of sports on culture and media—the industry is bigger, more multi-faceted, and wealthier than ever. Today’s sports superstars are a canvas for the latest endorsements and pop culture trends.
    Behind almost every Great with-a-capital-G sports team or athlete is a community that finds inspiration and hope in them. Many athletes today are discovering that the best way to become more than just “the current face of Adidas” is by becoming the face of something they are more emotionally invested in—an issue important to them and relevant to a greater community. That’s when the concept of “sports philanthropy” came into the picture.
    Sports philanthropy, a rather under-the-radar facet of the sports industry, now plays a pivotal role in connecting teams and athletes with their community to foster positive social change. Since its initiation in 1998, the “Sports Philanthropy Project” (SPP) has dedicated itself to tying the popularity and marketing power of the professional sports industry with health and social issues that face communities, such as childhood obesity, tobacco use, healthcare access, education, etc. 
    The concept is quite ingenious: who wouldn’t want to look like the Mother Theresa of baseball? Leading an effective and successful philanthropic program is a great spotlight on any sports celebrity, and SPP works in essentially connecting professional sports foundations with a network, a vision, and the specific framework to get the most out of their philanthropic endeavors.
    Let’s face it, something about a star athlete personally reaching out to a cause is heart-warming enough to spark respect and faith, especially from the community involved, forming the basis for the kind of fan support that will withstand the good and the bad seasons. The personal nature of the program and the way it encourages the community to participate is a recipe for success, proving that the old saying definitely holds true: good deeds don’t go unnoticed.
    “Professional sports is big business, yes, but experience has shown that it can also be a big player in driving social change,” said Joe Marx, the senior marketing director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)—a leading public health group focused on major health issues—in an interview featured in their anthology. RWJF, the figurative “father” organization from which the Sports Philanthropy Project was generated, shaped the initial idea for the project after the success of one of the first notable sports philanthropy partnerships with the Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation. Leveraging sports and marketing to promote health, they utilized the team and its athletes to spread anti-tobacco messages and extensive community programs.


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  3. Changing Lives, The So Cal Falcons Way

    by Allison Collinger 02-16-2011 12:22 AM Philanthropy | Athlete Career Development | Camps | Coaching | Education | Human Relations

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    The influence of the National Football League and football reach across our country and our world. One doesn’t need to live in an NFL market to see the positive influence that the sport of football can have on the character of our youth. Before Super Bowl XLV, I caught up with Keith Johnson, President of the Southern California Falcons (The So Cal Falcons), a Pop Warner League, to learn about the organization, its mission, its efforts, and its progress. Despite Los Angeles not having an NFL team (a little bit of irony for me since I helped to relocate the Rams from Los Angeles to St. Louis in 1995), The So Cal Falcons are a beacon of light in a tough part of the city.

    In the spring of 2005, Keith Johnson, a speaker and trainer, joined forces with the entertainer Snoop Dogg, and together they created the Southern California Falcons in the Snoop Youth Football League. Their initial goal was to offer an affordable youth football league for children in Los Angeles’ inner city.


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  4. Bunkers In Baghdad - Leveraging Sports to Help Our Troops

    by Allison Collinger 04-14-2010 12:08 AM Philanthropy

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    The Bunkers in Baghdad organization is bringing golf to our troops in the U.S. and Abroad!


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  5. Winning On and Off the Field - Kurt Warner’s First Things First

    by Allison Collinger 01-12-2010 05:17 PM Philanthropy | Public Relations | Trusted Athlete Educator | Athlete Career Development | Image Branding

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    As Arizona heads to New Orleans this week for the next round of the NFL playoffs, we caught up with Marci Pritts, the long-time Executive Director of Kurt Warner’s Foundation, First Things First, to get her perspective on athlete philanthropy.


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  6. Athletes - Tips on How to Leverage Your Team Resources

    by Allison Collinger 12-03-2009 01:19 AM Philanthropy | Public Relations | Image Branding

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    Rams VP Gives Top Tips for Working with Team Community Relations Department to Maximize Your Charitable Efforts and Image -- It's a Win-Win!


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  7. Lessons from Sports

    by Allison Collinger 11-02-2009 02:09 PM Human Relations

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    Some surprising lessons from some of the greatest...


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  8. Twitter — Brand Building or Nuisance

    by Allison Collinger 10-29-2009 12:07 AM Social Media | Image Branding

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    Athletes: use Twitter to build your brand, drive traffic to your website, and promote your causes. No need for a filter between you and the fans who love you.


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  9. It Starts With Passion

    by Allison Collinger 10-09-2009 12:08 AM Philanthropy | Trusted Athlete Educator

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    You can make a tremendous difference by focusing on one cause where you have passion - stick to it and make a difference!


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