Why Support SparkTeams?

Several years ago, we created a Community feature called SparkTeams, which allow members of our site to find like-minded people with similar goals, interests and even geographic locations. Most Teams are created and led by members. They're a safe place to reach out for support, find new SparkFriends, and compete in friendly challenges led by Team leaders. (Learn more about SparkTeams here.)
We always knew that SparkTeams could become something bigger—even more important than a place for people to connect with others. That's because the Teams you've chosen say something about you, such as where you live, whom you care about, what you believe in, and how you view yourself (a parent, spouse, employee, citizen, soldier, fan and more).  
Each day, when you earn SparkPoints by completing various goals on the site, you'll have the opportunity to select a few SparkTeams from your list that you want to give extra support. By awarding a particular team with a bonus SparkPoints "spin" (the amount awarded is like a lottery scratch-off; you won't know what it will be until you click), it gives that Team an extra boost—a nod to the fact that we're all in this together and, as different as we are, we all have a common goal of improving ourselves—and helping the world around us. Your healthy deeds and bonus Points will help your favorite affinities rise the ranks on our leaderboards in a friendly competition that encourages everyone involved to stick with their own healthy program so that they can help the Team reach a larger goal.
So why does this matter? Why should you make it a point each day to give a bonus spin to your Teams?  
To answer that question, here's a little history about why this step is important for you—and others.
We tested this very concept on a local level in Cincinnati (SparkPeople's hometown) several years ago. On a basic website, people would log on, track their goals (we used exercise minutes instead of Points), and use that virtual currency to help their affinities rise the ranks on our leaderboards. Companies competed against each other. Nonprofits fought for the bragging rights. Sports fans from two local colleges went head to head—and more. In the process, individual "champions" emerged.
One woman named Lisa wrote to tell us that every morning, she would ask each of her co-workers, “Did you Spark today?” because she wanted to help her their employer's Team reach their goals—and do well in the leaderboard competition.
Another champion emerged at the local VA hospital.  That woman repeatedly reminded her co-workers of their goal to Children’s Hospital on the leaderboards! At the same time, my friend (and chairman of the board at Children’s Hospital) found out about this friendly "rivalry" and sent an email to his 7,000 hospital employees, to encourage them to use the program so their Team would win.  It became a back-and-forth battle--one in which there were no losers.
One of the best parts about the SparkPeople program is that we know the power of single individuals to motivate other people.  That’s why our underlying program is a combination of both health and fitness and is also integrated with skills like goal-setting, leadership, and motivation.  In other words, the program intentionally builds and trains people who can then go out and spark their friends, family, co-workers, and social networks—just like in the stories above. 
Best of all, we heard great success stories from this simple program.  People would say, “I joined just to help my organization win, but I lost 25 pounds while having fun!”  We realized we were onto something. We waited for the right time to launch a similar program on a national scale—and here it is!
How You Can Help: Be a Champion for Change!
Maybe you will be our next champion, encouraging members of your group to get involved. It could be any type of organization—an employer, school, nonprofit, community group, etc.  It can also be a group built around different types of interests, like fans of different sports teams, public figures or celebrities.  The goal is to unite people with some common interest and then motivate everyone to join in this friendly competition. 

On the most basic level, we want to encourage you to do your part each day: Complete the three-step program on your Start page, support your favorite Teams with bonus Points, and encourage others to join the program and do the same! Together, we'll all reach goals and get healthier, and Spread the Spark far and wide in a way that has never been done before!
Giving your extra Points to a Team every day is a fun and easy way to Spark even more people to build  healthier habits so they, too, can help their favorite Teams perform better. This virtuous cycle gives greater meaning to everything you do each day to reach your goals--and helps motivate others to do the same. This in turn helps SparkPeople reach our goals of Sparking millions of People to change their lives for the better.
Bottom line: We authentically believe that simple actions like joining and supporting your favorite SparkTeams could have an incredible impact on the world if many of us come together to make this happen.
Won't you join us in becoming a champion, too?
Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints

Member Comments

Where did they go? Report
I give Team Points daily - but I have no idea what they are actually for. I was hoping this article would shed some light ha ha. Does anyone know what the points can be used for? I know what the personal points are for (not much), and don't care about collecting points for myself... Are the Team Points worth bothering with? Report
You are worthy, beautiful, and kind. Please hear this message.
71.html?&gr&gr&gr Report
I'm addicted to SP, and I work at getting to give the points, BUT I would like to know...does anyone ever answer any of the questions? You really should, you know. Report
Spark Modesto team needs a leader.... Report
I just had to share my experience with you. Even on the days that I think I have no time to "get involved " on Spark, I still log on to do the basic Home page stuff, but I can never leave the page before getting points to share with my favorite teams. As a result, when I win 10-50 points for a team, I jump to their page and give a big YAY I won # points for the team today, and leave a little note to say "hello" to all. Then, because I'm there, I go to the blogs and click on and go to one of them which helps me to connect with another member, and usually share a comment. Many days, the blog I read is like a message from heaven that I need to hear! I've also joined new teams this way, made new friends, and updated my current interests via new teams, etc., etc.,. So, as you can see, one good thing leads to another, and for me it's always a win-win situation, which is why I love Spark so much.(((Hugs))) Report
Seems to me if they are that concerned with us supporting Spark Teams, then they'd put it back on the phone app. Not happy about having to log in on the computer to do this, so now most of the time I don't even bother. Report
The whole spinning the wheel and random points Skinner Box approach leaves me cold.

I would like to see points awarded for supporting individuals.

But to do that would require more computing resource because now, oft times, response time is poor.

Lee Report
Good idea BUT the haphazard awarding of points detracts from the benefit of supporting teams we like/support most.

Bonus Points would be more meaningful If we had the ability to choose where points went. When the team you most want to support gets 1 point and one that is an 'okayish' team gets 50, it LOOKS like the 50-pointer is 'better'... Report
And the more we click on the Spark site, the more money SP makes Report
I've never been a part of a team that actually did anything. But I will give points to the few groups I'm a member of because doing so gives me extra SparkPoints, too. Report
I find that when I give my team points, I am more motivated to participate in the challenges. And I will be the :"winner" in the long run!!
barb Report
Chris, where do we go to see how many points the different teams have? Report
Yes...I loved the story behind the spark teams and supporting them with the spark team
Bonus points. This is a cool new feature. Report


About The Author

Chris Downie
Chris Downie
As the founder and CEO of SparkPeople, Chris is passionate about helping people reach their goals! See all articles by Chris.