This Entrepreneur Wants to Make Sports Stadiums Greener. Here's How.
Is it possible (and profitable) to make stadiums and arenas a healthier place for fans?
Steve Levine is on a mission to green up the sports and entertainment industries. He sat down with Jessica Abo to discuss how his company, AtmosAir, aims to make venues healthier.
Jessica Abo: What made you want to pivot after spending 20 years in the home alarm business?
Steve Levine: When I said, "What do I want to do next?" It was going to be something that is sustainable, saves lives and protects property. I looked at air, I looked at water, I looked at energy and I found that in the clean-air space, the air wasn't so clean. I thought that we could make a great difference to human health. So, we jumped in with both feet. We started an air-testing company and we actually went into buildings, schools and large venues to test air quality and look at the 11 different elements of air quality to show people what they were breathing. The results were very interesting. Indoor air quality was a lot worse than outdoor air quality, so the question then was how could we make air better for overall human health.
How do your HVAC devices work?
Our systems go back to creating ions. Whenever you go to the mountains, you breathe clean, fresh, healthy air. When you're in higher altitudes, there's a natural conductivity in the air. Conductivity is caused by negative and positive ions, very plentiful at higher elevations, but at lower elevations, there's not a lot of ions left. The patented tube process that we have, goes into air-conditioning systems and air-conditioning ducts to create these negative and positive ions. When the ions travel throughout the duct, it's sanitizing the duct and then spilling out into the spaces where people are. Those ions grab onto particles and spores, making them bigger and heavier, so they're much easier to filter out of the air. At the same time, they're breaking down odors and what we call volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. When you ionize a VOC or an odor, you're breaking it down into carbon dioxide and water vapor. You're making it cleaner, fresher.
How are you working with the NFL right now?
We started the business by focusing on sports. We felt that if we could partner with these sports venues as educational platforms to educate them about cleaner indoor air and turn the invisible visible, we could show how we're taking these particulates out of the air, how we're taking the spores out of the air, how we're attacking the viruses. We've already outfitted all the indoor spaces where the food is being served in club areas, locker rooms and meeting rooms at over 60 venues, like Staples Center and SoFi Stadium in LA. What they've experienced is less particulate. People that have allergies and asthma really have a much better breathing experience as well as fewer odors that come from food and just normal hygiene. In a stadium, you have 20,000 or 60,000 people sitting together, so it's important to protect against these bacteria, viruses and germs. It's a great way to create a cleaner, healthier environment to watch the game live.
Finally, what's your advice for other entrepreneurs?
Love what you do. If you're going to do something and you don't like it, then you probably should do something else. You should get into something that you really love and make an impact. All of the people that I work with on our team make an impact every single day educating people on cleaner, healthier air. We believe in what we do. We believe in our technology. We have a commitment to tell the world and to get it done. We have the discipline to see it through. You have to be enthusiastic to spread your message and to tell other people. That's what I live by, and that would be my advice for others to live the same way and love what you do.