The Walt Disney Company, ESPN and Special Olympics has announced a two-year global initiative that will leverage the power of sports to promote an environment of social inclusion and acceptance, by uniting people with and without intellectual disabilities through the Special Olympics Unified Sports program.
The new collaboration, announced by John Skipper, ESPN President, and Timothy P. Shriver, Special Olympics CEO and Chairman, expands on Disney’s and ESPN’s 30-year commitment to Special Olympics.
A portion of the new funds will be directed to Special Olympics Programs around the world
to help grow Unified Sports initiatives, as well as to enhance Special Olympics Unified Sports branding and marketing initiatives to increase awareness of the program.
Eight target growth markets have been identified, including four domestic (Connecticut, central Florida, southern California/greater Los Angeles and Seattle) and four global (Argentina, Brazil, India
ESPN will also help Special Olympics develop and strengthen the Unified Sports global brand through marketing assistance, target-market research and in-kind ads and public service announcements across ESPN platforms.
Additionally, The Walt Disney
Company and ESPN have become the global presenting sponsors and official media sponsors of Special Olympics Unified Sports, and will lend their branding to Unified Sports events in the eight target markets.