Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations and communications firm, today announced that it has been named agency of record for Special Olympics International. This pro-bono engagement will be led by the firm's sports marketing specialty group, The Fan Experience.
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New York - The Burson-Marsteller team will help Special Olympics launch a youth-activation campaign designed to inspire participation in the movement through activism, social inclusion and their Special Olympics Unified Sports® program, an inclusive sports program that encourages people with and without intellectual disabilities to play and compete on the same team.
Burson-Marsteller will launch the youth-activation campaign through media relations, event support and thought leadership channels to help achieve a variety of goals, including increasing youth leadership and volunteerism and registering 1 million athletes and participating partners in Unified Sports by 2015. Most importantly, the campaign will mobilize a generation of young people to respect and include people with intellectual disabilities.
Special Olympics is an international movement that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. Special Olympics began working with Burson-Marsteller's Fan Experience during this year's Super Bowl when the agency supported the organization's visibility and fan engagement efforts around the big game. The firm also helped Special Olympics announce the launch of the Unified Sports initiative with its media partner ESPN in 2013.
"We are very excited to partner with Burson-Marsteller's Fan Experience team that is so skilled in sharing stories about how sports can build life-long relationships, empower leadership and change lives," said Janet Froetscher, CEO, Special Olympics. "What Special Olympics is doing around the world is extraordinarily powerful and our youth-activation campaign is an important part of getting more people involved in Unified Sports programs. I am delighted Burson-Marsteller will champion that effort."
Special Olympics aims to break down social barriers and provide athletes of all skill levels the chance to participate in sports that make for a healthier lifestyle.
"Burson-Marsteller is not only supporting our communications efforts, but the team is also personally committed to participating in a variety of our Unified Sports events and engaging with our athletes, making this an especially meaningful partnership," added Dr. Timothy P. Shriver, Chairman, Special Olympics. "We are looking forward to working with Burson-Marsteller to build Special Olympics Unified Sports into the world's leading inclusive training and competition program that will ultimately create a world where everyone, especially people with intellectual disabilities, is accepted and included."
"Throughout its 46-year history, Special Olympics has made it possible for many individuals with intellectual disabilities to grow and thrive, while fostering acceptance and inclusion," said Worldwide Chair and CEO of Burson-Marsteller Donald A. Baer. "We are especially proud that Special Olympics has chosen our Fan Experience team to help expand its efforts through the launch of a youth activation campaign to mobilize youth to play unified. Our Fan Experience specialty shares Special Olympics' belief in the profound impact that sports can have on culture and society," Baer added.
About Special Olympics International
Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports, every day around the world. Through sports, health and education programs, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance by empowering people with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 4.4 million athletes in 170 countries. With the support of more than 1.3 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 33 Olympic-type sports and more than 81,000 games and competitions throughout the year. Special Olympics is supported by individuals, foundations and partners, including the Christmas Records Trust, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics®, The Coca-Cola Company, Lions Clubs International, Mattel, P&G, Essilor Vision Foundation, Finish Line, The Safeway Foundation, and Safilo Group. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org. Engage with us on:
Burson-Marsteller, established in 1953, is a leading global public relations and communications firm. It provides clients with strategic thinking and program execution across a full range of public relations, public affairs, reputation and crisis management, advertising and digital strategies. The firm's seamless worldwide network consists of 73 offices and 84 affiliate offices, together operating in 109 countries across six continents. Burson-Marsteller is a unit of WPP, the world's leading communications services network. For more information, please visit bm.com.