Special Olympics is pleased to recognize our partners for their vital support.
The timeless values of inclusion, diversity and individual dignity are woven into the very fabric of Special Olympics, and the men and women of Coca-Cola are honored to have these same values reflected in our brands and our approach to refreshing the world.Ricardo Fort
Vice President, Sports Partnerships
The Coca-Cola CompanyThe Coca-Cola CompanyCoca-Cola is the Founding Partner and Global Sponsor of Special Olympics, and 2018 marked our 50th year of partnership. We have worked together to help generate awareness, inspire happiness and reinforce our shared commitment towards social inclusion and acceptance for all people. For the past 50 years, The Coca-Cola Company has led a global commitment to showcasing the unlimited potential of individuals with intellectual disabilities and the power of sport to bring people together and transform lives.
Coca-Cola helps provide Special Olympics athletes a stage to show the world the transformative power of sport and its ability to break down barriers. Together, Coca-Cola and Special Olympics have a shared commitment to creating happiness and an unwavering belief in social inclusion. 50 years ago, Special Olympics was born from the inspired and inspiring vision of Eunice Kennedy Shriver. And, from the start, Coca-Cola has been a proud partner in a movement that’s since touched the lives of people in every corner of the globe. For half a century, we’ve felt the determination, triumph and joy of Special Olympics athletes… we’ve witnessed the limitless potential of people with intellectual disabilities… and we’ve seen the power of sport to bring people together and transform lives for the better.
People with intellectual disabilities are still one of the largest groups of underserved individuals in health care, but we're making progress helping them to get access to quality care - by raising awareness, educating more health-care providers to be able to care for them, and developing relationships with key partners, such as health-care systems, universities, and government agencies.Tom Golisano
Founder, Golisano FoundationGolisano FoundationThe Golisano Foundation has changed the landscape of Special Olympics Health. Led by Tom Golisano, founder and Chairman of Paychex, Inc. and Executive Director, Ann Costello, the Golisano Foundation is one of the nation’s leading foundations dedicated exclusively to helping organizations that assist people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Mr. Golisano’s philanthropy totals more than $300 million, and his gifts of more than $37 million to Special Olympics have helped improve health for people with intellectual disabilities globally.
Special Olympics Healthy Communities®, which launched in 2012 with the support of Mr. Golisano and the Golisano Foundation, has been activated in 63 countries and 28 states within the US. This model global community health initiative aims to reduce the severe health disparities that exist for people with intellectual disabilities by working to improve access to health services and resources, providing health programming, education and prevention opportunities and strengthening health systems in order to improve the health status of people with intellectual disabilities.
The Golisano Foundation’s legacy of breaking down barriers and expanding access to health care for people with intellectual disabilities continues, as 100 locations are poised to become Special Olympics Healthy Communities by 2020.
Pioneer PartnerA Very Special ChristmasThe ‘A VERY SPECIAL CHRISTMAS’ albums, created by world renowned musicians, producers, video artists, A&M Records, and our investments, have generated over $133.5 million since the first album launched in 1987. In 2018, over $2.5 million was allocated by the Christmas Records Trust to support Program development and fund 85 Christmas Records Grants. These annual grants develop and strengthen program & athlete leadership, enhance regional and local fundraising capacities, grow Program sustainability, create competitions, and train athletes and coaches. Since 1988, the Christmas Trust has invested over $82 million in Special Olympics Programs. We are grateful to so many who made and make this generosity possible.
Pioneer PartnerLaw Enforcement Torch RunYou can mark down 2018 as a busy year in the history of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. In June, a unified team of 78 law enforcement members, Special Olympics athletes and staff carried the Flame of Hope across the state of Washington into the Opening Ceremony of the USA Games. In July, we lit the Eternal Flame in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts and carried it to Chicago as part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations and in November, we held our largest International Conference in Las Vegas with over 1130 attendees. Preparations continued throughout the year to build the Final Leg team for Abu Dhabi and as the year closed the excitement about the 2019 Special Olympics World Games was growing within the Law Enforcement Torch Run community.
Champion PartnerBank of AmericaFor more than three decades, Bank of America has partnered with Special Olympics, working to build a more diverse and inclusive society. Their long history of support - including philanthropy and employee volunteerism - shows their strong commitment to giving opportunities to people with disabilities and advocating for inclusion and respect. This year, Bank of America was the Gold sponsor and co-chair for the 50th Anniversary at the site of the inaugural Special Olympics International Games in Chicago. Through Bank of America’s support, we brought together athletes, fans, and supporters to honor the achievements – both on and off the field – of those with intellectual disabilities. Bank of America was also a legacy partner and platinum sponsor of the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, cheering on two Bank of America Support Services employees who were competing.
The company continued its support of the Sargent Shriver International Global Messengers, as well as many of the other related Special Olympics athlete leadership programs offered worldwide, which allows athletes to explore opportunities for greater participation in the movement beyond sports training and competition. Bank of America is also the premier sponsor of Special Olympics USA delegations competing in the upcoming 2019 World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi.
Champion PartnerLions Clubs International FoundationAs one of the Special Olympics movement’s strongest and most global partners, Lions Clubs International and the Lions Clubs International Foundation have used the transformative power of community service to enrich the lives of athletes, and entire communities across the world. Under the partnership banner “Mission: Inclusion”, Lions Clubs International and the Lions Clubs International Foundation have provided critical financial, and volunteer, support in the movement’s most critical areas: global health, inclusive sports, leadership development, family education, and much more. As part of a shared commitment to bring inclusive service opportunities worldwide, Lions Clubs International has been instrumental in empowering the Special Olympics movement to engage refugee youth, with and without intellectual disabilities, across Europe and Africa. Under the leadership of International President Gudrun Yngvadottir, Lions Clubs International announced an historic renewal commitment to the Special Olympics- Lions Clubs International “Mission: Inclusion” partnership, pledging close to $9,000,000USD over 5 years to expand the impact and scale of the partnership to more and more athletes, families, schools and communities around the world.
Champion PartnerThe Walt Disney Company and ESPNThe Walt Disney Company and ESPN are proud to support Special Olympics to help end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. The partnership began more than 33 years ago and over the past five years, the company has broadened its relationship with the Special Olympics movement.
In 2018, The Walt Disney Company supported the Special Olympics’ “The Revolution is Inclusion” campaign and 50th Anniversary celebration. Awareness building around the campaign included a year-long storytelling initiative featuring game-changing moments promoting inclusion and the “GameChangers” behind them. Disney also served as Presenting Sponsor of the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games Volunteer Program and the Silver Medal Partner of the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games. These events showcased the abilities of athletes with intellectual disabilities and the impact of Special Olympics through world-class competition and inspirational experiences in an inclusive environment. Disney’s contributions help Special Olympics challenge people to open their hearts and minds and commit to working toward a world where everyone feels welcome and accepted.
As the Global Presenting Sponsor of Unified Sports, ESPN is committed to growing the Unified Sports program, which joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship, understanding, and inclusion. With support from ESPN and others, Special Olympics has grown Unified Sports to more than 1.6 million participants. As part of its continuing efforts, ESPN is investing in Special Olympics’ goal to build Unified Sports programming and resources in 10,000 schools, while also enabling 100,000 coaches to receive new/renewed sports certifications by 2020. ESPN also served as the Official Broadcaster for the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle and the 50th Anniversary of Special Olympics in Chicago. In 2019, ESPN will serve as the Official Media Partner of the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games, to be held in Abu Dhabi.
AMCAMC Theatres is committed to supporting the communities they serve and played a vital role in the Special Olympics 50th Anniversary Celebration. AMC Theatres donated 0:25 seconds of commercial advertising space to help generate additional awareness for Special Olympics during a pivotal time for the movement. This placement ran throughout all 600 AMC theatres across the United States, for the entire month of July 2018. This media in-kind donation generated 23,823,107 total impressions and gave Special Olympics the platform to promote the message of inclusion and encourage the general public to learn more about our great work in communities across the country.
Burson Cohn & WolfeBCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe) is the communications agency of record for Special Olympics International, led by the firm’s sports and entertainment specialty, Fan Experience, and supported by offices around the globe. BCW provides Special Olympics with strategic communications, event and ambassadorship support around youth-activation initiatives to inspire participation in the movement. In 2018, BCW assisted Special Olympics with its 50th anniversary through an integrated communications program, beginning with a media and influencer tour at Super Bowl LII featuring a Special Olympics athlete and Olympic snowboarder and global ambassador, Hannah Teter, along with a media engagement with global ambassador, Brooklyn Decker. In addition to providing strategic counsel during the USA Games in Seattle, BCW continued storytelling efforts leading up to the celebration in Chicago, site of the first Special Olympics Games. This included amplification of the Global Day of Inclusion, the inaugural Unified Cup Soccer tournament, and a music festival headlined by Chance The Rapper. Throughout the year, BCW’s employees continued to support local programs by participating in events such as the Special Olympics New York Polar Plunge.
EssilorEssilor International and the Essilor Vision Foundation have been Global Partners of the Special Olympics movement since 2002. As the Exclusive Global Supplier of Ophthalmic Lenses to the Special Olympics – Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes program, Essilor International and the Essilor Vision Foundation have been instrumental in providing hundreds of thousands of Special Olympics athletes with high-quality eye health and vision care services and most importantly, prescription eyeglasses for athletes with vision impairments. In addition, the Essilor Vision Foundation provides equipment, and key technical volunteer support to Opening Eyes programs around the world, empowering the movement to offer athletes in need with prescription eyewear tailored their individual needs. Essilor International has helped provide life-changing support to over 110,000 athletes in over 90 nations, including strong support at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, the Special Olympics Unified Cup, and the Special Olympics Middle East/North Africa Regional Games, to mention a few. Essilor International and the Essilor Vision Foundation have continued to answer the call to action of Special Olympics athletes to support achieving health justice for all- as part of a shared commitment to creating inclusive health access worldwide.
Exxon MobilSince 2015, through the support of ExxonMobil, Special Olympics Nigeria is providing malaria and HIV/AIDS education, testing and services to people with intellectual disabilities (ID), their families and communities. “Skillz for Life” is an adapted malaria and HIV/AIDS curriculum implemented alongside football practices, and culminates in a unified tournament where testing and referrals for treatment areprovided.
In 2018, the curriculum was launched in 8 states of the North Central and South-South Regions of Nigeria, reaching 2,131 athletes. Additionally, 2,480 individuals received free malaria tests, 1,083 family members attended Family Health Forums, 4 soccer tournaments were held, and over 2,200 people were tested for HIV. For the first time, athlete leaders were trained as Health Messengers and Master Coaches to deliver the “Skillz for Life” curriculum.
In schools, education sessions were conducted in a team environment and included people with and without ID. This project has provided critical support for parents and coaches, breaking down barriers and reducing stigma and discrimination. The “Skillz for Life” curriculum has effectively facilitated sustainable, healthy communities in Nigeria.
Caption: Skillz for Life is implemented at Kuje School for the Handicapped. Athletes are learning about the important of sleeping under a bed net to avoid malaria.
Finish LineFinish Line and the Finish Line Youth Foundation are proud sponsors of Special Olympics since 2012 supporting through volunteer engagement and in-store fundraising campaigns throughout the United States.
As a Silver Medal Partner and sponsor of the Fit Feet Program at the 2018 USA Games, the Foundation teamed up with Brooks Running Company to create a pop-up shoe store. More than 1,400 athletes were fitted for a free pair of shoes as an incentive for completing four Healthy Athlete screenings. The Foundation's generous support encouraged 1,700 athlete to complete 7,125 lifesaving Healthy Athletes screenings throughout the week of the Games. Earlier in 2018, the Foundation received the Golisano Health Leadership Award for this same incentive program at Special Olympics Indiana Games.
The Foundation concluded 2018 with its seventh annual in-store campaign which featured four outstanding athletes each representing a different region of the United States.
HasbroHasbro has partnered with Special Olympics since 2016, as part of BE FEARLESS BE KIND, the company’s signature philanthropic initiative designed to inspire and empower kids to have compassion, empathy, and courage to stand up for others and be inclusive throughout their lives. In honor of Special Olympics 50th anniversary, Hasbro sponsored the Choose to Include Campaign and the Unified Generation by supporting the first year of Innovation Grant projects empowering youth around the world to implement projects that promote inclusion in their communities. Additionally, Hasbro was a Bronze Sponsor of the Special Olympics 2018 USA Games where they supported the inaugural Youth Leadership Experience providing leadership experience and training to 37 delegations. Hasbro also continued to grow Special Olympics Unified Schools through grants to 12 programs in 9 countries resulting in expanded Unified programming in 274 schools and engaging over 9,000 youth with and without disabilities.
IKEA FoundationSince 2016, the IKEA Foundation (Stichting IKEA Foundation) has played an important role in expanding the reach of Special Olympics’ youth programs globally through it’s annual “Let’s Play for Change” Good Cause campaign. As the philanthropic arm of INGKA Foundation, the owner of the Ingka Group of companies, they focus on improving the lives of vulnerable children by enabling their families to create sustainable livelihoods, and to fight and cope with climate change.
The IKEA Foundation works to create a better everyday life for the many people and has made significant investments to support the growth of Special Olympics Youth Athletes and inclusive sports programming in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Thailand. During our three-year partnership, the IKEA Foundation is helping Special Olympics to include over 350,000 children in Young Athletes activities and creating over 5,000 socially inclusive communities in the process.
Johnson & JohnsonIn 2018, Johnson & Johnson sponsored Special Olympics Capitol Hill Day. This one day advocacy event provides an opportunity for Special Olympics athletes, serving as leaders and self-advocates, to raise awareness and educate their Members of Congress about the critical work Special Olympics is doing in the sport, health and education fields. With Johnson & Johnson’s support, 2018 was the first time in the 16 year history of Hill Day in which all 50 states were represented by participating athletes. Special Olympics athletes held more than 350 face-to-face meetings with Members of Congress in both the House and Senate. The day concludes with a private reception held off Capitol Hill grounds.
MetLife FoundationSpecial Olympics and MetLife Foundation, the philanthropic arm of global insurer MetLife, launched the second year of a three-year partnership focused on Young Athletes, a sport and play program for children with and without intellectual disabilities aged 2 to 7. Support from MetLife Foundation enabled Special Olympics to expand Young Athletes activities in 28 countries across Special Olympics’ Europe Eurasia and Middle East North Africa regions. The result: over 12,500 children participated in Young Athletes’ inclusive play activities, developing vital motor, social and cognitive skills. Additionally, 12,000 family members received education and support, to increase expectations and feel more hopeful for their child’s future. Finally, as a clear demonstration of MetLife’s commitment to the communities where they operate and Special Olympics’ mission, almost 300 MetLife employees volunteered at Young Athletes events in 12 countries across MetLife’s Europe, Middle East and North Africa region.
MicrosoftSince 2014 Microsoft and Special Olympics have had a global partnership with the goal of empowering athletes and Programs through technology. In 2018, Microsoft further supported this global partnership by being the Presenting Sponsor of the Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, Washington, and embraced and promoted Seattle as a City of Inclusion. During the Games, more than 1,700 Microsoft Employees volunteered to support the 4,000 athletes and coaches who took part in the Games. And, Xbox and Special Olympics collaborated to host the first ever Unified e-gaming tournament, highlighting Microsoft’s commitment to accessibility and inclusion in gaming.
Microsoft’s leadership was also closely involved to ensure the USA Games were an impactful and memorable experience; Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella provided encouraging words to athletes and fans at the opening ceremony; and, Microsoft President Brad Smith participated in the ESPN Unified Sports Experience as well as the Future of Inclusion Forum.
Microsoft continued to raise awareness and funding for Special Olympics through the Microsoft Rewards platform where nearly $300,000 was donated during June and July.
Oculus VROculus VR, a team within the Facebook family, builds virtual reality (VR) hardware and software to let people experience anything, anywhere, with anyone. Oculus joined the Special Olympics movement at a critical time and graciously took on the monumental undertaking of producing a Special Olympics PSA that ran in AMC theaters nationwide for all of July 2018. We look forward to growing a partnership where anyone, anywhere can defy the limits of their own reality.
Perfect SensePerfect Sense has been an integral innovator and collaborator in the quickly evolving online presence of Special Olympics around the world. Perfect Sense has joined with Special Olympics as a technology partner since its inception, leading the movement through the ever-changing digital landscape and positioning our strategic initiatives such as the Special Olympics World Games and our Play Unified campaign, for global success.
In 2018 Perfect Sense collaborated with Special Olympics to launch a revamped online experience for SpecialOlympics.org, powered by Brightspot. The new, modern site, launched in conjunction with Special Olympics’ 50th Anniversary, provides Special Olympics with a powerful platform to tell its stories and inspire a unified generation. Additionally, in 2018 Perfect Sense contributed in-kind support for additional digital properties including AbuDhabi2019.org, 2017 Annual Report, Special Olympics Online Medical Form, and Special Olympics Center for Inclusive Health.
Perfect Sense also continued its passionate support for Unified Sports in 2018. For the sixth year, Perfect Sense organized the Perfect Sense Unified Challenge, a 5-day golf tournament in Washington, DC that partnered Special Olympics golfers from the United States with wounded veterans and teenagers from The First Tee with PGA TOUR professionals. In January, Perfect Sense hosted the 5th annual Hannah Teter Unified Snowboard Race in Aspen, Colorado. For the fourth year, Perfect Sense hosted Special Olympics golfers at The Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for some of the top Special Olympics golfers in the country to walk the most famous golf course in America. Perfect Sense also provided valuable support at the Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, where a team of 10 employees spent the week organizing four Unified Sports Experiences and over 400 award ceremonies.
Ray & Stephanie LaneRay Lane, Special Olympics Board Member, and the Lane family have been proud and long-term supporters and champions of Special Olympics, leaving an indelible impact on the lives of athletes around the world. Believing in the power of youth, the Lane family helped to expand Unified Schools into a global program which has grown from their initial investment in five countries to now twenty countries and counting. Simply put, the Lane family’s belief and investment in the power of young people has created a ripple effect of social change and inclusion in communities around the globe.
Key to building this generation of inclusive youth leaders is developing a structure of global, regional, national and local opportunities for education and growth. To accomplish this, in 2018, the Lane family continued their support of the Special Olympics movement through a generous commitment to establish the Lane Global Youth Leadership Project. The Lane Global Youth Leadership project will pioneer a cascading series of Special Olympics Youth Leadership Summits over a 5-year cycle. This worldwide network of youth leaders with and without intellectual disabilities will be change makers within their schools and, with ongoing engagement, lifelong agents for inclusion.
SafiloSafilo Group has been an active Global Partner for Special Olympics since 2003. As the Exclusive Global Supplier of Ophthalmic Frames and Sunglasses for the Special Olympics- Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes program, Safilo has provided high-quality frames and sunglasses to hundreds of thousands of Special Olympics around the world, offering access to prescription eyewear as well as UV-protecting sunglasses. In 2018, the Safilo Group provided key support to a range of high-profile events for the movement, most notably the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, the Special Olympics Unified Cup, and the 2018 Special Olympics Middle East/ North Africa Regional Games. As part of Safilo’s long-standing commitment, Special Olympics and the Safilo Group ushered in a renewed 3-year partnership agreement, bringing the power of the collaboration to athletes and communities around the world from 2019-2021. The partnership between Special Olympics and Safilo continues to make a tremendous impact, and increase health care access, to one of the most marginalized populations in the world today.
Samuel Family FoundationKim Samuel, Special Olympics Board Member, and The Samuel Family Foundation have provided long-term strategic support to Special Olympics programs across several key disciplines, including Unified Sports, Young Athletes and families programming. As pioneers in the fields of inclusion and social connectedness, Kim Samuel and The Samuel Family Foundation remain important partners in Special Olympics’ work to ensure people with intellectual disabilities feel a sense of belonging and inclusion in their communities. In 2018, the Foundation helped Special Olympics launch the first-ever Sibling Engagement initiative, evolving our families work and creating targeted opportunities specifically for siblings of Special Olympics athletes.
Special Olympics is grateful to Ms. Samuel and the Foundation for their commitment to Special Olympics and our shared mission to reduce stigma and isolation for people with intellectual disabilities around the world.
SkillsoftSkillsoft is a leading provider of online learning on leadership, business and management topics. Skillsoft partnered with Special Olympics in 2015 to support our leaders globally as part of their learning journey with the Leadership Academy. Skillsoft provides pro bono access for all Academy participants to the online platform called Percipio. It hosts thousands of videos, books, audiobooks and courses on leadership development. Skillsoft’s leaders are committed to inclusion and diversity. Our partnership has been growing in leaps and bounds, including joint submission of conference proposals and award applications to spread the word about Special Olympics’ leadership work. Thomas Francoeur from Skillsoft joined the first ever Unified Leadership pilot in Chicago in July 2018 to help train our athlete leaders and provide feedback to their presentations. Thanks to a most recent collaboration, the Special Olympics Leadership Academy has been selected as one of the top 10 leadership development initiatives by the LEAD awards 2019. In April 2019, Special Olympics will present our leadership development work at Skillsoft’s annual conference Perspectives.
Stavros Niarchos FoundationThe Stavros Niarchos Foundation has become one of the principal drivers of the Special Olympics Unified Sports and Unified Schools work worldwide. In 2018, under the partnership banner “Play Unified- Learn Unified”, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation made an historic commitment to the Special Olympics movement, pledging $10,000,000USD over 3 years to pledging to expand the reach and impact of Unified Sports and Unified Schools programming in countries around the world including a range of low-to-middle income nations, including but not limited to India, Brazil, Kenya, Serbia, and more. In addition, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation has provided key sustained capacity support to the continued growth of Special Olympics Hellas (Greece), supporting both National Games and an exciting annual calendar of national activities. The Special Olympics – Stavros Niarchos Foundation “Play Unified- Learn Unified” partnership was formally ushered in at the exciting 2018 Stavros Niarchos Foundation Conference on Philanthropy, titled “Disruption”, where both Dr. Timothy Shriver (Chairman of Special Olympics) and Brina Maxino (Global Messenger- Philippines) spoke to the urgency and importance of Special Olympics sports and education work across the world.
TD BankThis year, we celebrated our 10th year of partnership with TD Bank, raising a total of more than $11 million and continuing to increase awareness for the Play Unified movement. Each year over 1,200 TD Bank stores from Maine to Florida participate in this six-week campaign focused on raising dollars and awareness to support Special Olympics. Chapters in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and the District of Columbia benefit from this unique partnership and commitment from TD Bank.
TD Bank customers engage in this unique campaign by purchasing Special Olympics branded bracelets. TD also offers a series of collectible Special Olympics Athlete Trading Cards to customers and friends. Changing each year, trading cards feature 50 athletes from Maine to Florida and are available at TD stores and special events. In addition, a unique microsite (www.meetourathletes.org) compliments the campaign and provides customers and TD employees the opportunity to learn more about Special Olympics athletes. TD remains deeply committed at all levels of the organization to raising dollars, supporting volunteerism and sharing with its customers TD's commitment to inclusion and the mission of Special Olympics.
Tommy HilfigerTommy Hilfiger joined the Special Olympics global movement and The Revolution is Inclusion campaign in 2018. Tommy Hilfiger is committed to spreading the message of inclusion and is doing their part to break down barriers in the fashion world. They have committed to bring high fashion to those with differing abilities and have launched a new line called “Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive” - a lifestyle collection for adults and children with differing abilities which incorporates inclusive design solutions that make getting dressed easy. Tommy Hilfiger was a sponsor of both USA Games, Seattle and the 50th Anniversary, Chicago and featured several Special Olympics athletes in their 2018 summer campaign. We are so excited to welcome Tommy Hilfiger to the Special Olympics family!
ToyotaToyota became a global partner of Special Olympics in 2017 to build upon their long history of support at the state and national levels in North America and Japan for nearly 30 years.
In 2018, Toyota supported Special Olympics Unified Sports activities primarily in Japan and the United States, including via programmatic funding to grant markets and as the Presenting Sponsor of the inaugural 2018 Special Olympics Unified Cup during Special Olympics’ 50th Anniversary celebrations. Unified Sports and Special Olympics’ The Revolution is Inclusion campaign strategically align with Toyota’s values of diversity and inclusion and the goal of combining people of all cultures, backgrounds, and abilities for their vision of building an inclusive world.
UNICEF USAAs part of a shared commitment to empowering children of all abilities, Special Olympics and UNICEF have shared a growing global partnership since 2011 designed to integrate children with and without intellectual disabilities into all international development programs, strategies and services. This focus on inclusive development has brought critical support, capacity-building, advocacy and awareness to dozens of National Special Olympics Programs around the world, and has helped strengthen key Special Olympics programs in the areas of inclusive health, inclusive sports, early childhood development programming, family health education, leadership development and much more. Through the generous support of UNICEF USA and the Meyer family, and through the leadership of Lucy Meyer as National Spokesperson for Special Olympics- UNICEF USA projects, Special Olympics and UNICEF have been empowered to expand the reach and impact of the partnership, with targeted investments in Special Olympics work in a range of new nations, including but not limited to Bosnia i Herzegovina, Zambia, Moldova, Brazil, Jamaica, and many more. Special Olympics and UNICEF stand together in their commitment to implement the core tenants of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN-CRPD) for all children worldwide.
United AirlinesIn late 2017, United Airlines became a new Global Platinum Partner of Special Olympics, Inc. In 2018, United was a Gold Sponsor of USA Games in Seattle and the Presenting Sponsor of the Welcome Day at Seattle Tacoma airport on June 30. United was also the Gold Sponsor and co-chair of the 50th Anniversary celebrations in Chicago, supporting the Unified Cup, Global Day of Inclusion, and the Eternal Flame. A key focus of our partnership with United is engaging employees through local programs and enhancing their global training programs to be more inclusive. United has encouraged all of their employees to engage locally, and has focused on key hubs for increased support: Chicago (ORD), Denver (DEN), Houston (HOU), Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Newark Liberty (EWR), Washington Dulles (IAD), and London (LHR). These hubs correspond with nine Special Olympics Programs, who have partnered with United throughout 2018 on various events, including plane pulls, polar plunges, regional and state games, and local sporting events.
United shares in our vision to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. They are committed to connecting people and uniting the world and has been collaborating with SOI and each of the key market states on developing inclusive training modules for all United employees. In 2018, United worked with Special Olympics to train over 60,000 employees and is encouraging all 90,000 of its employees to volunteer with local Special Olympics programs. This employee training series is aimed to make traveling a positive experience for individuals with ID.
VerizonAs part of their Humanability campaign to give humans the ability to do more in this world, Verizon sponsored Special Olympics Game Changers film series highlighting stories of game changers and game changing moments towards inclusion.
VMLY&R2018 was a momentous year for the VMLY&R/Special Olympics partnership. In our shared mission to create a fully inclusive world, we launched “The Revolution Is Inclusion” campaign, targeted at reaching new and younger audiences. VMLY&R’s thought leadership helped position Special Olympics as a movement of the future, with marketing assets of extraordinarily high quality and caliber. A new PSA commercial “Inclusive World” rose in the ranks to the 8th most played PSA in the United States as well as prominent placements across Europe and Africa, among other regions. Bold, new imagery ensured prominent print and outdoor placements across the globe, including Mexico City, London and the United States.
VMLY&R’s support for the organization ranges from strategic counsel to idea and campaign development through production. Throughout the year, VMLY&R helps Special Olympics make local connections with their agency partners throughout the world to amplify marketing efforts with a strategic regional focus.
WalmartWith 14 of their associates completing in the USA Games in Seattle, Walmart extended their support of these athletes from the community level and joined them in Seattle as a USA Games sponsor. In addition to sponsoring the Games and cheering on their coworkers, Walmart associates volunteered and helped share stories of our athlete’s competing. Following the Games, Walmart produced and posted a short feature on Elizabeth Hubert from Oklahoma and her journey to the Games and winning four Gold Medals in Powerlifting.
Government PartnerCenters for Disease Control and PreventionThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) support work that improves the overall health and quality of life for people living with disabilities, including those with intellectual disabilities. The CDC has provided funding and public health expertise to Special Olympics since 2002. CDC's support of the Healthy Athletes program facilitates health screenings, education, services and support to athletes in a fun, welcoming environment, and provides specialized training for doctors and other health professionals.
CDC supports the efforts of Special Olympics to expand access to follow-up care and wellness programing for athletes with intellectual disabilities, to partner with medical schools to integrate appropriate training and education for the next generation of health professionals, to help elevate the discussion about health and intellectual disability across the country, and to advance U.S. national health policy to be more inclusive.
CDC supports the inclusion of people with disabilities in public health programs that prevent disease and promote healthy behaviors and safety, while working to eliminate barriers to health care and improve access to routine preventive services.
The current Cooperative Agreement between Special Olympics and CDC began in 2016 and takes inclusive health to the national stage, targeting wellness, fitness, professional associations, medical schools, funders, and others to become more inclusive and to use their influence to champion this idea among peer organizations.
Government PartnerU.S. Office of Special Education Programs
These generous partners made significant contributions in 2018.
These organizations have given $50M+ over their lifetime
A Very Special Christmas
Law Enforcement Torch Run
These organizations have given $10M+ over their lifetime and also give $1M+ annually
The Coca-Cola Company*
Bank of America*
Lions Clubs International Foundation
The Walt Disney Company and ESPN*
Global Platinum Partners
The Coca-Cola Company*
Bank of America*
Recording Artists of Christmas Records Trust
Esslior Vision Foundation
The Leadership of United Arab Emirates
Lions Clubs International
Samuel Family Foundation
Stavros Niarchos Foundation
The Walt Disney Company and ESPN*
The Office of Special Education Programs of the U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Global Gold Partners
Finish Line Youth Foundation
Tianjin Rockcheck Investment Holding Group Co., Ltd.
Global Silver Partners
Young & Rubicam
Global Bronze Partners
Aruna Abhey Oswal Trust
Burson Cohn & Wolfe
Starkey Hearing Foundation
Sun Culture Foundation
ALEX AND ANI
City Football Group
Clif Bar & Company*
Jewelers Mutual Insurance
Knights of Columbus
Laureus Sport for Good Foundation
Main Event Entertainment
Pacific Dental Services
Wrigley Company Foundation
Alpha Sigma Alpha
DC Lions' Heart Foundation
Dun & Bradstreet
Engel & Völkers North America
FIFA/Football for Hope
Johnson & Johnson
Optometry Giving Sight
RSM/David Love III Foundation
Special Hope Foundation
The Ministry of Youth and Sport from the Republic of Azerbaijan
AIPS (International Sports Press Association)
Latam Digital Marketing
MMI International Holdings
The Walt Disney Company and ESPN*
Aspen Skiing Company
Badminton World Federation
International Cheerleading Union
International Floorball Federation
International Powerlifting Federation
International Tennis Federation
International School Sport Federation
International Skating Union
International Ski Federation
Major League Soccer
Michael Phelps Foundation
NIRSA (National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association
North American Ski Police
One World Play
Professional Golfers Association (PGA)
Professional Tennis Registry (PTR)
UEFA (Union of European Football Association)
United States Bowling Congress
USGA (United States Golf Association)
Women's Tennis Association
* Campaign Partner