Special Olympics is pleased to recognize our partners for their vital support in 2016.
Coca-Cola has a long history of supporting athletics at every level because we believe in the unique power of sport to inspire and bring people together. Since Special Olympics began in 1968, we’ve been honored to be founding partners in this wonderful movement, which is making a real and profound difference in the lives of millions of people with intellectual disabilities and changing our world for the better.Muhtar Kent
Chairman & CEO
The Coca-Cola CompanyThe Coca-Cola CompanyThe Coca-Cola Company is a Founding Partner and has been a Global Sponsor of Special Olympics since 1968. The Coca-Cola Company and Special Olympics share the same commitment to creating happiness as well as an unwavering belief in social inclusion.
For the past 48 years, Coca-Cola has showcased the unlimited potential of individuals with intellectual disabilities and the power of sport to bring people together both on and off the field of play. In 2016, Coca-Cola was proud to continue their legacy and commitment to the Special Olympics Movement with the renewal of their global agreement. Through their generosity, Coca-Cola has supported Special Olympics programs and events around the world and made a cumulative investment of more than $190 million resulting in transformative moments of pure happiness for the global community.
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 FoundationB. Thomas Golisano, an entrepreneur, philanthropist and civic leader, is the founder and Chairman of Paychex, Inc., a national leader in the payroll and human resource industry. The Golisano Foundation, which he established in 1985, is one of the nation’s leading foundations dedicated exclusively to helping organizations that assist people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Mr. Golisano has been very generous to many institutions and organizations. His philanthropy totals more than $262 million to date. His gifts of $37 million to Special Olympics to establish and expand Healthy Communities represent the largest single gifts in Special Olympics history and Mr. Golisano’s largest donation to a single organization. In 2016, Mr. Golisano’s gift helped expand the Healthy Community initiative to 55 Programs throughout the movement, in addition to supporting the Golisano Health Leadership Award, which recognizes outstanding leaders around the world who are championing and increasing access to inclusive health care year-round for people with intellectual disabilities.
A Very Special ChristmasThe ‘A Very Special Christmas’ albums, created by world renowned musical artists, producers and A&M Records, and our investments, have generated over $125 million since the first album launched in 1987. In 2016, over $3 million was allocated by the Christmas Records Trust to support Program development and fund 93 Christmas Records Grants. These grants were used to grow Unified Sports, train athletes and coaches, expand programming to rural areas, and to develop and strengthen leadership. Since 1988, over $75 million has been given to Special Olympics Programs from the Christmas Records Trust.
Bank of AmericaBank of America’s long history of support of Special Olympics spans over three decades, working together to build a more diverse and inclusive society though the power of sports. In 2016, the company extended its commitment to continue to raise awareness, connect communities and encourage participation in the Special Olympics movement. Bank of America will continue its commitment to advancing athlete leadership as part of its focus on breaking down barriers to inclusion, providing programmatic grants, local funding, volunteers and supporting the current class of Sargent Shriver International Global Messengers.
The company is the presenting sponsor of the first Unified Talks Series, which will kick off at the World Winter Games in Austria, providing a discussion platform to raise important topics related to inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities in education, health, sports, business and the community in general. Bank of America is a premier sponsor of Special Olympics USA delegations competing in the next Special Olympics World Winter and Summer Games. It will also be a legacy partner and platinum sponsor of the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, Wash.
Burson-MarstellerBurson-Marsteller www.Burson-Marsteller.com is the public relations agency of record for Special Olympics International. This engagement is led by Burson-Marsteller’s sports marketing specialty group, Fan Experience, and is supported by many of their offices across the globe.
The Burson-Marsteller team works with Special Olympics on its ongoing youth-activation initiatives, which inspire participation in the movement through activism, social inclusion and the Special Olympics Unified Sports® program.
This includes communications programs, event support, and celebrity ambassadorship engagements. In 2016, the team continued its support in generating awareness for the movement through our Play Unified campaign and spread its work to include local activities in a variety of markets.
CITGOThe support CITGO provides to Special Olympics is built around a mutual passion for making everyone feel welcome and included. With a long history of supporting Special Olympics at a local level, Citgo in 2016 became a national sponsor of the Unified Strategy for Schools, providing funding to key markets where they have refineries, as well as engaging their employees. CITGO was also an official supplier to the World’s Largest Truck Convoy®, an annual event that brings together Special Olympics athletes and families in law enforcement and the trucking industry as a way to increase public awareness of Special Olympics’ efforts to build stronger communities where everyone can get involved.
ESPNDuring 2016, ESPN continued to deepen its more than 30-year relationship with the Special Olympics movement. With ESPN’s continued role as the Global Presenting Sponsor of Special Olympics Unified Sports, in June of 2016 ESPN helped celebrate Special Olympics reaching more than 1.2 million global participants in Unified Sports. In addition, ESPN announced a new $1.5 million grant to Special Olympics in support of key initiatives including Unified Sports and a three-year global programming agreement. ESPN will be the official broadcaster of the upcoming 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria, 2018 USA Games in Seattle and the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi, and ESPN will also cover the movement on an ongoing basis, with more feature coverage of other Special Olympics events, athletes and stories over the course of the three-year agreement. ESPN continues to provide cash, in-kind donations and strategically use its multi-platform media assets and marketing expertise to increase awareness of Special Olympics and Unified Sports globally.
EssilorIn 2016, the Essilor global family contributed generously to the athletes of Special Olympics throughout the world.
As part of a long-standing global partnership with Special Olympics, Essilor and the Essilor Vision Foundation provide the Opening Eyes vision screening program with high-quality polycarbonate lenses to ensure that athletes can see clearly - both on and off the playing field. In addition, the Essilor Vision Foundation provided support to a vision-centric, innovative youth project in the Philippines, as part of Essilor’s support of youth-led social impact initiatives.
Designed and implemented by an inclusive youth team, led by Special Olympics athlete Brina Maxino, Special Olympics and the Essilor Vision Foundation continue to work hard to ensure that vision care is afforded to all - and that education around proper vision care can reach the hardest-to-reach.
Exxon MobilExxonMobil and Special Olympics entered into partnership in 2015 through a grant from the ExxonMobil Foundation to support the implementation of a Malaria/HIV pilot program for people with ID in Nigeria in collaboration with Special Olympics Nigeria and Grassroots Soccer.
As of the end of 2015, the project has been launched in 52 schools across five southwest states, reaching over 2,000 people with and without ID; distributed over 1,000 bed nets; reached and trained 100 coaches; and provided HIV and malaria testing for more than 800 Special Olympics athletes.
Due to the pilot’s success, ExxonMobil extended funding in 2016 to successfully scale the project to other areas of Nigeria to provide malaria and HIV/AIDS education and services for people with ID using soccer (football) as the medium.
Finish LineFinish Line has been a Platinum Partner of Special Olympics since 2012, empowering athletes with intellectual disabilities all over the world. Finish Line and The Finish Line Youth Foundation provide international support of Special Olympics’ fitness and health programming, local Program sponsorship in the United States, robust volunteer engagement, and in-store fundraising during the holiday season.
In 2016, Finish Line employees across the United States volunteered at local and state level competitions in 27 Special Olympics Programs. Additionally, Finish Line provided funds to create helpful fitness resources and implement vital fitness programming through grant funding in 44 Special Olympics Programs worldwide.
Throughout the holiday season, The Finish Line Youth Foundation ran an at-register fundraising campaign in all of Finish Line’s stores across the United States to support Special Olympics. To date, the holiday campaign has raised millions of dollars in support as well as awareness for Special Olympics’ mission.
HasbroHasbro and The Hasbro Children’s Fund became a Special Olympics global partner in 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.
HerbalifeHerbalife Nutrition became a new sponsor of Special Olympics in 2016. A longtime supporter of the movement at the local level, Herbalife Nutrition has sponsored Special Olympics Southern California for a number of years. The new collaboration is centered on fitness, supporting Special Olympics’ ongoing fitness strategy committed to improving the health and fitness of our athletes and supporters through increased physical activity and better nutrition and hydration. As part of their support, Herbalife Nutrition will appoint a member of their team to a Special Olympics Global Fitness task force to bring additional perspective and expertise. Herbalife Nutrition will also feature the Special Olympics logo on several of their products distributed in the US, Mexico and Brazil. As in years past, Herbalife Nutrition employees, members and distributors have generously volunteered to support our athletes around the globe.
IKEA FoundationThe IKEA Foundation has become a critical player in expanding the reach of Special Olympics’ youth programs globally. Over the next three years, the IKEA Foundation has committed to supporting the growth of Special Olympics Young Athletes through the Foundation’s Good Cause Campaign, an annual initiative where IKEA co-workers and customers join together to help others. This unique initiative is committed to helping Special Olympics expand the reach of Young Athletes and inclusive sports programming in Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Thailand –with a goal of advancing concepts of play time, development, learning, equal participation and sports activity for children in this region.
The campaign launched at the end of 2016 and will provide critical funding for Special Olympics Young Athletes through 2019. In an effort to raise awareness domestically, IKEA and Special Olympics are also working together hosting in-store events at select IKEA locations in the U.S. This not only has increased support for the campaign but has provided the opportunity to educate customers about the work of Young Athletes and the vital role IKEA Foundation is playing in helping to ensure its continued success for children around the world.
Law Enforcement Torch RunThe Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for Special Olympics is a group of dedicated law enforcement members working to create inclusive communities through raising awareness and fundraising around the world. The Torch Run has evolved from its simplest form to encompass a variety of unique fundraising platforms to improve opportunities for athletes in sports, education and life.
Known honorably as Guardians of the Flame, law enforcement members and Special Olympics athletes carry the “Flame of Hope” into the Opening Ceremony of local and international competitions, symbolizing courage and celebrating diversity. To date, LETR is the largest grass-roots fundraiser for Special Olympics, bringing in more than $56 million last year alone, and over half a billion dollars since its inception. Globally, what started in 1981 as a run with six officers has grown to a community of over 97,000 members in 110 programs and 49 countries. LETR is changing attitudes toward people with intellectual disabilities and lighting the way for acceptance and inclusion of our athletes on and off the playing field.
Lions Clubs InternationalThe Special Olympics-Lions Clubs International “Mission: Inclusion” represents one of the most innovative, and far-reaching partnership designs in the history of Special Olympics. As the Exclusive Global Partner of the Special Olympics-Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes program, Lions Clubs International has become a world leader in advocating for improved vision and health services for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Through the joint “Mission: Inclusion” platform, Lions Clubs volunteers, and their global youth network of Leos, have broadened their support to include participation in inclusive sports programming, serving as keynote speakers at Family Health Forums, supporting early childhood development programming in Young Athletes, working to empower athletes throughout the world by inviting them to join local Lions Clubs and more in over 100 countries. As one of Special Olympics’ largest and most global partners, Lions Clubs International is a pioneer in providing key global, multi-sector support for one of the most marginalized populations in the world.
MattelSpecial Olympics and Mattel are currently in their 12th year of partnership. Mattel has contributed greatly to Young Athletes and to Special Olympics’ global volunteer force. Thanks to community-based seed investments from Mattel, Young Athletes has grown significantly since its launch in 2005 as a pilot program through Mattel funding. As the program continues to demonstrate outcomes and build credibility in communities, new funding sources have become available to sustain growth. In addition, Team Mattel remains the largest global team of corporate volunteers in Special Olympics history, and it continues to set the standard for employee engagement. Additionally, in 2016, with support from Mattel, Special Olympics along with an expert consultant developed resource materials for Mattel Children’s Hospital and other sites around southern California that focused on parents of children newly diagnosed with ID and healthcare providers who deliver information to the parents and families of these children. The goal is to better educate families and to inform and enable healthcare communities to serve people with intellectual disabilities.
MetLife FoundationMetLife Foundation, the philanthropic arm of global insurer MetLife, shares Special Olympics’ commitment to inclusion. The Foundation launched a three-year partnership with Special Olympics to expand Young Athletes, a sport and play program for children with and without intellectual disabilities, ages 2 to 7, across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Young Athletes introduces children to basic sport skills like running, kicking and throwing. It offers families, teachers, caregivers and people from the community the opportunity to share the joy of sports. Employees in MetLife’s Europe, Middle East and North Africa regions will continue the volunteer partnership begun this year during the region’s first Community Service Week when employees in 16 countries volunteered for Young Athletes and other Special Olympics programs. This sustained commitment of financial resources and volunteers will help children develop vital skills and relationships, putting them on the path to success.
Official Technology PartnerMicrosoftAs Special Olympics’ Official Technology Partner, Microsoft provides both financial and in-kind support, including software for all Special Olympics’ 220 accredited Programs, hardware, technological expertise, and global visibility through Microsoft brand channels.
Microsoft continues to support Special Olympics in the modernization of its Games Management System (Connect) to help work towards the goal of having cloud-based reporting systems globally, enabling real-time reporting of athlete performance and personal bests.
In 2016, Special Olympics was featured as a part of Windows #UpgradeYourWorld campaign. In Los Angeles at Venice Beach and Microsoft Square at LA Live, athletes with and without intellectual disabilities from Unified Sports teams invited passersby to play impromptu “Streetball” soccer games on projected fields. Streetball reached over 2 million people and raised awareness of Special Olympics.
As a main sponsor of 2017 World Winter Games, Microsoft will be providing the hardware and software needed to run the Games, as well as supporting 29 athletes competing in the Games and raising visibility by sharing their stories through a digital campaign.
NFLThe NFL and Special Olympics are officially teaming up to build inclusive communities and provide opportunities for athletes of all abilities to participate in sports through the expansion of Special Olympics Unified Flag Football. Flag Football is quickly becoming one of the most popular sports in Special Olympics across the U.S. With contributions from the NFL Foundation, Special Olympics is providing grants to state Programs in 11 NFL markets, including Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Colorado, Northern California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Texas, Washington and Virginia. The grants will be used to enhance Unified Sports programming; increase participation of athletes, partners and coaches; and improve the Unified Sports online education course.
The partnership between the NFL and Special Olympics leverages the strength of the NFL and the greater football community to promote awareness, respect and inclusion of Special Olympics athletes. With the help of NFL players, clubs, and supporters, we’ll look to increase new participation, coaches, and fans needed to grow the sport of flag football within the Special Olympics movement.
P&GP&G has supported Special Olympics globally for 37 years. In 2016, P&G’s funding ensured that thousands of athletes were able to play sports year-round, providing meaningful training and competition opportunities for persons with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics is featured by P&G in retail stores several times during the year. On Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving, 30 P&G brands supported Special Olympics by utilizing their social media channels to share information about the mission and impact. Additionally, the annual military commissary fundraiser was activated in 177 commissaries, with visibility and funds supporting Special Olympics programs and athletes in the United States and around the world.
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 2016, Perfect Sense invested critical support in our 3rd Annual Hannah Teter Unified Snowboarding Race in Aspen, Colorado. The event brought together top Special Olympics snowboarders with Olympic and professional snowboarders, who raced together to break down barriers and change attitudes. Additionally, in June 2016, Perfect Sense hosted the Perfect Sense Pro-Am and Brightspot Unified Challenge: a two--day golf tournament in Washington, D.C., that partnered Special Olympics golfers from the United States and Canada with wounded veterans and teenagers from The First Tee. Perfect Sense also provided valuable in-kind services including the redevelopment of PlayUnified.org, plus the design and development of Special Olympics’ new online annual report.
SafiloSince 2003, Special Olympics and Safilo have shared a long-standing global partnership dedicated to ensuring the highest quality services for Special Olympics athletes. As the Exclusive Global Supplier of Frames and Sunglasses to the Special Olympics Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes program, Safilo continues to make a significant difference in the lives -- and the health -- of individuals with intellectual disabilities throughout the world. In addition, Safilo has begun a global employee activation program, together with Special Olympics, to afford more Safilo employees the chance to engage Special Olympics athletes in their home communities in an effort to bring the impact of this strong partnership directly to employees.
Samuel Family FoundationKim Samuel, Special Olympics Board Member, and the Samuel Family Foundation have been proud and long-term supporters and champions of Special Olympics, sharing the vision that inclusion through sport is the key to ensuring people with intellectual disabilities are included and experience a sense of belonging in their communities. Special Olympics and the Samuel Family Foundation work together to challenge the global injustice, intolerance and isolation all too often experienced by individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families. Ms. Samuel and the Samuel Family Foundation are also proud conveners of the Global Symposium on “Overcoming Isolation and Deeping Social Connectedness.” The Symposium is a gathering of leading thinkers, activists and community leaders from 23 countries that aim to develop a shared perspective on social isolation and its impacts, including on those with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics proudly participated in the event and is excited to remain a partner in the Samuel Family Foundation’s work to promote unity and inclusiveness for all.
In 2016, Special Olympics enthusiastically partnered with Kim Samuel and the Samuel Family Foundation to grow and nurture our Young Athletes and Families programs and chart a new course with our Global Schools Initiative. This work focused on addressing social isolation through the creation of more accepting and inclusive school communities that empower youth with and without intellectual disabilities to seek social change. Built on the notion that inclusion is key to ensuring people with intellectual disabilities are successfully integrated into the social fabric of society, this innovative initiative will capitalize on our belief that youth play an integral role in achieving long-term societal goals of acceptance and inclusion.
TD BankSince 2009, TD Bank has partnered with Special Olympics on an annual fundraising campaign, which has raised more than $8.7 million and built awareness for the Play Unified movement. Over 1,200 TD Bank stores participate each year in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont and Virginia, as well as in Washington, D.C. Customers support the campaign by purchasing Play Unified bracelets. This year, packs of collectible Special Olympics Athlete Trading Cards available at select stores gave customers the opportunity to get to know 50 Special Olympics athletes from around the country, and even featured a unique microsite (www.meetourathletes.org) to compliment the campaign. Employees and management take part too, through employee fundraising and volunteerism at local Special Olympics events across the country.
Y&RSince 2013, Y&R and Special Olympics have partnered globally to support the Unified Sports program, amplifying the message that social inclusion through sports is a powerful way to drive change. We’re proud to have activated the Play Unified campaign in over 16 countries. We continue to grow the campaign through activation and integrated communications.
Y&R (www.yr.com) is the global advertising AOR for Special Olympics. No matter where we take the message, we hear stories from people who are personally touched by Special Olympics. Our employees are always at the ready to offer up support, whether it is through their professional skills and talents, or by volunteering their own time to support the efforts of Special Olympics.
Government PartnerCenters for Disease Control and PreventionThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) supports 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.
The 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.
This publication (journal article, etc.) was supported by the Grant or Cooperative Agreement Number, 5NU27DD001156, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.
50m+ over their lifetime
A Very Special Christmas
Law Enforcement Torch Run
10m+ over their lifetime
The Coca-Cola Company
Bank of America
The Golisano Foundation
Lions Clubs International
Global Platinum Partners
The Coca-Cola Company
Bank of America
Recording Artists of Christmas Records Trust
The Esslior Vision Foundation
The Golisano Foundation
Lions Clubs International
The Safilo Group
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Global Gold Partners
Global Silver Partners
Global Bronze Partners
American Express Foundation
ALEX AND ANI
CAF-Development Bank of Latin America
Toys "R" Us
Wrigely Company Foundation
Boston's Pizza Foundation
Dun & Bradstreet
Engel & Völkers North America
Optometry Giving Sight
Special Hope Foundation
US Fund for UNICEF
RSM/ David Love III Foundation
PGA of America
Shanghai Fudan Microelectronics Group
Shanghai Yitiao Network Technologies
Sunray Information Technologies
AIPS (Interational Sports Press Association)
Ogilvy & Mather
American Softball Association/USA Softball
Aspen Skiing Company
FIFA/Football For Hope
Laureus Sport for Good Foundation
Major League Soccer
North American Ski Police
One World Play
UEFA (Union of European Football Association)
United States Bowling Congress
USGA (United States Golf Association)