Disney and ESPN recently announced a new two-year global initiative with Special Olympics. The initiative aims to unite people with and without intellectual disabilities thought the Special Olympics Unified Sports program.
The two companies – Disney and ESPN – have a 30-year commitment to Special Olympics and this new partnership includes a multi-million dollar financial and in-kind investment that supports Special Olympics’ goal of registering one million Unified Sports participants by 2015.
The Unified Sports participants will include athletes (individuals with intellectual disabilities), teammates (individuals without intellectual disabilities), and coaches.
Some of the funds will be used by Special Olympics Programs around the world to help grow Unified Sports initiatives and increase awareness. Four domestic regions and four global areas have been identified as growth markets where ESPN will partner with Special Olympics to develop the Unified Sports global brand. The areas being targeted are Connecticut, central Florida, Southern California/Los Angeles, Seattle, Argentina, Brazil, India, and Mexico.
Disney and ESPN have also signed on to be global presenting and official media sponsors of Special Olympics Unified Sports. Both companies will be lending their branding to Unified Sports events in the eight target markets.