We Got Game

Article excerpt

NRPA launches year-long celebration of sports via partnership with Sports Illustrated.

July is Recreation & Parks Month, and hundreds of park and recreation agencies are celebrating the theme of "Enhancing the Quality of Sports through Parks and Recreation" along with NRPA and Sports Illustrated.

NRPA is launching a year-long nationwide celebration of sports and health in America as Sports Illustrated commemorates its 50th anniversary. America's Sports Illustrated: 50 Years, 50 States, 50 Sports will encompass a wide-ranging multimedia program, and is the most ambitious initiative in the history of the franchise. The grassroots effort launches this month and continues through July 2004. (Sports Illustrated's official 50th anniversary date is Aug. 16, 2004.)

The Sports Illustrated Anniversary program will feature:

* 50 weekly state-specific sections in Sports Illustrated.

* Four special 50th anniversary double issues.

* The Toyota Presents Sports Illustrated 50th Anniversary Tour.

* A comprehensive interactive Web presence on SI.com.

* A community sports outreach program with NRPA and America's YMCA to enhance the quality of sports in America. By the end of the year-long celebration, America's Sports Illustrated will have visited all 50 states.

As part of the partnership to celebrate America's Sports Illustrated: 50 Years, 50 States, 50 Sports, NRPA will:

* Implement Sportstown, a grassroots effort to identify one community in each state that enhances the quality of sport through parks and recreation.

* Produce a series of ads promoting the health benefits of parks and recreation.

* Assist in The Toyota Presents Sports Illustrated 50th Anniversary Tour.

* Develop a Community Sports and Health Fund to sustain high-quality resource development.

[Sidebar]

NRPA On the Road With Sports Illustrated

As part of the year-long celebration, The Toyota Presents Sports Illustrated 50th Anniversary Tour will touch communities nationwide by visiting many of the sporting events featured in the magazine, as well as a variety of other locations. Launched in Newport, R.I., with an elaborate kick-off celebration on July 11, and culminating in California with a dramatic event in July 2004, the tour will crisscross the country, beginning in the nation's smallest state and ending in its most populous. With stops ranging from regattas and rodeos to downhill skiing and mountain biking, the tour will reach more than 2.5 million people over the course of the year.

The grassroots sports experience will cover nearly a football field's worth of real estate and will include a special showcase for parks and recreation as depicted in the display panels seen below.

Here are the dates and locations for the first two months of the tour:.

* July 10-13: Newport Yachting Center, Newport, R.I.

* July 18-20: Frontier Days, Cheyenne, Wy.

* July 25-26: All-American Soap Box Derby, Akron, Ohio

* July 30-Aug. 9: United States Life-guarding Championships, Cape May, N.J.

* Aug. 13-17: Ocean City Lacrosse Tournament, Ocean City, Md.

* Aug. 27-31: Southern 500 Race, Darlington, S.C.

For a full schedule of The Toyota Presents Sports Illustrated 50th Anniversary Tour, visit www.SI.com.

[Sidebar]

Parks and Recreation Shines in Spoils Illustrated

As part of the year-long anniversary, NRPA will run, at no cost to NRPA, 18 full-page advertisements in Sports Illustrated. This media placement, valued at $5 million, will run throughout the year.

A series of four health-focused advertisements have been developed, all having the tagline, "It Starts in Parks!" In the ads, NRPA will emphasize the role of parks and recreation in pursuing healthy lifestyles and livable communities while asking Sports Illustrated readers to be active, volunteer and support funding for parks and recreation. …