Corporate Involvement: The Special Olympics Philosophy
Since its inception, Special Olympics has successfully attracted both individual and corporate involvement. While the manpower base for Special Olympics has been dependent upon its ability to recruit and retain volunteers, the financial base has been dependent upon successful corporate support. Without corporate support of major events, the 1987 International Summer Special Olympics Games (ISSOG) and the International Winter Special Olympics Games (IWSOG) would not havee been possible. A sample of corporate involvement, as represented by the IWSOG, is presented here as a model for involving corporate sponsors in the growing sports for disabled movement.
American Speedy Printing
American Speedy Printing Centers became involved with Special Olympics in 1986 as a sponsor of the Michigan softball program. They served as official printer at the 1987 ISSOG in South Bend, IN, where 26 volunteers and 87 franchise centers donated printing and copying services. The 1989 IWSOG in Reno involved 65 centers and 15 volunteers.
According to Gerald Bergler, Executive Vice President, Special Olympics is the major charity supported by American Speedy Printing Centers and this involvement has helped build team spirit among the 600 franchise holders. Mr. Berger indicated that there is current emphasis to involve centers and employees in local programs.
Civitan International became involved with Special Olympics during the 1979 ISSOG in Brockport, NY, with an initial contribution of $50,000 and 50 volunteers. By 1987 the contribution reached $1,600,000 and 1,000 volunteers. Civitan International contributed $1,000,000 and 250 volunteers for the 1989 IWSOG. Civitan International has agreed to serve as Premier Sponsor of the 1991 ISSOG in Minneapolis.
Civitan volunteers have been the central core of the volunteer force at International Games. Since 1979 Civitan volunteers have been responsible for coordinating the medal ceremonies at both summer and winter international games. Civitan members support their own expenses to provide volunteer services at the Games.
A founding sponsor of Special Olympics, Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola bottlers have supported countless local chapters, athlete and coaches training, as well as supporting major Special Olympics competitive events. Coca-Cola has been a principal sponsor of every Summer and Winter Games since 1979 and sponsored the 1987 ISSOG ABC Opening Ceremonies television special. Through product advertising Coca-Cola has helped to spread the message of Special Olympics throughout the world.
Following the leadership of Donald Keogh, President of Coca-Cola and member of the Special Olympics International Board of Directors, Coca-Cola executives and employees serve on many chapter boards and devote countless hours of volunteer service. In 1989 Coca-Cola USA received the National Association of Governors Committee on People with Disabilities Award for their positive portrayal of persons with disabilities in television advertising.
At the local level, Coca-Cola has provided support for volunteer and athlete t-shirts, Coca-Cola products, advertising and public relations materials, volunteers, and cash contributions to support games, training, equipment, and special events since the early 1970s. Currently, Coca-Cola is sponsoring Club Coca-Cola, a touringg musical dance party that is projected to raise $175,000 next year for local and state level Special Olympics through fund raising concerts at colleges, universities, and high schools.
Crown International became involved with Special Olympics prior to the 1987 ISSOG in South Bend. With the cooperation of a variety of audio equipment manufacturers, Crown International developed and installed the entire sound system for all sport and entertainment venues at the Games. …