According to the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities, it is estimated that between 7 and 8 million Americans of all ages, or three percent of the general population, experience intellectual disabilities. Given the affinity of Special Olympics Athletes to the WWE brand, WWE made a strategic decision to support and raise awareness for Special Olympics mission to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Ultimately, the goal of our partnership is to create a more inclusive and unified generation.
WWE has taken a tiered strategic approach to our partnership with Special Olympics by supporting local, national and international programs and events. WWE's partnerships include Special Olympics Connecticut, Special Olympics North America and the USA Games and Special Olympics International and the World Games.
WWE was a Founding Partner for the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games, a national sporting event that took place in New Jersey last June where WWE served as the Official Production Partner of the Games, producing PSAs to promote the Games, providing daily electronic press recaps of the sporting competitions and special events, securing employee volunteers and executing appearances by WWE Superstars at the Games. In addition, WWE produced an hour-long television show, Celebrating Champions: 2014 Special Olympics USA Games that aired on FOX Sports 1.
WWE was also a Promotional Partner for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, a global sporting event which took place last August. WWE again utilized all its platforms including WWE Network, TV and pay-per-view broadcasts, global live events, and digital and social media to generate awareness and support of LA2015. WWE Superstar Big Show served as "Co-Captain" for the Special Olympics Unified Relay and Goodwill Ambassador for LA2015. WWE Superstars participated in various events in conjunction with the promotion of LA2015, and WWE developed and produced PSAs which aired during WWE live events, on WWE Network and WWE TV broadcasts.
WWE is also a Corporate Partner of Special Olympics Connecticut, and actively provides support for the organization through promotion, talent appearances and employee volunteers. WWE even opened up our corporate headquarters to SOCT, and have hosted rallies at its company headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, which included appearances by WWE Superstars, Congressman Jim Himes, Stamford Mayor David Martin and other local dignitaries, to cheer on Special Olympics Connecticut athletes and law enforcement officials as they carried the "Flame of Hope" across the state to Southern Connecticut State University to the 2014 Special Olympics Connecticut Summer Games Opening Ceremony.
In 2016, Special Olympics and WWE announced an international partnership to help create change through sports. Through this new partnership, WWE will support Special Olympics' Play Unified campaign, which fosters friendships, understanding, and inclusive communities among people with and without intellectual disabilities by uniting them through the power and joy of sports.
WWE Superstars participate in Play Unified events with Special Olympics athletes from around the world, including China, India, Mexico, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, and WWE will utilize its global platforms including WWE Network, television broadcasts, live events, and digital and social media to generate awareness and support for Special Olympics.
WWE promotional efforts resulted in $1.7M in donated media value and nearly 800M impressions across 64 talent appearances and 18 events in 2016.
Additionally, prior to WrestleMania 31 in 2015, WWE launched Superstars for Hope, a fundraising campaign on IndieGogo to benefit Special Olympics, raising nearly $150,000 for Special Olympics International.
Giving back is in WWE's DNA and the company has supported numerous causes and nonprofit partners for more than 30 years. At WWE, our mission is to put smiles on people's faces, whether that's through our entertainment programming or the work we do in the community. With 11 million weekly television viewers in the U.S., more than 750 million social media followers worldwide, programming in more than 650 million homes in more than 180 countries and 35 languages, and more than 300 live events each year, WWE is committed to leveraging the power of its brand and global assets to help address important social issues worldwide.
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