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Special Olympics Appoints Y&R as Its First Global Agency of Record

August 09, 2013

Special Olympics' new global, integrated campaign, scheduled to launch early next year, will include TV, print, digital, social media, youth activation and leadership, fundraising efforts and large global events. Y&R will be the global agency of record for the campaign.

See AdWeek Coverage here:

"Special Olympics, a U.S.-based organization that in the past decade expanded its footprint to 170 countries as it branched out beyond sports, has hired Young & Rubicam to lead global marketing efforts. 

"The assignment came after a relatively fast review that was managed by Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif. In early June, Special Olympics issued a request for proposals to 23 agencies, according to Kirsten Seckler, VP of branding and communications. Based on replies, the organization narrowed the field to two contenders: Y&R and another undisclosed shop. Final presentations took place last month."  

Read the full article on the AdWeek website

New Global Integrated Campaign

NEW YORK, August 8, 2013 — Tim Shriver, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Special Olympics, and David Sable, Global Chief Executive Officer of Y&R, announced today that Y&R has been named as the first-ever global agency of record (AOR) for Special Olympics’ marketing efforts.

The account will be led out of Y&R’s New York office, working with the agency’s global network in markets where Special Olympics operates. A new global, integrated campaign, scheduled to launch early next year, will include TV, print, digital, social media, youth activation and leadership, fundraising efforts and large global events. 

Special Olympics addresses injustice, intolerance and social isolation by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities to lead more productive, healthier lives, leading to a more welcoming and inclusive society around the world. This non-profit movement has evolved and grown at a rapid pace, especially over the past 13 years.

During this period, Special Olympics quadrupled the number of participating athletes to over 4.2 million representing 170 countries. In addition, Special Olympics has added health, education and community building programming.  One major pillar of this effort is a social inclusion program called Special Olympics Unified Sports®,  which unites people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same playing field as teammates. 

Ready For the World to Engage

“The evolution and progress of our movement have benefited by the alignment of our brand around the world. We have common language, an enhanced visual identity, a strong brand architecture and a deeply profound experience that is truly transformative. We are ready for the world to engage with our brand, especially as we move toward the Special Olympics World Summer Games that will take place in Los Angeles July 25 – August 2, 2015. Most importantly, we are now poised to mobilize today’s youth to break down even more barriers, enabling people of all ages in communities around the world to live, speak and play in a unified manner, ” Mr. Shriver said.

“Y&R has already brought us an incredible idea big enough to work across all of our programs. It is a concept that is relevant to and will resonate in virtually all the 170 countries in which we operate. It is a galvanizing idea that we believe will accelerate and intensify the progress and impact of Special Olympics and create positive momentum that will continue well beyond our upcoming 2015 World Games. We are privileged to have Y&R help us take Special Olympics into a new era of making communities and societies everywhere more accepting and tolerant for all by focusing on people with intellectual disabilities.”

“Special Olympics brings out the best in everyone, and our team — all our employees, all around the world – feel the importance and the excitement of their mission. Their tremendous growth around the world reflects not only their passion and commitment to a better world, but their ability to change hearts, minds and behavior. We look forward to helping them achieve their objectives well into the future,” Mr. Sable said.

About Special Olympics

Special Olympics is an international organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports every day around the world. Through work in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics is addressing inactivity, injustice, intolerance and social isolation by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities which leads to a more welcoming and inclusive society. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to more than 4.2 million athletes in 170 countries. With the support of more than one million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics is able to deliver 32 Olympic-type sports and more than 70,000 competitions throughout the year.

Visit Special Olympics at

Engage with us on:
Twitter @specialolympics;;, and

About Y&R

Y&R is one of the leading global marketing communications companies. It is made up of the iconic Y&R Advertising agency; VML, one of the leading global digital agencies, and iconmobile, a premier mobile marketing company. Y&R's founder, Raymond Rubicam, believed that the company's mission was to Resist the Usual on behalf of our clients. Today, that is kept alive by melding top-flight creativity with innovation to create new consumer experiences. Y&R's largest agency, Y&R Advertising, has 187 offices in 91 countries around the world, with clients that include, Campbell's Soup Company, Colgate-Palmolive, Danone, Virgin Atlantic, Xerox, Revlon, GAP, Land Rover, and Telefonica, among many others.

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Special Olympics Blog

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