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ESPN


Worlwide Support for Unified Sports

The Walt Disney Company, ESPN and Special Olympics have teamed up to unite people with and without intellectual disabilities through the Special Olympics Unified Sports program.  Learn more about the program.

The Walt Disney Company, ESPN and Special Olympics are engaged in a two-year global initiative to leverage the power of sports to promote an environment of social inclusion and acceptance, by uniting people with and without intellectual disabilities through the Special Olympics Unified Sports program.

With a multi-million dollar financial and in-kind investment, Disney and ESPN are supporting Special Olympics’ goal of registering one million Unified Sports participants, including athletes (individuals with intellectual disabilities), teammates (individuals without intellectual disabilities) and coaches, by 2015.

The collaboration expands on Disney’s and ESPN’s 30-year commitment to Special Olympics. A portion of the funds will be directed to Special Olympics Programs around the world to help grow Unified Sports initiatives, as well as to enhance Special Olympics Unified Sports branding and marketing initiatives to increase awareness of the program. 

Growth Markets in the United States, Latin America and India

Eight target growth markets have been identified, including four domestic (Connecticut, central Florida, southern California/greater Los Angeles and Seattle) and four global (Argentina, Brazil, India and Mexico). ESPN will also help Special Olympics develop and strengthen the Unified Sports global brand through marketing assistance, target-market research and in-kind ads and public service announcements across ESPN platforms. Additionally, The Walt Disney Company and ESPN have become the global presenting sponsors and official media sponsors of Special Olympics Unified Sports, and will lend their branding to Unified Sports events in the eight target markets.