Client: Special Olympics International is a global organization founded in 1968 that uses sports as a catalyst to change society’s perceptions and treatment of people with intellectual disabilities.
Challenge: Special Olympics enjoys high brand recognition and favorability among consumers, but seeks relevancy in a competitive cause landscape where issues such as poverty, hunger and diseases are often perceived as more urgent.
Solutions: Social Capital has worked closely with Special Olympics for more than five years to build sustainable revenue. Our engagement as both strategic advisors and skilled practitioners spans every level of the organization – global, national, and local.
Corporate partnerships: On a day-to-day basis, Social Capital strategists support the Corporate Partnerships team at Special Olympics at every stage of the relationship – from prospect research, to sales, to contract negotiation, to stewardship. We have provided sales support to many of Special Olympics’ largest corporate relationships including Coca-Cola, Denny’s, Bank of America, and P&G.
Development: After conducting an in-depth assessment of fundraising in all of the Special Olympics regions of the world (Africa, Asia Pacific, East Asia, Europe/Eurasia, Latin America, Middle East/North Africa and North America), Social Capital created the global development strategy for Special Olympics, focusing on the organization’s core competencies and greatest areas of potential growth. Social Capital then created the tools and templates to support the strategy, including a master case statement and master PowerPoint presentation that Special Olympics programs around the world can use to support their fundraising pitches.
- Trainings: Special Olympics state programs across the country profited from Social Capital’s expert-led training sessions to ensure that they’re up-to-date on the latest fundraising and partnership best practices from around the organization and the nonprofit industry.
Social Capital has helped Special Olympics build integrated, multi-faceted relationships with both new and longtime corporate partners, including:
The Coca-Cola Company. Coca-Cola is one of Special Olympics’ longest-running supporters. What began in 1968 as a traditional grantee-grantor relationship, the partnership has grown today into a multi-faceted relationship where the company considers Special Olympics one of its sports marketing properties. With Social Capital’s strategic guidance and support, Coca-Cola and Special Olympics have executed creative activation concepts that place the partnership on the vanguard of corporate-nonprofit relationships.
For example, Social Capital helped Special Olympics create an activation strategy with Coca-Cola that helps raise incremental revenue, build the Special Olympics brand, and reach new audiences. Together with Coca-Cola, we developed a proprietary call to action built around their shared brand attributes and common objectives: “Be a Fan of Joy.” Coca-Cola has used “Be a Fan of Joy” in both in-store and online promotions.
Bank of America. Bank of America is a longtime supporter of Special Olympics at the local, national and global levels. Social Capital has helped Special Olympics deepen its relationship with Bank of America to include the launch of a Special Olympics affinity credit card; sponsorship of a first-of-its kind Workforce Development Roundtable event; and sponsorship of Special Olympics World Games.
- Hilton. Social Capital helped to sell and structure an affinity program with Hilton that includes a donation to Special Olympics; discounted rooms for athletes, coaches and supporters; and a program that enables HHonors members to donate their points to Special Olympics.
“Special Olympics has seen a significant increase in revenue from corporate sources in recent years, and Social Capital has been with us every step of the way. They have a deep understanding of the organization from the local, regional, national and global perspective that has helped us think bigger with our partners.
I’m a fan of their creative, yet practical, approach to growing current partnerships and launching new ones. Each member of the team is highly skilled, but there are no egos here. They approach each new challenge with a ‘can-do’ attitude and their work is always excellent.”Terry Richey
Chief Marketing and Development Officer,
Special Olympics International