Sprite partnered once again with NBA Cares, the global social responsibility program of NBA, to foster acceptance and inclusion for differently abled athletes through an exciting basketball clinic. It was part of the many highlights that happened during whole week prior to the much anticipated NBA Global Game here in the Philippines between the Rockets and the Pacers,
NBA Cares Special Olympics Basketball Clinic presented by Sprite took place on October 9 at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena where 60 young Special Olympics athletes had a once-in-a-lifetime experience to improve their basketball skills with the assistance of employee volunteers from Sprite as well as the entire Indiana Pacers team. NBA Legends Ron Harper and Jalen Rose were also present to lend a helping hand.
The Coca-Cola Company, the company that produces Sprite, has been a founding partner of Special Olympics International since 1968 when it was initiated by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of US President John F. Kennedy and Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy. Special Olympics International is now the largest program of sports training and competition in the world of differently abled children and adults and is represented in many countries, including the Philippines.
The Coca-Cola Company, through its Sprite brand, Special Olympics and NBA share a commitment to sharing happiness by celebrating humanity and promoting acceptance.
“We continue to share our message of inclusion and acceptance with special athletes as part of our global promise to the Special Olympics,” shares Atty. Adel Tamano, Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications of Coca-Cola Philippines. “This clinic is one of the initiatives through which we encourage not only our basketball participants but all Filipinos in general to engage in sports and other activities that lead to active healthy lifestyles."
The clinic was concluded with a special message from Christian Doroin, National Sports Director of Special Olympics Philippines, followed by sharing of Sprite souvenirs with all the participating Special Olympics athletes as well as with other young spectators in the audience brought in by the SM Foundation. The one hour basketball clinic was hosted by Patricia Hizon.
The NBA Cares Special Olympics Basketball Clinic presented by Sprite was a part of the 2013 NBA Global Games in the Philippines. The game was part of the NBA’s comprehensive international games schedule that includes a total of 10 games (eight preseason and two regular-season games) featuring 12 teams playing in 10 cities in 7 countries.
The NBA’s global partnership with Special Olympics began in 1979 when the league helped to introduce basketball as a new sport to the organization. The NBA, its teams and players have since provided sponsorship to Special Olympics basketball tournaments, created public service announcements featuring NBA players, and participated in major Special Olympics events.
The Coca-Cola Company and the NBA have had a 25 year marketing partnership that dates back to 1986. In addition to working together on the Special Olympics, Coca-Cola and the NBA throughout their partnership have supported social responsibility initiatives. These include EKOCYCLE, a brand developed to produce apparel and lifestyle products from recyclable materials, and NBA FIT clinics that are held around the world to educate children about the benefits of physical activity and the game of basketball.