Sprite and the National Basketball Association partnered once again to give the country’s Special Olympics athletes an all-star treat on the court.
In a program called NBA Cares—which happened recently as part of NBA 3X Philippines 2014 Presented by Sprite—twenty eight Special Olympics athletes further sharpened their skills through a basketball clinic run by Jr. NBA coach Chris Sumner, Basketball Operations of NBA Asia. NBA All-star guard DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors joined the drills, along with the Toronto Raptors Dance Pak, and The Raptor mascot.
NBA 3X is the association’s marquee grassroots program that celebrates basketball and the NBA’s natural association to lifestyle, music, and popular culture.
“The partnership with NBA is made more meaningful through our partnership as well with the Special Olympics. At Coca-Cola, we believe in inclusivity and the specialness of all types of people. By providing avenues such as sports to children and adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities, we open opportunities for them to develop physical fitness, and participate in a sharing of skills with other Special Olympics athletes,” says Atty. Adel Tamano, Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications of Coca-Cola Philippines.
The 28 kids who participated in the local NBA Cares event is part of a 3.5 million-strong network of athletes under Special Olympics International—one of the world’s largest programs focusing on sports training and competition. Its partnership with The Coca-Cola Company through Sprite began as far back as 1968.
Special Olympics offers 32 Olympic-type summer and winter sports and holds more than 44,000 competitions annually across the globe, with the help of the more than 805,000 volunteers and nearly 250,000 coaches.
A perfect partnership
Beyond its partnership with Special Olympics, globally, The Coca-Cola Company and NBA also work together for initiatives such as NBA FIT, which are clinics held around the world to promote physical activity among school children and encourage living an active healthy lifestyle.
“Coca-Cola Philippines recognizes that using favorite local past-times such as basketball, we would be able to convince people to leave their seats, get into some form of exercise, and find happiness in movement. This is the reason why we support NBA and also reach out to organizations like the Philippine Basket Association for a program called PBA Youngstars and the Alabang Football Club for the Coca-Cola Football Festival,” adds Atty. Tamano.
NBA 3X is organized by NBA and presented by Sprite. Official partners of NBA 3X are Adidas, KFC, Phoenix Petroleum, PLDT Home Fibr, and Smart. Supporting partners are Acer and Spalding.