Nearly 1 year from the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) is preparing to launch its “Join Team USA” initiative, which capitalizes on the patriotic summer holidays and provides Americans with opportunities to support and Join Team USA. The program kicks-off Tuesday, June 14, 2011 — Flag Day — and runs through July 31, 2011.
Among the many ways the campaign invites the public to support and Join Team USA:
· Attend one of the more than 330 Olympic Day celebrations taking place across the country June 17-26;
· Cheer for Team USA athletes competing at National Governing Body (NGB) summer sporting events;
· Meet and celebrate Team USA athletes at various professional sporting events;
· Interact with athletes and other fans on Facebook, including live chats, athlete postings, a new donation application, and links to NGB and sponsor pages;
· Vote for recipients of six Team USA Grants of $12,000 each; and
· Participate in sponsor events and donation drives, including special events in Chicago; Daytona, Fla.; and St. Louis.
“There are so many ways for fans to get involved and Join Team USA this summer, especially with the enhanced Facebook efforts of the U.S. Olympic Team and U.S. Paralympics,” Henry Cejudo, 2008 Olympic gold medalist and 2012 wrestling hopeful, stated in a press release. “Fans will be able to chat with Olympians, Paralympians and hopefuls, and, most importantly, support Team USA by donating on Facebook. Since the moment I won my gold medal in Beijing, I have viewed the victory as one for the United States and am so grateful to the thousands of Team USA supporters who helped me live my dream and represent this country to the best of my ability.”
Since approximately 80% of the USOC’s operating budget goes directly to athlete support programs, including direct athlete support, NGB support programs, Operation Gold, elite athlete health insurance (EAHI) and tuition grants, donating to Team USA is once again at the heart of the USOC’s summer campaign, which began in 2009.
“Like many nonprofit organizations, fundraising is a critical element of our success,” Scott Blackmun, USOC chief executive officer, stated. “The awareness and funds raised during this campaign directly impact Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls in the United States. Join Team USA allows fans to get involved and become a part of the team in many valuable ways.”
Driving the Team USA donation message is a public service announcement edited by NBC, as well as print and digital advertisements featuring the following Olympians and Paralympian: Natalie Coughlin (swimming), Allyson Felix (track & field), Shawn Johnson (gymnastics) Lisa Leslie (basketball), Tim Morehouse (fencing), and Marlon Shirley (Paralympic track & field). The PSA will be played on more than 400 stations across the U.S. Fans will also have the ability to donate through a new donation application on the US Olympic Team’s Facebook page and on TeamUSA.org.