COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The U. S. Olympic Committee (USOC) today announced that it hopes to raise $2 million, up from earlier estimates of $1 million, in private donations from May 22-July 4, 2009 centered around its new initiative "America Supports Team USA." This initiative is serving as the centerpiece for overall fundraising efforts by the USOC during the summer months.
Longtime Olympic sponsor Visa has created even more incentive to make a donation to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams as Visa will match monies raised by the USOC. Americans can now double their impact between now and July 4. For every dollar sent by the challenge deadline of July 4, 2009, Olympic sponsor Visa will designate another $1 from their sponsorship for a total of $2, up to a maximum of $500,000. Whatever citizens send will be doubled, as long as the USOC receives it by July 4, 2009.
"My business experience tells me that we can hit this higher fundraising target if we work hard together with our partners," said USOC Acting Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Streeter. "Our research tells us again and again that Americans really care about the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams and want to support them. Every donation counts and can make a big difference in the lives of our Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls."
The "America Supports Team USA" initiative celebrates patriotism and raises money to support Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls. The campaign tagline, "Together We Win," underscores the importance that private donations play in providing Olympians, Paralympians and hopefuls with essential programs and services designed to "achieve sustained competitive excellence and to preserve the Olympic Ideals, and thereby inspire all Americans" as stated in the USOC Mission statement.
"All the way through my career I've had people step up and be a part of me being able to chase my dreams." said three-time Olympian Picabo Street (skiing). "...And even if it's a small donation - you have a part of it and it makes it very impactful for the athletes and really something that we take pride in."
In conjunction with the international observance of Olympic Day on June 23, Chicago 2016, the USOC and the City of Chicago are leading efforts to commemorate Olympic Day with celebrations across the country. Under the leadership of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, the U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted a resolution this weekend supporting Olympic Day. As a result of this outreach and the efforts of Chicago 2016 and the USOC, nearly 150 cities will host Olympic Day celebrations, including fun runs, lectures and sport competitions and demonstrations-many attended by Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Olympic Day carries more meaning than ever this year as our nation waits to see if the Olympic and Paralympic Games will return to the U.S. in 2016.
On June 23, mayors from across the country will join in proclaiming the day Olympic Day in their communities, and Chicago 2016 and the USOC are encouraging communities to host events that promote physical activity and sport participation, as well as support the Olympic values of fair play, cooperation and respect for others. Activities range from rowing demonstrations in Philadelphia with U.S. Rowing and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, to a fun run in Honolulu with Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann.
Olympic Day is a worldwide commemoration of Baron Pierre de Coubertin's June 23, 1894, convening of the first International Olympic Committee meeting at the Sorbonne in Paris, and the founding of the Modern Olympic Games. National Olympic Committees throughout the world will participate in the international celebration, with each Olympic Committee sending Olympic Day greetings to participating nations.
About the America Supports Team USA Initiative
The campaign, which began Memorial Day Weekend and continues through Independence Day, includes public service announcements (PSAs) and print advertisements that will appear in media outlets including NBC, Charter Communications, CBS, Comcast, ESPN, the NHL Network, Time Inc. News Group publications and USA Today. NBC Universal is the broadcaster of the 2010 and 2012 Olympic Games and has agreed to support the USOC's campaign across all NBC Universal networks.
U.S. professional sports leagues have also extended their support of the initiative. The NBA is supporting this initiative by airing the PSA on NBA TV and NBA.com. Additionally, the PSA will air during WNBA games on ESPN 2. The NHL is also supporting the initiative on NHL.com in addition to airing the PSA on the NHL Network, Major League Baseball teams have also supported the initiative. Several teams will run the PSA at ballparks around the nation and Olympians and Paralympians will throw out ceremonial first pitches at several ballparks.
National Governing Bodies (NGBs) have also been heavily involved. "America Supports Team USA" will be featured at events such as USA Baseball's games against Guatemala and Cuba in Durham, N.C., USA Swimming National Championships in Indianapolis, Ind., USA Taekwondo National Championships/Junior Olympics in Austin, Texas, USA Track & Field National Championships in Eugene, Ore., USA Triathlon Hy Vee Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, and USA Volleyball's Girl's Junior Championships and Women's Pan Am Cup in Miami, Fla.
How Can Americans Help?
There are a number of direct ways that fans can show their ongoing support for Team USA:
Partnership Support Makes It Possible
Team USA's Corporate Sponsor Family plays an integral role in each and every day of an Olympian, Paralympian and hopeful's training. Through the 'America Supports Team USA' initiative, Team USA Partners have created unique opportunities for activation beyond the time period surrounding the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
United Airlines will promote the initiative and a U.S. Olympic United Miles Donation program in their award-winning monthly in-flight magazine, Hemispheres, as well as during their in-flight programming. Hilton Hotels will air the PSAs in guest rooms.
Where Does The Money Go?
Approximately 80% of the USOC's operating budget goes directly to support Olympians, Paralympians and hopefuls training to represent Team USA, including: