What: Laureus USA is teaming up with NIKE to Launch Sport For Good New York City.
Why it matters: The commitment of these two global brands will help improve the lives of underserved youth, including a vibrant Latino population in NYC, through the power of sport.
Keeping young Latinos active in sport, and getting brands involved in the process, is a challenge and a growing priority across the United States. As the population ages and things like eSports get more traction, the worry of obesity becomes an even bigger challenge.
One of the groups trying to meet that challenge head on is Laureus USA (@Laureus_USA), which, in conjunction with Nike (@nike) announced the launch of Sport for Good New York City (S4G NYC), a long-term commitment to improving the lives of underserved youth in the five boroughs of New York City through the power of sport. It is the first of a national series Laureus USA is putting on, with the goal to activate in over 20 cities and reach millions of young people, the core of which are Latinos and other minorities.
By bringing together nonprofit leaders, providing resources and facilitating collaboration at the local level, Sport for Good New York City will ensure more children and youth have access to high quality, youth-centered sports programs. To support the launch of S4G NYC, Laureus USA, awarded grants to eight local nonprofit organizations that use sport or physical activity to empower local youth. Olympic legend Edwin Moses helped kick off the initiative with kids from I Challenge Myself, one of the New York City grant recipients.
“Latinos are the fastest growing population in the United States, but inequities contribute to a higher obesity rate among Latino children than among Caucasian children,” said Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, CEO of Laureus USA and Olympic Gold Medalist in Track and Field. “Sport for Good seeks to provide all children with safe, accessible opportunities to play sports, keep fit and be a part of a healthy community. We kicked off Sport for Good NYC this week with two of our eight NYC grantees, South Bronx United and I Challenge Myself, both of which are geared towards Latino youth. ICM operates predominately in Washington Heights and SBU serves majority Latino youth.”
Key to the success is corporate involvement, and bringing Nike on board shows not just the viability of the program as a whole, it makes the results tangible for the young people involved.
Latinos to Benefit Greatly From the Program
Nationally, 40% of the youth Laureus impacts are Latino. Their star studded lineup of ambassadors includes Raul Gonzalez Blanco, Luis Figo, Hugo Porta, Cafu and Emerson Fittipaldi.
Key to the success is corporate involvement, and bringing Nike on board shows not just the viability of the program as a whole, it makes the results tangible for the young people involved. Nike’s three-year commitment to Laureus USA for S4G NYC will support participating organizations with access to knowledge, trainings and funding. “Nike is committed to getting kids moving around the world, and we’ve been helping to get kids in NYC moving for more than a decade,” added Caitlin Morris, General Manager of Nike Global Community Impact. “We know kids are made to play and when they do, they have the potential to do better in every aspect of their lives. We’re excited to be partnering with Laureus USA to launch Sport for Good New York City and extending these benefits to even more kids through a diverse range of organizations across the city who share our commitment.”
“Having a brand like Nike involved brings more visibility and funding to the needs of inner city youth,” Mosely added. “Kids also get more excited to be involved with the project. Nike has a wealth of resources that Laureus and Sport for Good NYC will now be able to tap into and we are grateful for their generous support and involvement.”
While the Nike/Laureus USA partnership is just a start in the much needed engagement of young people and healthy lifestyle, it is a great start, as it ties together many of the key pieces needed for effective sports cause marketing: a massive lifestyle brand, celebrity athletes, large numbers of effected youth, and the growing demo of Latinos, who still remain underutilized in the sports space.
New York was a solid kickoff, creating a quality environment and a memorable day for all. The bar is now set for growth across the US, with Nike the first of many joining the team for this crucial mission with Latino youth.