Case Studies
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Special Olympics World Games

21 worked with the organizing committee of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles to assist with the structure and procurement of commercial relationships.

Below is an article from Around the Rings that discusses the Special Olympics-Microsoft partnership.

Special Olympics International is entering the 21st century with Microsoft technology.

21 Marketing founder and CEO Rob Prazmark told Around the Rings the impact of the latest deal between Special Olympics International and Microsoft will completely revolutionize the movement.

“We’ve been involved in some massive deals for the IOC and FIFA, worth some hundreds of millions of dollars,” Prazmark told ATR in an interview. “The impact that Microsoft will have on Special Olympics for decades to come far surpasses any of them in my estimation.”

ATR has learned the three-year deal is worth in the “eight-figure” range and will provide Special Olympics International with newlydesigned Microsoft cloud technology. The technology will be used to provide real time medical and record keeping data for the entire organization and its roughly 170 member countries.

Microsoft will first implement the technology at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles, and then the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Styria, Austria.

Prazmark believes that the coordination with Special Olympics International headquartered in Washington, D.C. will allow the technology to “trickle-down” to many of the thousands of local Special Olympics events worldwide.

“[Special Olympics International] is basically an organization that is stuck in the 90s from a technology standpoint and [Microsoft] is bringing them into the 21st century instantaneously.”

The agreement will function similarly to an IOC TOP Sponsorship, but instead of dealing with each country involved in Special Olympics individually, Microsoft will funnel its technology through Special Olympics International.

“The Special Olympics people have been cobbling together games to games all this technology, and it’s a nail biter.”

For all athletes competing in the Special Olympics, it will be the first time organizers will have access to necessary medical information in real time.

“The other component is Microsoft is going to create a global program to involve all of their employees to give to Special Olympics worldwide. This could be a huge multi-million dollar campaign, and no one has really done that on a global basis.”

Prazmark says that Microsoft and ESPN, who will broadcast the 2015 event live worldwide, are changing the dialogue to how corporations view people with intellectual disability.

“The energy I see coming out of Microsoft is unlike any other energy I’ve seen out of other companies, Olympicwise, World Cup-wise or Special Olympic-wise.”

“What you are seeing with the Microsoft arrangement is really one moment in time that will forever change the destiny and perception of people with intellectual disabilities on a global basis.”