When the Special Olympics USA Games descends on the area in June 2022 and comes to ESPN’s Wide World of Sports for many of its events, Osceola County and its tourism marketing arm Experience Kissimmee will figure heavily in the presence.
The county approved a Letter of Intent with the organizing committee Monday to be one of the event’s platinum sponsors in joint partnership with Experience Kissimmee. The $500,000 sponsorship will be paid over three years with Tourist Development Tax funds from a $3.6 million reserves account.
Here’s the bang for the buck: the platinum sponsorship includes: intellectual property rights, camera-visible signage at venues, opening and closing ceremony, sponsorship of major event components, website, app and digital marketing priority, Fan Zone and hospitality signage, branded content on LED screens, full-page Experience Kissimmee ads in the Games’ program and access to VIP events.
Wide World, along with Orlando sports venues like the YMCA swimming complex and the U.S. Tennis Association campus in Lake Nona, will host Special Olympics competitions in 21 sports. The county estimates 35,000 people will descend on the area, driving about 67,000 hotel room nights. ESPN is the games’ broadcast partner.
The games are an expansive deal, featuring some 4,000 athletes, 10,000 volunteers, 1,500 coaches, and 125,000 fans from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, to put on and compete in one of the country’s most cherished sporting events.
Athletes will compete in 16 Olympic-type team and individual sports and five demonstration sports. The Games promote the ideals of acceptance and inclusion through sport, and showcase the athleticism and abilities of people with intellectual disabilities, while highlighting how the Special Olympics works to build community.