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Special Olympics and Nielsen Announce Strategic Alliance

Nielsen will help measure and provide a deeper understanding of the population of adults with intellectual disabilities as a key demographic.

Press Release

Washington, D.C. - Special Olympics today announced a strategic alliance with Nielsen to uncover and illustrate the purchasing power of people with intellectual disabilities (ID). As part of the strategic alliance, Nielsen will help measure and provide a deeper understanding of the population of adults with intellectual disabilities as a key demographic.  People with ID are consumers - they own homes, they have jobs, they vote, but yet, their purchasing power as consumers is not fully understood.  This work is part of a broader engagement that includes access to market intelligence research and consumer insights to help build understanding, awareness and impact for Special Olympics worldwide.

"We are thrilled to be working with the leaders in global information and measurement to help us learn more about people with intellectual disabilities (ID) and their influence in our communities and the impact of our work with them.  Stigma is one of the biggest barriers to people with ID being fully included in our communities - with this work we can change attitudes," said Special Olympics CEO Janet Froetscher.  "Access to Nielsen's expertise, data and insights will allow us to understand the impact Special Olympics has on society and how to grow that impact. It will allow us to better understand the needs of our athletes, how we can better serve them and how we can continue to bring more athletes into our movement. " 

Just last month Special Olympics launched a new global "Play Unified" marketing campaign that is inspiring and mobilizing young people around the world to connect with people with intellectual disabilities and create more inclusive communities, leading to a more respectful world for everyone.  Next summer, 7,000 Special Olympics athletes from over 170 countries will descend upon Los Angeles for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games and compete for 9 days in 25 sports competitions. As the selected global market research provider, Nielsen will support Special Olympics vision of creating a more inclusive world by measuring the social and economic impact of Special Olympics World Games as a vehicle for inspiring attitude change towards people with intellectual disabilities.  The Special Olympics World Games Global Impact Survey will be developed and administered to determine how the movement's flagship event creates social inclusion and positive societal changes for people with ID.  In addition to the Global Impact Survey, Nielsen will also develop and administer a Global Athlete Survey to assist Special Olympics in understanding their 4.4 million athletes around the world and their needs. 

"We are honored to be selected as the Global Market Research and Insights provider for the Special Olympics. We believe that people with intellectual disabilities are influential consumers and we are pleased to partner with the world's preeminent ID organization, Special Olympics, commented Amy Fenton, Global Leader, Nielsen Public Development & Sustainability.   "Unlocking the economic power of this group will help Special Olympics to create and execute more successful programs."


Christy White
Special Olympics
+1 (202) 824-0307

Andrew McCaskill
+1 (646) 654-5577

About Special Olympics

Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports, every day around the world. We empower people with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all.  Using sports as the catalyst and programming around health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance.  Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 4.4 million athletes in 170 countries.  With the support of more than 1.3 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and more than 81,000 games and competitions throughout the year.  Special Olympics is supported by individuals, foundations and partners, including the Christmas Records Trust, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics®, The Coca-Cola Company, The Walt Disney Company and ESPN, Lions Clubs International, Mattel, P&G, Bank of America, Essilor Vision Foundation, the B. Thomas Golisano Foundation, Finish Line, The Safeway Foundation, and Safilo Group. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org.  Engage with us on: Twitter @specialolympics; fb.com/specialolympics; youtube.com/specialolympicshq, instagram.com/specialolymics and specialolympicsblog.wordpress.com.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings N.V. is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.