As Special Olympics’ Official Technology Partner, Microsoft has been collaborating with Special Olympics since October 2014, when the two organizations launched a multi-year, global partnership with the goal of empowering Programs and athletes through technology. Microsoft provides both financial and in-kind support to Special Olympics, including free software suites for all Special Olympics’ 220 accredited Programs globally, empowering efficient Programs for people with intellectual disabilities around the globe.
Microsoft and 2015 World Summer Games
In 2015, Microsoft provided over 2,000 hardware devices, software licenses, and financial support to the Special Olympics 2015 World Games. Additionally, Microsoft worked to raise awareness of Special Olympics through retail & social cause marketing campaigns. The retail activation engaged all Microsoft Stores across North America, raising more than $250,000. The social media campaigns highlighted four athletes from around the world as they prepared for the World Games. These stories generated over 18 million impressions and helped to transform public perceptions of individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Upgrade Your World Campaign
In March 2016, Special Olympics was featured as a part of Windows #UpgradeYourWorld campaign. Held in Los Angeles at Venice Beach and Microsoft Square at LA Live, athletes with and without intellectual disabilities from Special Olympics Unified Sports teams invited passersby to play impromptu "Streetball" soccer games on projected fields. Streetball raised awareness of Special Olympics' Unified Sports program, which brings people of all abilities together to train and compete in sports. The videos reached over 2 million people.
Sponsorship of 2017 World Winter Games and 2018 USA Games
In 2017, Microsoft will be a main sponsor and once again provide the hardware devices and software licenses needed to efficiently run the Winter World Games in Austria. Microsoft will also be sponsoring 30 Special Olympics athletes from delegations around the world through Mission 3000, select athletes will be featured in a global marketing campaign.
In May, Microsoft announced their support of Special Olympics 2018 USA Games in Seattle, Washington. Microsoft is the Premier Partner of the USA Games. Brad Smith, Microsoft’s President and Chief Legal Officer, is serving as the Honorary Chair of the 2018 USA Games.