Joint efforts of Austrian soccer club SK Sturm Graz and Special Olympics 2017!

On the occasion of a joint press conference at the Merkur Arena in Graz the soccer club SK Sturm Graz and Special Olympics 2017 presented their unique and exemplary cooperation project. “SK Sturm Graz is probably the most renowned Styrian sport club and thus an important partner for promoting the World Winter Games and increasing the general public’s awareness for the event. We count on the power and influence of the “Blackies” who have the possibility to promote the event through various platforms and channels both on and off the soccer field“, emphasizes the organizing committee’s vice president Jürgen Winter.

With this partnership the largest Styrian soccer club sets an important sign for the general public and shows its commitment for the Special Olympics movement and in particular for people with intellectual disabilities. Gerhard Goldbrich, the club’s general manager,is looking forward to the cooperation: “The commitment to a good cause is part of our club’s fundamental values and thus very important to SK Sturm. Therefore it is both a matter of course and our duty to be on board when an event as great as the Special Olympics World Winter Games take place in Styria. Sport unites people and builds bridges. And the joint experience gives everybody so much in return.”


The following ideas and actions will be jointly implemented by SK Sturm and Special Olympics 2017:

  • Promotion on the player’s home jerseys: the logotype “Special Olympics 2017” will prominently feature on the collar of the new home jerseys.

  • SK Sturm, i.e. players, coaches, staff become ambassadors for the World Winter Games in March 2017.

  • Online promotion of the World Winter Games and links on Facebook, the club’s homepage and other social media platforms

  • Presentation of information material regarding the World Winter Games at the SK Sturm fan shops

  • Promotional announcements and videos on the big screens at the stadium

  • In November 2016 a Special Olympics Day or “Inclusion Day” will be organized (involving numerous promotional activities like perimeter advertising, Special Olympics athletes instead of children as player escorts, honorary kick-off by Special Olympics athletes, information and promotion activities outside the stadium, etc.).

  • Volunteers at the World Winter Games in March will be invited to a game of SK Sturm to reward them for their efforts.


Long-term cooperation project: “Special Needs Team”

The aim of the cooperation project between SK Sturm and Special Olympics is to create a long-term benefit. Therefore both parties are already working on developing the concept for a “Special Needs Team”. This team will act under the auspices of SK Sturm and carry the club’s name, but it will be organized and managed by Special Olympics. SK Sturm will provide the necessary training facilities and equipment, jerseys, as well as the necessary soccer know-how. Markus Pichler (CEO Special Olympics 2017): “This cooperation is not just about a simple logotype on the jerseys. No, for our athletes it means appreciation and acceptance – thus much more. SK Sturm represents pure emotion, just like our athletes – therefore this cooperation can only be positive. It is a quantum leap for the Special Olympics movement and today is a very special day.”

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