Digital Campaign of the Week: Special Olympics Great Britain

The Special Olympics has teamed up with parenting website to raise awareness of how sport can affect the lives of people with learning disabilities

Omar Haddad, Special Olympics GB gymnast
Omar Haddad, Special Olympics GB gymnast

What is it?

Special Olympics, the provider of year-round sports training and competition for people with learning disabilities, has partnered with social networking website, which has 840,000 members, for a month-long campaign to increase support for the charity.

What are they doing? will host an interactive online film called Encouragement on a dedicated campaign microsite. It was created by award winning director Johnny Green and filmed at Wembley Arena. It stars Omar Haddad, a Special Olympics GB gymnast from Widnes, who will be representing Great Britain next year at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens. In the film, Haddad is seen preparing for and performing a gymnastics routine - online users can use an interactive volume slider to control the level of encouragement he receives from the crowd.

Anything else?

The site will also host a web chat with Special Olympics representatives and members, and provide information on Special Olympics GB and ways to get involved with the charity.

Why have they teamed up?

Omar Haddad, special olympics gymnastKaren Wallin, chief executive of Special Olympics Great Britain, said: "The partnership provides the perfect portal for reaching mothers and their families. We want families to understand the many benefits Special Olympics Great Britain offers people with learning disabilities, not only in terms of fitness but also in inspiring self-confidence and providing an opportunity for the whole family to make friends."

How is the campaign being promoted?

The campaign is being flagged up on the Special Olympics Twitter feed and its Facebook page. PR agency Lexis, which is supporting the campaign, is also seeding the campaign out to 'mummy' bloggers. The campaign was devised by JWT.

What else is happening?

The partnership is part of a wider Encouragement campaign to raise awareness of the importance of encouragement for athletes with learning disabilities. The Special Olympics website features numerous ways members of the public can get involved in the Encouragement campaign, from attending local events or spreading the word about the positive effect Special Olympics can have, to fundraising and volunteering.

Third Sector verdict:

Partnering with is a smart move because onlne parenting websites have become increasingly popular and influential in recent years. The interactive video will engage users and their children; and the web chat will help to explain what the charity is hoping to achieve and encourage parents to get involved.


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