Y&R Named Global AOR For The Special Olympics

WPP’s Y&R has been awarded global agency of record duties for the Special Olympics, the organizations confirmed Friday. The appointment, which came after a review, marks the first time that the Special Olympics has named a global AOR for its marketing efforts.

The account will be led out of Y&R New York. It wasn’t immediately clear what the Special Olympics spending budget is going forward. However, the group's 2013 business plan states a goal of generating 5 billion print, broadcast and online impressions worldwide. It now has 4.2 million participating athletes representing 170 countries, according to the organization. In the U.S., nearly $1.5 million was spent advertising the Special Olympics in 2012 according to Kantar.

Y&R’s initial work for the account will break early next year with an integrated campaign that will include TV, print, digital, social media, experiential and fund-raising efforts, the agency said.

“We are ready for the world to engage with our brand, especially as we move toward the Special Olympics World Summer Games that will take place in Los Angeles July 25–August 2, 2015,” stated Tim Shriver, chairman and CEO of the Special Olympics. 



Shriver indicated that Y&R has already developed “an incredible idea big enough to work across all of our programs. It is a concept that is relevant to and will resonate in virtually all the 170 countries in which we operate. It is a galvanizing idea that we believe will accelerate and intensify the progress and impact of Special Olympics.” But he did not spill the beans on what exactly the big idea is. Guess we’ll have to wait for the campaign.

No hints from Y&R Global CEO David Sable on what the big idea is either, although he did issue this statement: “Their tremendous growth around the world reflects not only their passion and commitment to a better world, but their ability to change hearts, minds and behavior.”

The initial Y&R contract goes through 2015. 

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