July 10th, 2023
Special Olympics x Ocean partnership

June has been an incredible month, dominated by partner events, especially Special Olympics Great Britain. To think that one month ago, we were waiting in anticipation for what June held, and now we’ve launched a nationwide campaign, moved forward our internal comms around equality, completed an Ocean-first experiential area at Westfield London and the Special Olympics GB team are 137 medals up, from the World Games! I know you want all the details though… so read on below.

Tri-partnership launch

On June 5th, two weeks before the start of the Special Olympics World Games, we decided to launch our tri-partnership with Team GB, Paralympics GB and Special Olympics GB. We brought together six inspirational athletes from the three organisations to hear their thoughts and experiences, and to shoot a campaign together which we launched across 9 cities in the UK, including the iconic Piccadilly Lights in London. Find out more about this campaign.

Marcus Mason-Williams webinar

In that same week as the launch we were lucky enough to have Marcus Mason-Williams participate in a webinar to share some of his experiences with our Ocean teammates. Marcus is a gold winning Special Olympics GB athlete and wildlife artist, who is now an entrepreneur and runs his own digital design, animation and stories business, CoolArt2021, all of which he takes in his stride with his creativity, his charisma and his determination. We also heard from Colin Dyer, CEO of Special Olympics Great Britain, who spoke in detail about the organisation and their hopes for the future. We then gave our team members some ways in which they too can get involved with Special Olympics GB going forward.

World Games in Berlin

From June 17th, the Special Olympics World Games kicked off in Berlin and some of the Ocean team were lucky enough to experience the games first-hand, meet athletes and their families. We got to soak up the incredible atmosphere, see how much thought goes into an events like this and really enjoy the best side of competitive sport – one of excitement, enthusiasm, joy and togetherness.

World Games in the UK

Whilst the games were in motion, we helped to amplify the action around Great Britain, using our screens and destinations as the ultimate medium.

We also hosted a Special Olympics GB fan zone, sponsored by Toyota UK, who partner with the same three IOC organisations. Situated in Westfield Square at Westfield London, supporters were able to sit and enjoy live action on the screen. We then welcomed other Special Olympics athletes to the space for the Opening Ceremony.

Alongside that, we showed highlights every day on our screens around England and Scotland and had ‘Medal Moments’ for every athlete who won a gold, silver or bronze medal. To the right you can see Taylor Mackenzie who won two gold medals in Berlin, posing with her picture on an Ocean screen in her hometown of Dundee.

What’s next?

After the incredible performance in Berlin, the 82 athletes from Team Special Olympics Great Britain are back with their local clubs whilst we continue to take the discussion on equality, diversity and inclusion into the advertising industry. We have related events lined up with our agencies and specialists and will leverage our newly acquired knowledge and spokespeople from our partners to help.

We’ve also pulled together our internal calendar to make sure we are discussing and learning about the different awareness days for various causes. Furthermore, we will continue to create content for our screens, our blogs and our social media to grow conversations around these topics.

There may be a way to go yet, but months like this really keep us motivated to continue to amplify this message. Everything we’ve experienced recently helps to grow our passion for the work of our partners and as long as we continue to talk about EDI and take the discussion into new conversations and environments, the awareness will continue to grow.

We can’t wait to share what’s next for our partnership with Special Olympics Great Britain. Watch this space.

Special Olympics GB is the nation’s biggest provider of sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, with its regular sporting opportunities at grassroots clubs in England, Scotland and Wales helping transform thousands of lives. In June, 82 of its 6,800 registered athletes travelled to Berlin to participate at the Special Olympics World Games, which comes along every four years and is the biggest inclusive sporting event of 2023, with athletes from 192 national delegations competing.

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