How the Special Olympics supports digital health and strength

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A new article on Marketing Land reports that the nonprofit Special Olympics uses Brightspot, Falcon and EveryAction to support programs for everyone from athletes and donors to volunteers.

Crystal Hudson is Director of Digital Fundraising and Strategy at Special Olympics:

"There was an event going on almost every hour of the year, outside the pandemic -- across the country and globally. We had to make adjustments, not only to maintain the safety of our athletes but to keep the community strong."
Hudson was was referring to the community of adults and children with intellectual disabilities who participate in training and health programs. The scheme was founded in 1968. One of its initiatives launched a series of online fitness programs, like School of Strength, in partnership with WWE.

"It allows athletes to come to our site, follow videos, and do exercises, so they can keep healthy during this time. Some programs are doing virtual games online, finding ways where they can measure someone's output during certain activities, and compare it with other athletes. The website has become the most centralized place for resources for parents, coaches, athletes, supporters, and people looking for general information about our movement."
Special Olympics' relationship with Brightspot goes back several years. Brightspot co-founders David Gang and Lisa Beaudoin are avid supporters of the movement. Back in 2018, the organization decided to enhance its digital presence, and the website was rolled onto the Brightspot Content Business Platform:

"We did a re-design, we did a site migration -- which was a lot of work but created tons of benefit. We have a faster site; our page load time is much better. We were not on a Google-friendly platform prior to [Brightspot], and we've grown in our search traffic. The ability to put up content in a fast way -- we are able to react to news in the market-place in a way we never could before. We do integrate with them; and we're offering the ability to take the learnings from Special Olympics, in partnership with Brightspot, and offer the same platform to our programs. Special Olympics in Tennessee and Virginia have taken advantage of that. It wasn't just, we re-designed and got on their system. They help us every year, not only with the current site but the creation of new initiatives. We work together on launching the World Game sites."
Outreach via social media

Social media plays a role in engaging the community, too:

"Things we put on the website are promoted through social so that people learn about our new initiatives. School of Strength was a perfect pairing of those two things: video, quotes from the WWE superstars, quotes from the athletes that were doing it, we were sharing that back and forth, and it was a huge driver of traffic to the website."
Special Olympics uses for social media marketing and analytics, and Hudson is also responsible for digital fundraising. The organization uses paid search and paid social as well as native social to find donors:

"You go into an onboarding series, and we're educating you on our movement, keeping you involved with what we're doing on events -- not at the local level; we're trying to get you to reach out to your local program and find out what's happening."
Hudson recently adopted a new solution for nurturing her audience. EveryAction is a CRM with targeted email capabilities. She says:

"Everyone is working towards the goal of 'return to play.' But we have to be safe; we have to make sure the athletes feel safe and continue to be healthy. We are absolutely focused on athletes remaining healthy through our online programs."
#digital #health #olympics #special #strength #supports
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