EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — WWE announced at WrestleMania 29 that it has become a Founding Partner for the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games, a national sporting event in New Jersey June 14 to 21. The announcement was made on stage at MetLife Stadium with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, 2014 USA Games Chairman and CEO TJ Nelligan, President of Special Olympics North America Bob Gobrecht, President of Special Olympics New Jersey Marc Edenzon, WWE Executive Vice President of Creative Stephanie McMahon and Special Olympics athletes Ashley Weber of New Jersey and David Dennin of Connecticut.
“WWE is proud to serve as a Founding Partner of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games and utilize our global platforms to bring more attention to the accomplishments of so many determined and extraordinary athletes,” WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon said. “WWE, its Superstars and employees look forward to being part of these important events.”
Nearly 3,500 athletes will travel to New Jersey for the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games to compete in 16 Olympic-style team and individual sports, with the support of 1,000 coaches, 10,000 volunteers and an anticipated 70,000 spectators. The 2014 USA Games will celebrate the Special Olympics movement, promote the ideals of acceptance and inclusion through sport, and showcase the abilities of athletes with intellectual disabilities.
WWE will utilize all of its platforms, including TV broadcasts, Live Events, and digital and social media to generate awareness and raise funds in support of the USA Games. WWE will serve as the Official Production Partner of the games, taping the Opening Ceremonies as well as producing daily recaps of the sporting competitions and special events throughout the games. WWE will also produce an hourlong television show highlighting the games. WWE Superstars and Divas will participate in various events in conjunction with the promotion of the 2014 USA Games, and WWE employees will serve as volunteers at the games. Additionally, WWE will make a financial contribution to support the games.
“As evidenced by WWE’s Be a STAR anti-bullying alliance, which aims to build a positive and equitable environment through education and awareness, we knew we found a perfect partner in WWE for the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games,” Nelligan said. “The drive behind Special Olympics is to build communities of inclusion and acceptance for individuals with intellectual disabilities through sport. The 2014 USA Games is a celebration of these efforts on a national scale. We are proud to partner with WWE so that we can expand our reach and showcase how remarkable our athletes truly are.”
The 2014 USA Games will be staged throughout Mercer County, N.J., including competitions at Princeton University, Rider University, the College of New Jersey and Mercer County Park, with the Opening Ceremonies taking place at the Prudential Center in Newark.
“New Jersey is honored to have been selected to host the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games,” Gov. Christie said. “We are excited for these games to not only bring participants and spectators to our state, but we are thrilled at the opportunity to show others from around the nation, the true spirit of New Jersey. These games expand the reach of inclusion and acceptance and allows a wider audience to recognize and applaud the talents of the athletes who are participating in the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games.”