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September 24, 2014

Special Olympics Picks Up Red Ball in New Awareness Campaign

As it prepares for next summer's Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, the sports-focused disability charity is rolling out a new advertising campaign that aims to turn a red ball into a symbol of tolerance and acceptance, writes The New York Times.

The print and broadcast ads being introduced this week also seek to raise awareness of the Special Olympics Unified Sports program, which encourages people with and without intellectual disabilities to participate in athletics together. The spots take a confident tone, presenting red balls of different shapes and sizes with messages like, "Intolerance, prepare for an upset," and "Changing the world is a contact sport. Game on."

Special Olympics head Timothy Shriver said the charity began laying the groundwork for the campaign a year and a half ago in an effort to go beyond "promoting events." "We felt we had a larger narrative arc," he said.