From Brandon Park in Lancaster, Pa., to Walnut Hill Park in Dallas, the Sprite Spark Parks Project is transforming public basketball courts across America—and the lives of countless young athletes who want to play ball.
Throughout 2011, Sprite has pledged to invest approximately $2 million into building or restoring recreational facilities across the nation in order to give some 1 million people better access to athletic activities. As part of this initiative, the Sprite Spark Parks Project awarded 21 basketball courts around the nation with $20,000 and $35,000 refurbishment grants today.
"I know first-hand just how important it is for youth to have a neighborhood basketball park where they can play ball early in life," says NBA champion LeBron James, who has partnered with Sprite on the program. "The Sprite Spark Parks Project is a great way to give young athletes the chance to be active and make their basketball dreams a reality by providing them with a fresh place to play the game."
The project is an ideal fit for the Sprite brand, which has long featured basketball players in its advertisements. In 2010, the lemon-lime soft drink got a facelift of its own with the unveiling of a new “Spark” logo that captures the sparkling beverage’s invigorating qualities. Now, through this project and others, the brand is dedicated to bringing that same “spark” to 150 neighborhood parks, playgrounds, athletic fields and basketball courts throughout the United States.
The Sprite Spark Parks Project Selection Process
With help from the nonprofit National Recreation and Park Association, Sprite identified 25 basketball courts in need of some serious TLC. People across the country also participated in the process by nominating basketball courts in their areas by logging onto Sprite.com and Facebook.com/Sprite. The top nominees became finalists for the program.
The top recipients in seven regions each receive a $35,000 refurbishment grant; 14 other winning courts get $20,000 grants. Park managers can use the grants to resurface courts and equip them with new rims, backboards, lights, benches and even art installations.
Future Sprite Spark Parks Projects That Will Benefit Communities
The Sprite Spark Parks Project is a multiphase initiative. For part two of the program, Sprite is collaborating with Habitat for Humanity International to restore outdoor parks and community spaces across America.
Families can participate by collecting and mailing in the green tabs found on specially marked Sprite and Sprite Zero 12-ounce cans. For every green Sprite tab redeemed, the brand will donate 10 cents to Habitat for Humanity, with a guaranteed $250,000 donation. For more information, go to SpriteGreenTabs.com.
The third and final phase of the 2011 Sprite Spark Parks Project offers schools a chance to win either a playground or an athletic field renovation.
People can submit My Coke Rewards codes found on Sprite and Sprite Zero Fridge Packs and 2-liter products to redeem points for their designated schools. More information is available at MyCokeRewards.com/Sprite.
"Our goal with the Sprite Spark Parks Project is to ensure that communities all over the country have safe and fun places where people can get active and play," says Augusto Elias, Sprite brand director, Coca-Cola North America. "Teaming up with local residents and officials to support their home parks is a rewarding way to encourage active fun."
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