GOLD MEDALIST CULLEN JONES AND OLYMPIC GREATS ANNOUNCE “EVERY STEP OF THE WAY” PROGRAM TO SUPPORT U.S. OLYMPIC & PARALYMPIC ATHLETES & HOPEFULS
Friday, April 13, 2012
Citi Announces Innovative Digital 2012 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Program to Support the Next Generation of America's Athletes
Citi launches program with $500,000 donation to U.S. Olympic Committee; Fans direct Citi's donation via activity on Facebook and Twitter
Unique program will fund U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Sport Programs in communities across America at citi.com/everystep
New York – To support America's next generation of athletes, Citi announced a $500,000 donation to the U.S. Olympic Committee to launch Every Step of the WaySM, an innovative digital program benefitting U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls and athletes of all ages in communities across America. For this truly digital Olympic Games, Citi, the official bank sponsor of the 2012 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams, has developed a truly digital program.
"For 200 years, Citi has helped people on their journey from ambition to achievement and has been an important part of the fabric of communities across America," said Citi CEO Vikram Pandit. "We are extremely proud to support Team Citi and to invest in the future of America's best athletes. Making a difference to future Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls is a great way to honor Team USA, give back to our communities and support the Olympic Movement."
"We share in Citi's excitement for its Every Step of the Way program," said Lisa Baird, USOC chief marketing officer. "Citi has created a dynamic program that offers fans of the Olympic and Paralympic Games a meaningful way to connect with athletes. Citi's contribution will leave a lasting impact with the next generation of U.S. hopefuls and athletes across the country."
Already a corporate sponsor of Team USA and the USOC, Citi wanted to do more by creating a way to help fund U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Sport Programs that have inspired Citi's team of 13 athletes. Citi also wanted to make it possible for its customers and Olympic fans to get in on the action.
Through the dynamic and interactive Every Step of the Way program, Citi's $500,000 donation is being represented by 50 million ThankYou® Points – the currency of Citi ThankYou® Rewards. This unique program allows the American people to help allocate these ThankYou® Points to Sport Programs through activity on Facebook and Twitter, allowing Team Citi athletes to say "thank you" to the Sport Programs that have inspired them.
"It is truly an honor to be a member of Team Citi with these 12 athletes," said three-time Olympic gold medalist and Team Citi member Rowdy Gaines. "What I like most about what Citi is doing is the fact that they are so creative in trying to do something right for our athletes. To be able to take a $500,000 donation – which translates into 50 million ThankYou Points – to support these Sport Programs is phenomenal. The best part is the ability to connect with fans socially and truly make an impact."
Each member of Team Citi has identified a local Sport Program that inspired his or her journey to the Olympic and Paralympic Games. These U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Sport Programs have specific needs that will help a wide range of athletes at different ability levels in communities across the country. The Every Step of the Way program will work to fulfill those needs by allowing individuals to help direct points through every day social media activity to give these programs the resources they need to support the next generation of athletes on their journey from ambition to achievement.
How the Program Works and How to Join the Movement:
Fans can join the movement on Citi's Every Step of the Way Facebook page and at www.citi.com/everystep. For fans who accept the Every Step of the Way Facebook application, the program will match shared profile interests between fans and Team Citi athletes and suggest a member of Team Citi for the fan to follow, or fans can simply choose one they would like to support.
In addition to selecting an athlete to support, fans who participate through Facebook can also help direct how the 50 million ThankYou Points are allocated through their activity on Facebook and Twitter – using a #CitiEveryStep hashtag, replying to a tweet about the campaign with the hashtag or inviting friends to sign up. For each activity, ThankYou Points from Citi's donation will be directed to the U.S. Olympic or Paralympic Sport Program specific to the fan's Team Citi athlete.
The more a fan participates, the more ThankYou Points they can direct to the Sport Program until its goal is reached. At the end of the program, the USOC will use Citi's donation to give the cash equivalent of the ThankYou Points directly to the Sport Program matched with the Team Citi athlete.