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Special Spectators Announces Marketing Partnerships Advisory Board of Sports Media Industry Influencers

NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- 03/28/14 -- Special Spectators, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that creates magical game day experiences for seriously ill children and their families, announces the formation of its Marketing Partnerships Advisory Board, comprised of 6 Sports Media influencers, to guide new growth of the charity. In collaboration with Special Spectators founders and the organization's marketing, collegiate, and hospital partners, the Advisory Board will help establish corporate partnerships in 2014 and beyond. These partnerships will facilitate the charity's expansion, enabling Special Spectators to play a significant role in the lives of even more seriously ill children.

Special Spectators is known for hosting these special game day experiences at collegiate athletic events nationwide, and has just concluded its largest season to date, with nearly 40 games, culminating with the 65th Reese's Senior Bowl. Since 2002, the organization has hosted over 7,300 patients and their families at over 250 games, mostly in college football.

"Serving seriously ill children and their families for over 12 years now, Blake and the team at Special Spectators are reevaluating their approach to funding. Through multi-year marketing partnerships with brands that share the same ideals and values as Special Spectators, we expect to facilitate the growth of the organization's philanthropic efforts. Special Spectators has now scaled its platform to include events at many of the top BCS schools, hosting thousands of children and their families each year, in partnership with prominent coaches and the nation's top hospitals. We could not be more enthusiastic about where the group is headed for years to come," said Advisory Board member Rich Routman, Chief Revenue Officer, Sporting News Media.

The Advisory Board will play an integral role in helping the organization's founder and core team -- all entirely unpaid, volunteer staff -- identify and establish marketing partners and other funding opportunities, all of which will allow the organization to fully operationalize and achieve its longer term goals.

"This program is about consistency on so many fronts, from consistently enriching children's lives, to being consistently part of the community in any given town, from Berkeley, California to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to Blacksburg, Virginia. So, we'd expect our marketing partners would want to mirror that approach," said Special Spectators Founder and Executive Director Blake Rockwell.

"We are so honored to have this group of incredibly accomplished and passionate Sports Media professionals on our side -- who are equally as passionate about our mission of serving as many seriously ill children as we can all year long in towns nationwide."

Advisory Board members include Sports Media, Experiential Marketing, Communications, and Advisory professionals: Jay FitzGerald, New York Regional Advertising Sales Manager for the Red Bull Media House; Scott Malaga, SVP Business Development for MKTG, Inc.; Stan Phelps, Founder of 9 INCH Marketing, Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Consultant; Rich Routman, Chief Revenue Officer, Sporting News Media, a Perform Group Company; Jeff Tomback, Sporting News Media, VP, East Coast Sales; Tom Woodard, Director of Communications, Tri Star Energy.

More about the Organization
The organization's VIP game days are centered around seriously ill children and their families, creating special access and allowing them to feel very much a part of the team. These days are designed to provide a pause from the difficulties families face, as their children battle serious illnesses. VIP moments that make up the day include locker room tours, visits with the team and coaches, a custom tailgate, and many activities and surprises around the stadium that are not available to most fans.

Special Spectators partners with athletic departments, coaching staffs, athletes, multimedia rights holders, local hospitals, volunteers, network broadcasters, and corporate sponsors to serve these children and families nationwide. The organization is entirely volunteer-based, with no paid staff and relies heavily on donations and in-kind support to fuel its calendar of events each year. Follow Special Spectators on Twitter @SpecialFans or find them on Facebook. To speak with the organization about Sponsorships or other funding opportunities please contact [email protected].

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