50th Anniversary Celebration

From humble beginnings in Chicago’s Soldier Field, Special Olympics has grown to become a global movement, serving 5 million athletes annually in more than 170 countries. For their 50th Anniversary, Special Olympics chose to return to Chicago with a series of high-profile celebrations and events.
Arena Partners collaborated with top leadership from Special Olympics’ international and local entities on a broad scope of responsibilities, including project management, fundraising/sponsorship sales, rights & benefits fulfillment, event production, and strategic advisory.
The end result was an incredible celebration of the human spirit capped by a star-studded festival and concert celebration at the site of the very first Special Olympics Games in 1968.

Strategy Consulting

Business Development

Production Management

Strategy Consulting

Developed 15-month strategic roadmap to raise funds by identifying and prioritizing prospect outreach
Designed and managed digital and social media campaign to fund Eternal Flame of Hope monument at Soldier Field
Provided strategic advisory services to 50th Anniversary Executive Committee and organizational leadership

Business Development

Identified and developed relationships with new donors to create lasting partnerships
Developed and managed fulfillment of rights & benefits for global and local sponsors across all events
Development campaign raised more than $11 million across local and global partners for 50th Anniversary

Production Management

Designed and produced festival for 20,000 featuring sports, celebrity appearances, live entertainment, sponsor activations, and more
Produced gala event for 800 Special Olympics alumni and families to kick-off events in Chicago
Weeklong series of events and celebrations saw more than 40,000 attendees and generated millions of impressions