Herbalife Supports Courageous Special Olympics Athletes
By Megan Jordan, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Communications, Herbalife
August 8, 2015
Summing up the Special Olympics World Summer Games Los Angeles 2015 experience in a few words is difficult because the movement is so close to my heart. As a member of the board of directors for Special Olympics Southern California, my family and I have become friends with a number of local athletes and enjoy volunteering whenever we can.
As a recent addition to Team Herbalife, I was so proud to see our company support the World Games as an official snack supplier, providing 300,000 co-branded Herbalife Formula 1 Express Meal Bars to athletes, coaches and volunteers during the event. But what really demonstrated the sincere compassion and generosity of the Herbalife community was the way our independent Herbalife members and employees rallied.
Getting Involved, Giving Back
From the time we announced our sponsorship, members and employees began to reach out and offer to help. For two weeks prior to the games, hundreds from the Herbalife community volunteered their time at our Los Angeles Distribution Center to make sure that more than 6,000 Special Olympics World Summer Games Los Angeles 2015 volunteers had their uniforms and credentials. I am sincerely grateful to everyone who came out to support this effort. It truly took a village to make the check-in process possible.
In a show of teamwork, respect and inclusion, members ran alongside Special Olympics athletes during the Unified Torch Run as it traveled on its way to its final destination at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for Opening Ceremonies.
I was also blown away by the generosity of our employees and members who directly supported more than 700 athletes from Central America, Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific – about 10% of all competitors who came to the games. Support for the athletes consisted of Herbalife products, apparel, accessories and sports bags. In one instance, members raised and donated funds to pay for athletes from Ghana to fly to the games. Herbalife employees and members also raised funds to help the South Africa delegation get to Los Angeles.
While in Los Angeles, the delegation from El Salvador and some athletes from the Philippines visited Herbalife corporate offices in Downtown Los Angeles to meet employees, tour the facilities and sample our sports nutrition products.
Cheering for a Cause
The entire World Games event lasted nine days, but three days in particular stood out for me as an Herbalife employee:
- On Saturday, July 25, it was amazing to see more than 1,000 members and employees from Herbalife come out to opening ceremonies, and have Chairman and CEO Michael Johnson join the delegation from Uruguay in the Parade of Athletes.
- On Sunday, July 26, more than 700 of our members and employees cheered on the competitors at the triathlon in Long Beach. One of our sponsored professional triathletes, Heather Jackson, was on hand to provide encouragement and coaching. I was able to join Heather, Michael Johnson and Rob Levy, executive vice president of worldwide sales and marketing at Herbalife, to place the gold on Division 5 triathlon medal winner Benjamin Heitmeyer.
- And on Friday, July 31, hundreds of employees and their family and friends participated in the Fans In the Stands program to cheer on the athletes playing soccer at U.C.L.A.’s Drake Stadium. All week during the games at U.C.L.A., we had a festival booth, staffed with enthusiastic members and their families.
The energy and involvement of our members and employees during the Special Olympics World Summer Games Los Angeles 2015 is a direct reflection of our company commitment to improving our communities. We created a video, “Privileged to Walk in the Company of Champions” to celebrate this partnership that has touched us all and sincerely believe that collectively, all who participated are #ChampionsTogether.