ATLANTA, Nov. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Morale Entertainment Foundation, producers of the Carrier Classic, announced today that Walmart has secured a multi-year Title Sponsorship of the Carrier Classic. The Walmart Carrier Classic will tipoff the college basketball season from the flight deck of the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier docked at Patriot's Point on Friday, November 9 of the Veterans Day holiday weekend. The event will telecast live on NBC Sports Network.
Walmart's support will be accompanied by a veteran's appreciation campaign to promote awareness of the event and encourage every American to share a message of thanks to the over 25 million active duty and veterans who serve our country. The campaign will launch this week with a social media campaign through the weekend of Veteran's Day on Walmart's Facebook page where customers can click on the 'ithanku' app thumbnail to send a note of appreciation in the form of text, photos and videos. The campaign also features an in-store promotion in over 3300 stores and game-day TV advertising. Morale Entertainment support will include additional social media, television and radio promotion. Messages collected on the Carrier Classic and Walmart's Facebook pages will be a part of the game production both in-venue and during telecast on NBC Sports Network.
"With Walmart's support we can now deliver every American's simple message of 'Thank You' into the largest ever veteran's appreciation campaign for all those who have served our country and the over 25 million active duty and veterans," said Ken Kinnear, Director for Morale Entertainment Foundation. "These messages from Walmart customers will be an integral part of our game content and experience."
Walmart's sponsorship continues to build on the unprecedented success of the inaugural Carrier Classic which drew 10.2 million unique viewers and ranked #2 out of 389 regular season college basketball games. Last year's Carrier Classic hosted over 8000 active duty members of the military, Veterans, Medal of Honor Recipients, President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama. The 2011 event was named "one of the year's best sports events" by the Sports Business Journal, and helped to generate significant support for Veterans Charities while being widely acclaimed by attendees, participants, representatives of the US Military and Department of Defense.
The 2012 Walmart Carrier Classic will feature both an NCAA Men's and Women's game. The Men's game will showcase 2012 NCAA Final Four participant Ohio State and NCAA Sweet 16 participant Marquette. In the Women's game, Notre Dame, the 2012 NCAA championship runner up, will take on Ohio State, which finished No. 16 in the AP Top 25. The Women's game expands the Walmart Carrier Classic and enables Morale and its sponsors the opportunity to elevate awareness of women's critical role in service to our country.
Both the Men's and Women's games will be telecast on NBC Sports Network. The Men's game between Marquette and Ohio State will tip-off live at 7:00 p.m. ET, the Women's game between Notre Dame and Ohio State will air live at 4 p.m. ET.
The Walmart Carrier Classic will also join with Victory Media to announce the G.I. Jobs 2013 list of Top 100 Military Friendly Employers®. The #1 Military Friendly Employer® in the nation will be on hand to accept an award during half time ceremonies and to share their commitment with thousands of active duty troops and veterans in attendance. The G.I. Jobs' Military Friendly Employers® list, in its tenth year, serves as the primary benchmark of corporate programs aimed at recruiting veterans and is the de facto resource for service members seeking civilian employment. The list of Military Friendly Employers® is determined via an annual, data-driven, survey conducted by Victory Media, Inc. and verified by Ernst & Young. Wal-Mart has earned a spot on the list for the past 3 years.
Designated beneficiaries for this year's event include the Wounded Warrior Project, Congressional Medal of Honor Society and the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. Sponsorship negotiation and activation for title sponsorship handled on behalf of Morale Entertainment Foundation by WITH/Sims agency.
In addition to career opportunities for veterans and military families, Walmart and its Foundation have committed $20 million through 2015 to support organizations and programs that provide job training, transition and education assistance to military personnel. For more information, visit walmartcareerswithamission.com and corporate.walmart.com.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 200 million customers and members visit our 10,300 stores under 69 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 10 countries. With fiscal year 2012 sales of approximately $444 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmartnewsroom. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.
About the Morale Entertainment Foundation
The Walmart Carrier Classic is produced by the non-profit Morale Entertainment Foundation to benefit accredited Veteran's Charities such as Congressional Medal of Honor Society, Fisher House, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, and the Wounded Warrior Project. The founders of Morale have careers in entertainment, broadcasting, government and sports with combined experience including thousands of network broadcasts, concerts, sporting and special events including 21 Olympic Games, 40 Super Bowls and 30 Final Fours. More information about Morale, its Carrier Classic and other events can be found at http://www.carrierclassic.org.
SOURCE Morale Entertainment Foundation