ORLANDO, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Forty-eight Orlando-area teens, ages 14-16, will have the unique opportunity to experience the historic 2016 Copa América Centenario matches directly from the field. Sprint (NYSE: S), an official partner of Copa América Centenario, has teamed up with the Orlando City Foundation and Academy Sports + Outdoors by offering their members a chance to represent the City Beautiful as flagbearers at opening ceremonies during the matches on June 4th, 6th, 8th at the Camping World Stadium.
Sprint will be donating $5,000 to the Orlando City Foundation, the community relations arm of Orlando City Soccer Club’s Major League Soccer team to support programs in the community. In addition, Academy Sports + Outdoors, which has nine locations throughout Florida, outfitted each of the kids with NIKE sneakers.
“These kids are soccer enthusiasts so for many it’s not only an honor for them to serve as a flagbearer, it’s also a dream come true,” said Claudio Hidalgo, Sprint president for Florida, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. “We’re proud to work alongside Orlando City Foundation and Academy Sports + Outdoors to offer this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to our local youth.”
This year’s Copa América is not only designed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Copa America, but it is also a chance to bring all of the Americas into one competition for the first time. Ten U.S.-based venues will host the prestigious South American tournament, including Orlando.
“Providing our fans with the highest quality of professional soccer is at the core of our Club’s mission,” said Kay Rawlins, the Foundation’s president and community relations director. “Being able to collaborate with great partners to help our fans, especially the young ones, get closer to us on the field to experience Copa América Centenario is an incredibly rewarding opportunity for everyone in our community who has helped bring this world-class tournament home.”
As the official sporting goods retailer of Orlando City SC, we’re thrilled to contribute shoes to the kids as they take the international stage,” said J.K. Symancyk, Academy Sports + Outdoors President and CEO. “We’re confident that our friends at the Orlando City Foundation will put their best foot forward as they represent Orlando.”
The flagbearers responsibilities will be to lead the referees and players onto the pitch for the start of the match and to position the country flags for the playing of the national anthems of the competing teams. All of the flag bearers and their chaperones will be provided tickets to watch the matches, uniforms, meals and refreshments.
Experience Sprint at Copa América Centenario
Sprint is creating an immersive and engaging fan experience at two of the three matches at the Camping World Stadium which may include an interactive digital wall, 360° photo booth where fans will get digital downloads of their photos for social sharing, appearances from soccer legends, and charging stations.
Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served more than 58.8 million connections as of March 31, 2016 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Sprint has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America for the past five years. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
About Academy Sports + Outdoors
Academy Sports + Outdoors is a premier sports, outdoor and lifestyle retailer with a unique assortment of quality hunting, fishing and camping equipment and gear along with sports and leisure products, footwear, apparel, patio sets, barbecue grills and much more. The $4.6 billion company operates over 200 stores throughout Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, where the company is based. The Academy Sports + Outdoors philosophy is to deliver an unparalleled shopping experience by providing convenience, offering a broad selection of quality products, delivering exceptional customer service and selling the right stuff at everyday low prices. For more information about Academy Sports + Outdoors visit academy.com, facebook.com/academy, twitter.com/academy, pinterest.com/academy, youtube.com/academy and instagram.com/academy.
About Orlando City Soccer Club
With three major professional teams, Orlando City Soccer Club (OCSC) has established itself as one of the preeminent Clubs in professional soccer.
One of the leading teams in Major League Soccer (MLS), and the most-searched team in 2015 MLS team in 2015 according to Google, the Lions have developed a rich history and passionate following since starting in the USL in 2011. In their inaugural MLS season, Orlando City set a league attendance record for an expansion team, drawing an average of 32,847 fans per home game – including 62,500 in the home opener – and became the fastest team in MLS history to host a half million fans. Orlando City has not only captured the passion of soccer fans in the City Beautiful, it continues to build its global brand as its matches are broadcast in 140 countries and in 30 languages.
The Orlando Pride, OCSC’s National Women’s Soccer League franchise, will begin league play in 2016 – bringing professional women’s soccer to Orlando for the first time. The team is led by renowned Head Coach Tom Sermanni, former manager for the Australian and U.S. women’s national teams.
Orlando City B (OCB) participates in the USL beginning in the 2016 season. The team plays its home matches at Titan Soccer Complex on the campus of Eastern Florida State College in Melbourne, Fla. OCB continues the Club’s rich history in the rapidly growing league. From 2011 to 2014, Orlando City set the U.S. record for best start of any professional soccer club in its first 100 USL matches (66-12-22), winning three regular season titles and two postseason championships.
OCSC also has a youth club, Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS). Lastly, the Orlando City Foundation is active in the community year round, promoting health and wellness in children throughout the region, and raising funds for and volunteering time for various local organizations.