DETROIT, March 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Winners in college sports are well documented, but the victories earned by campus champions away from the game are often more impactful, yet rarely get the same attention. That's why, as part of a new corporate partnership, Buick, NCAA, Turner Sports and CBS Sports will shine a spotlight on the accomplishments of former student-athletes making a difference in their communities.
Buick and NCAA will tell inspiring true stories of human achievement through the Buick Human Highlight Reel. For the featured former student-athletes, victory occurs away from the game when they apply the lessons of sport to community involvement, reaching out to help and connect in exhilarating ways.
The Buick Human Highlight Reel will launch at the beginning of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship. A collection and archive of complete stories will appear online at www.ncaa.com/buick. Additionally, Buick will be the exclusive title sponsor of a 30-minute television show featuring select Human Highlight Reel stories that will air prior to the 2011 NCAA Men's Final Four® semifinal games on April 2. Selected video profiles also will air during preliminary-round tournament coverage on truTV.
The filmmaking project complements the recently announced Buick Achievers Scholarship Program, which will provide up to $4.5 million-a-year in scholarship funds to 1,100 college-bound students nationwide who excel both in the classroom and in the community. The scholarships are renewable for up to five years.
"While the scholarship program will help foster the next generation of leaders, the Buick Human Highlight Reel will celebrate former college student-athletes who are leading winning efforts in their communities," said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick marketing. "By sharing their stories Buick and our partners hope to inspire others to go above and beyond to help others achieve their fullest potential in life."
Among the former student-athletes to be featured in the Buick Human Highlight Reel are:
- Dr. Gabe Lewullis, who scored the winning shot for Princeton University against defending champion UCLA in 1996. Lewullis is a sports medicine orthopedic surgeon and spokesperson for Our Future Stars, a non-profit organization that works to get corporate funding for high school sports programs at risk of being shut down due to budget cuts.
- Cullen Jones, who swam for North Carolina State University and became the second African-American in history to win an Olympic Gold medal in the sport. Jones works with the USA Swimming Foundation's Make a Splash program to teach minority children how to swim.
- Emmanuel Ohonme, who played basketball at the University of North Dakota, is the founder of Samaritan's Feet, a non-profit organization that has provided shoes to more than 3 million children in 40 countries.
- Dr. Denton Cooley, who played basketball at the University of Texas – Austin, and is a pioneer in open-heart surgery. Cooley played in the first NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament in 1939 and went on to perform the first successful heart transplant in the United States in 1968 and implanted the first totally artificial heart in a human in 1969.
- Avery Jukes, who played basketball in last year's championship game for Butler University, and is the founder of Jukes Foundation for Kids, a non-profit entity dedicated to providing food, clothing and educational resources to youth in the United States and Uganda.
- Sean James, who was an all-conference sprinter and played football at Missouri State University, founded Sean James Student Athletes, a non-profit organization that provides scholarships for under-privileged youth to sports and creative arts camps.
"The Buick Human Highlight Reel shows the continued leadership and dedication that student-athletes have once they complete their academic programs and become active in their communities or involved with broad initiatives that have a positive influence on the lives of others," said Peter Davis, NCAA director of championships and alliances.
"Through this partnership, Buick will have the ability to create year-round branded content, distributed on multiple NCAA media platforms including NCAA.com, around all 26 NCAA Championship sports," said Will Funk, senior vice president of NCAA Partnerships and Branded Programming within Turner Sports Ad Sales.
In addition to the televised stories, the Buick Human Highlight Reel's online component will feature videos by filmmakers associated with Zooppa, a creative social network with more than 100,000 members. These amateur filmmakers will create 60-second mini-documentaries about former student-athletes who are making a difference.
Also planned for the Buick Human Highlight Reel website is a "Tell Us Your Story" section, which will enable fans to share stories about their favorite NCAA "difference makers."
"By telling powerful stories of former student-athletes as part of the Human Highlight Reel video series and enabling future leaders to emerge through the Achievers Scholarship Program, Buick has clearly demonstrated their commitment to the broader NCAA community," said Chris Simko, senior vice president, CBS Sports Sales and Marketing and director, CBS Sports Properties Group.
Buick is a modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors with thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning models, including the Enclave crossover, LaCrosse sedan, Regal sport sedan and highly anticipated all-new 2012 Buick Verano compact luxury sedan. Buick is the fastest growing major brand in the U.S. and remains a best-selling brand in China, with continuing record growth. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at www.buick.com, on Twitter @buick or at www.facebook.com/buick.
About the NCAA
The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 400,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. Visit www.NCAA.org and www.NCAA.com for more details about the Association, its goals and members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes. The NCAA is proud to have the following elite companies as official Corporate Champions - AT&T, Capital One and Coca-Cola - and the following elite companies as official Corporate Partners - Enterprise, The Hartford, Infiniti, LG, Lowe's, Planters, Reese's, Unilever and UPS. NCAA is a trademark of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
In April 2010, the NCAA announced a new 14-year television, Internet and wireless rights agreement with Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., and CBS Broadcasting Inc., to present the Division I Men's Basketball Championship beginning in 2011 through 2024. As part of the agreement, all games will be shown live across four national networks beginning in 2011 – a first for the 73-year-old championship. Additionally, CBS and Turner Broadcasting have been licensed and will collaborate on the NCAA's corporate marketing program.
About CBS Sports
CBS Sports, a year-round leader in television sports, broadcasts a portfolio of events on the CBS Television Network, including the NFL's American Football Conference; THE NFL TODAY; college basketball, including the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship; golf, including The Masters(r) and PGA Championship; college football, including the SEC ON CBS; the U.S. Open Tennis Championships; CBS SPORTS SPECTACULAR, including track & field, auto racing and gymnastics. In addition, the division directs CBS Sports Network, a 24-hour national cable network; produces INSIDE THE NFL for SHOWTIME; and partners with CBSSports.com in creating a recognized leader among sports Internet destinations.
About Turner Sports
Turner Sports, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is an industry leader in televised and online sports programming, airing championship level sporting events on TBS, TNT and truTV, and managing some of the most popular sports sites on the Internet. Turner Sports' television line-up includes the NBA, Major League Baseball, the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship, NASCAR and professional golf. The company's digital portfolio includes SI.com, NASCAR.COM, NCAA.com, PGATOUR.COM, GOLF.com and PGA.com, as well as an accompanying collection of mobile websites and connected device apps. Turner Sports and the NBA also jointly manage NBA Digital, which includes NBA TV, NBA.com, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NBA Mobile, the NBA Game Time App, NBADLEAGUE.com and WNBA.com.
Zooppa is the world's leading source of user-generated advertising. With an online creative community of over 100,000 members, Zooppa works with the global brands and prominent ad agencies to produce fresh and compelling creative content. Zooppa's innovative and socially enabled platform delivers far more than content, offering brands and their agencies a cost-effective, tactical approach for consumer engagement, online buzz and word-of-mouth and market insight. To view the community's work visit www.zooppa.com.
SOURCE General Motors