ATLANTA, April 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In celebration of International Pay It Forward Day, Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts, Major League Baseball's (MLB) Official Partner of Road Trips, is launching a six-week campaign encouraging acts of kindness to benefit the MLB's 'Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities' (RBI) youth initiative, which provides opportunities to play baseball and softball, encourages academic success and teaches the value of teamwork and other important life lessons to underserved youth from urban communities. Beginning today through June 9, 2011, consumers are invited to share how they "pay it forward" on the Holiday Inn Facebook page and with each act of kindness posted, Holiday Inn will "pay it forward" and donate a ticket to a Major League Baseball game to benefit RBI, up to 5,000 tickets.
A study from researchers at Harvard and the University of California found that when people benefit from acts of kindness, they "pay it forward" by helping others, creating a cascading effect that influences others to do the same.
"Whether paying the tolls for the person behind you in line, offering your seat to an elderly person on public transportation, or simply holding the door open for others, our campaign celebrates citizens that do their part to make the world a better place," said Del Ross, vice president, U.S. Sales and Marketing, IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group). "By supporting RBI, we are not only enriching the lives of underserved youth but also helping to build the next generation of everyday heroes."
Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie "The Wizard" Smith was the first to "pay it forward" by posting his entry to the Holiday Inn Pay It Forward Facebook application. He shared, "Today I sent a personal message on my special Hall of Fame stationery to a Cardinal Fan in Illinois as a surprise for her 90th birthday. It didn't take me long but it will bring a big smile to her face when she opens it." Ozzie's post kicked off the campaign and will send a lucky boy or girl to a St. Louis Cardinal's game this summer, his former club and home of his retired #1 uniform. Through his Twitter account, Smith also is encouraging his fans and former and current MLB players to post about their good deeds.
"I'm really impressed with what Holiday Inn is doing to support the RBI program, which provides underprivileged youth with a variety of new experiences and teaches them the value of teamwork while having fun along the way," said Ozzie Smith.
The "Pay It Forward" campaign will run from April 28th to June 9th. For more information or to share an act of kindness, please visit http://www.facebook.com/HolidayInnHotels. Those who "pay it forward" to RBI also will be entered to win an all-expenses paid trip for two to the MLB All-Star Game in Phoenix, Ariz., on July 12, 2011. RBI was founded in 1989 and has served more than one million youth in its 22 year history. In 2010 alone, 300 RBI leagues served over 170,000 baseball and softball participants, and the program continues to provide children with opportunities on and off the field.
About Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts
With over 1,200 hotels worldwide, Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts is the most widely recognized lodging brand in the world. In fact, Holiday Inn was one of the first international hotel brands to establish a presence in China in 1984. Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts provides the services that business travelers need, while also offering a comfortable atmosphere where all people can relax and enjoy amenities such as restaurants and room service, swimming pools, fitness centers and comfortable lounges. The casual atmosphere and amenities such as meeting and on-site business facilities, KidSuites rooms, Kids Eat and Stay Free programs demonstrate the long-standing commitment of Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts to serving travelers and have helped to establish the brand as "America's Favorite Hotel." Holiday Inn recently completed a $1 billion global brand relaunch, the biggest ever project of its kind in the history of the hospitality industry. The relaunch includes a renewed focus on quality, improved arrival and welcome features, enhanced bedding and showers, a "Stay Real" service culture and a new and an up-to-date look, including a redesigned logo and signage. For more information about Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts, including IHG's new timeshare brand Holiday Inn Club Vacations, or to book reservations, call 1-800-HOLIDAY or visit www.holidayinn.com
About Major League Baseball Properties
The Major League Baseball Clubs formed Major League Baseball Properties (MLBP) in 1966 as the Clubs' agent for marketing and trademark licensing and protection. Major League Baseball Properties is responsible for managing consumer licensing activities, developing national advertising campaigns, cultivating sponsorship opportunities with major consumer brands and corporations, growing the game and the business of baseball outside the United States and creating national marketing programs in conjunction with Clubs, broadcast rightsholders and national sponsors. MLBP also operates a full-service video and audio production unit (Major League Baseball Productions), a publishing division and stock photo licensing agency, and manages logistics for the All-Star Game and World Series as well as all other special events. For more information on Major League Baseball, log on to www.MLB.com.
Notes to editors:
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms. IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns, through various subsidiaries, over 4,400 hotels and more than 640,000 guest rooms in 100 countries and territories around the world. The Group owns a portfolio of well recognized and respected hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites® and also manages the world's largest hotel loyalty program, Priority Club® Rewards with 56 million members worldwide.
IHG has almost 1,300 hotels in its development pipeline, which is expected to create 160,000 jobs worldwide over the next few years.
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.
IHG offers information and online reservations for all its hotel brands at www.ihg.com and information for the Priority Club Rewards program at www.priorityclub.com. For our latest news visit www.ihg.com/media, Twitter www.twitter.com/ihgplc or YouTube www.youtube.com/ihgplc.
SOURCE IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group)