From 1998 to 2010, the Sports Philanthropy Project (SPP) worked with professional sports teams, team foundations and athletes to leverage their financial resources, popularity and credibility to bolster health and health care programs in their communities. As part of the project, sports teams promoted programs sponsored by RWJF to extend health insurance to uninsured people, particularly children.
In reports to RWJF, SPP staff cited the following results:
- Sports organizations used technical assistance from SPP to create coalitions and develop programs to promote better health in their communities, particularly by tackling childhood obesity.
- Some 38 professional sports teams promoted two RWJF national programs designed to provide health insurance to more people: Cover the Uninsured Week and Covering Kids & Families®. The teams' efforts included public service announcements and appearances by athletes, cheerleaders and mascots at health fairs and press conferences.
- SPP created the Steve Patterson Sports Philanthropy Award and presented it to eight professional sports organizations or athletes from 2005 to 2009.