Mattel Takes Power of Play to Special Olympics World Games with Largest Global Team of Corporate Volunteers

Team Mattel heads for Athens with 50 employee volunteers from more than 20 countries

Quick Facts:

  • Since 2005, more than 8,500 Mattel employees in 35 countries have volunteered at hundreds of local and national sports events
  • Moving toward impactful social giving through volunteerism, Mattel is able to channel the passion of volunteers to build unique and lasting experiences through play

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT), proud partner of Special Olympics since 2005, today announced that 50 employee volunteers will serve as Team Mattel at the 2011 Special Olympics World Games, bringing the spirit of "playing together" through volunteerism to Athens, Greece. The employee volunteers were selected from Mattel locations in 20 countries around the world to come together in the spirit of diversity and inclusion.

Mattel employee volunteers, the Mattel PLAYers, play together all over the world. (Photo: Business W ...

Mattel employee volunteers, the Mattel PLAYers, play together all over the world. (Photo: Business Wire)

Mattel also will encourage visitors to "be a fan of play" in the Special Olympics Festival Village by inviting the public to the Mattel Play Booth, where families can enjoy playing together. Activities include a Hot Wheels® five-lane race track (with a free Hot Wheels® car for each visitor), Fisher-Price® play area where young children can play, a Barbie® photo booth and learning activities center.

The Mattel Special Olympics Partnership:

Mattel understands the power of play, and as part of the company's partnership with Special Olympics the Mattel Children's Foundation funds two new programs, which were created with children in mind.

  • SO GET INTO IT is a school-based set of resources designed to help children learn acceptance through interacting with others, which has expanded into more than 14,700 mainstream and special education schools, in more than 85 countries impacting the lives of approximately 641,000 children.
  • THE YOUNG ATHLETES program engages with youth ages 2 through 7 with intellectual disabilities and their families in age-appropriate play activities. More than 18,000 youth and 30,000 family members in more than 66 countries have participated in the program. The Young Athletes program has had particular success in Greece, where about 20 Mattel volunteers have been involved weekly with the program for more than five months. A public demonstration of the program will be given during World Games to showcase the positive impacts the program has on young children who have special needs.

The 2011 event marks Mattel's third sponsorship of the World Games. In 2007, Mattel sent its first delegation of employee volunteers, selected from Mattel locations around the world, to comprise Team Mattel at the World Games in Shanghai, China.

Employee Volunteerism:

Formalized in 2006, Mattel's global volunteer program -- the Mattel PLAYers (Partners in Local Activities for Youth) -- is a dynamic reflection of the company's values and corporate responsibility mission to play responsibly.

"Volunteerism is at the heart of Mattel's corporate culture, and we are so proud to once again be part of such an incredible event like the World Games," said Kevin Farr, chief financial officer of Mattel and board member for Special Olympics International. "It is especially inspiring to see how passionate our employee volunteers are when it comes to helping others. As we make our way to Athens, the home of the original Olympic games, it is definitely an unbelievable experience, and I know that we will come back richer in spirit because of this experience, which we will be able to share with our colleagues."

Mattel's support of people with disabilities also extends to its corporate workforce. For many years Mattel has hosted a program at its headquarters mailroom that employs adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. The program has grown to more than 50 employees, and expanded to include night-time janitorial services. Mattel is one of the largest single-location employers of people with disabilities in California. Learn more about Mattel's program.

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About Mattel:

As the worldwide leader in play, the Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT - News) (www.mattel.com) family is comprised of such best-selling brands as Barbie®, the most popular fashion doll ever introduced, Hot Wheels®, Matchbox®, American Girl®, Radica® and Tyco R/C®, and a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. In 2011, Mattel was named as one of FORTUNE Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" for the fourth year in a row, and is ranked among Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens." With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs approximately 31,000 people in 43 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations. Mattel donates more than 2 percent of its pre-tax profit toward philanthropic activities. At Mattel, we are "Creating the Future of Play."

MAT-P

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Mattel, Inc.
Jules Andres, 310-252-3529
Jules.Andres@mattel.com
or
Allison Wilson, 310-854-8261
awilson@webershandwick.com

Source: Mattel, Inc.

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Jeff Accomando