The NBA and McDonald’s Partner to Tackle Childhood Obesity and Promote Active...

The NBA and McDonald’s Partner to Tackle Childhood Obesity and Promote Active Lifestyles among Latino Kids

NBA Legends Rolando Blackman and Erick Strickland visit local Dallas community to inaugurate refurbished basketball court as part of nationwide initiative ‘Es tu Cancha (It’s Your Court)’


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New York, NY–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–October 20, 2006–NBA en Español, the National Basketball Association’s U.S. Hispanic initiative, and McDonald’s, the official marketing partner of the NBA and leading food service provider in the U.S., announced today the unveiling of a fully renovated basketball court at East Dallas Boys and Girls Club in Dallas, Texas as part of the NBA Cares’ “Es Tu Cancha (It’s Your Court)” initiative, a community outreach program that focuses on refurbishing basketball courts in Hispanic neighborhoods across the country. Using basketball as a vehicle to promote physical activity, the program also targets the growing incidence of childhood obesity, which disproportionately affects Latino youth in comparison to non-Hispanic adolescents.

This restoration marks the 15th refurbishment in the NBA’s overall initiative to provide Latino kids and families with a safe and attractive place to play and be active, and the third as part of the league’s and McDonald’s joint renovation efforts in 2006. The unveiling of East Dallas Boys and Girls Club will feature a variety of activities including the participation of NBA Legend and one of the league’s first Latino players Rolando Blackman, as well as NBA Legend and former Mavericks player Erick Strickland. Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA kids from surrounding Hispanic neighborhoods will also participate in the event’s basketball activities, along with city officials who will join local families in “Es tu Cancha (It’s Your Court)” festivities.

“The Dallas Mavericks in conjunction with the NBA and McDonald’s are committed to providing a fun and interactive environment for families in local communities to learn about their condition and understand the importance of being healthy,” said Rolando Blackman. “The key to keeping kids of all ages at a healthy weight is taking a whole-family approach, making eating and exercising a family affair, and this program does just that.”

The partnership with McDonald’s ideally combines balanced diets with well-being. While McDonald’s offers a variety of wholesome foods made from quality ingredients that can fulfill diverse dietary needs, the NBA promotes healthy lifestyles through basketball.

“As adults, we have an important responsibility to teach our children about the importance of living a balanced active lifestyle by balancing the foods you eat with the energy you expend,” said Rick Marroquin, Director of Marketing, McDonald’s USA. “McDonald’s applauds the NBA’s efforts to refurbish basketball courts so that children can enjoy the sport and stay active in their own neighborhoods.”

Statistics show that the percentage of overweight children in the United States is growing at an alarming rate and it disproportionately effects certain minority youth populations. Nearly one of four Latino children in the United States is overweight, and the problem is worsening. According to a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted by the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics, Hispanic adolescents between the ages of 12-19 were more likely to be overweight (23 %) than non-Hispanic White adolescents (14%). Generally caused by a lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating patterns, or a combination of the two, obesity in adulthood increases the risk of Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, arthritis and a general poor health status.

Research shows that a child who is active will have stronger muscles and bones, be less likely to become overweight, decrease the risk of type II diabetes or heart conditions and have a more positive attitude towards life. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), all children two years and older should get 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise on most, if possible all, days of the week. Sports like basketball, played by boys and girls alike, can help in improving physical fitness, coordination and self-discipline, while offering children the opportunity to learn about teamwork – a valuable on and off-the court lesson.

As part of the NBA Cares “Es Tu Cancha (It’s Your Court)” initiative, NBA en Español partners with sponsors like McDonald’s and local NBA teams to select the appropriate neighborhoods, basketball courts and local contractor(s) to refurbish the courts. Once the area and exact location are selected, the project is carried out in two phases beginning with interior and exterior renovations which include resurfacing and polishing of wood floors, repainting of game lines and logos and backboard repairs/replacements. Once renovations are complete, a ribbon-cutting ceremony and dedicatory celebration takes place. The next court refurbishment is scheduled to take place in New Jersey in September.

About NBA en Español

The NBA’s U.S. Hispanic initiative, NBA en Español, is committed to the U.S. Hispanic community and truly understands the needs and interests of this audience. From its corporate employees to its players, the NBA has dedicated professionals in every section of its organization catering to this important segment. NBA en Español’s efforts comprise several different components – each one focused on reaching Latino fans through different vehicles and stages of life –entertainment, sports, business, fashion and education – on and off-line. Programs like Read-to-Achieve, Noche Latina, NBA.com/Español (http://www.nba.com/espanol), Esquina Latina and Es tu Cancha initiative allow us to communicate directly with Latinos, serve their communities and provide them with a unique Spanish-language NBA experience. With 16 Hispanic players, 11 teams in the top 10 U.S. Hispanic markets and one of the fastest growing Hispanic fan bases in U.S. professional sports – more than 67% of Hispanics are fans – NBA en Español is a leader in U.S. Hispanic sports marketing and community involvement.

About McDonald’s

McDonald’s USA, LLC is the leading foodservice provider in the United States serving a variety of wholesome foods made from quality ingredients to millions of customers every day. More than 80 percent of McDonald’s 13,700 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by local franchisees. For more information about McDonald’s visit http://www.mcdonalds.com.

For more information visit: http://www.nba.com/espanol or http://www.mcdonalds.com

The NBA and McDonald’s Partner to Tackle Childhood Obesity and Promote Active Lifestyles among Latino Kids