Sprite and LeBron sparking interest in parks

Sprite and LeBron sparking interest in parks

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Sprite and LeBron sparking interest in parks

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Sprite’s Spark Parks project is an ambitious and meaningful initiative to build and revitalize basketball courts and parks across the country, enabling families and neighbors the opportunity to play in a safe and enjoyable environment.

LeBron James is along for this very worthwhile ride in determining which nominated parks will receive funding to provide that much needed spark.

Big Lead Sports is pleased to be working with Sprite throughout the campaign. BLS sent camera crews to parks in California and New York City to talk with basketball players about what type of spark would make their court truly special.

Some of the recommendations were very practical -padded poles on baskets to avoid injuries, scoreboards and lights to allow for night play and greater safety, referees to avoid arguments, more courts to avoid overcrowding, and some yearned for just a bit of grass and a few trees to combat all the cement.

Some of the ballers got really creative. It started out with an idea for adjustable rims for the “vertically challenged.” Then the spark of an idea to have pools surrounding the court so that you could jump in the water after a successful fast break. And finally, an interactive basketball court filled with cameras on the backboards connected to the internet, rims that cheered like a packed house every time a basket was made and a bouncy court surface that would give players the vertical leap of a superstar.

Some of these sparks will have to be generated by a magic wand, but in many cases Sprite will provide the much needed spark and award nearly $2 million to build or revamp basketball courts, playgrounds and athletic fields in 40 cities across the county in 2011.

As part of the program, 21 courts will receive funding for items such as new rims, backboards, blacktop surfaces, and art installations provided by local artists.

One winning court will be awarded a $35,000 grant, an additional 14 locations will receive $20,000 each.

“Rebuilding playgrounds, gymnasiums, and places for young people to play, is one of my biggest priorities,” LeBron James said. “Sprite Spark Parks…offers an opportunity to make a difference…”

For more information go to: http://www.sprite.com/?WT.srch=1#/home

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