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Laureus World Sports Awards 2020 in Berlin: Laureus World Sports Awards celebrates 20 years of social engagement

At LWSA 2020, Laureus and Mercedes-Benz will celebrate their long-standing partnership

Stuttgart – WEBWIRE

This year’s Laureus World Sports Awards (LWSA) in Berlin will be a particularly propitious occasion, as it will mark the 20th time that these prestigious awards have been presented. Together with Laureus, Mercedes-Benz will be celebrating the anniversary as a long-standing partner of Laureus Sport for Good. 

Happy Birthday, Laureus! Twenty years have passed since, in early 2000, Daimler AG founded the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation together with Richemont. Upon establishing the Foundation, the partners set themselves the goal of enabling disadvantaged children and young people throughout the world to have better lives through the unifying power of sport – in keeping with the overarching Laureus motto “Sport Unites Us”. Nelson Mandela, the first patron of Laureus, provided the inspiration for this motto in a speech he gave at the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards in 2000: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite people in a way that little else does... Sport can create hope, where once there was only despair.”  

Mandela’s words remain the leitmotif of Laureus and his Laureus Sport for Good initiative, which has become one of the largest development-through-sport organisations in the world. Around the globe, Laureus Sport for Good currently supports around 200 sports projects in 40 countries. Over the past two decades, it has imbued millions of disadvantaged children and young people with strength, courage and self-confidence. These qualities are crucial in escaping the vicious cycle of poverty, violence and discrimination, and in increasing the chances of a self-determined life of peace and prosperity. In selecting projects for sponsorship, the Laureus Sport for Good is guided by specific sustainability goals of the United Nations (UN). The focus of these objectives is on health, education, women and girls, inclusion, peace and employability. 

Right from the outset, Mercedes-Benz has remained a steadfast partner of the Laureus Sport for Good. “For 20 years, we have been working together with Laureus Sport for Good to help socially disadvantaged children and young people,” explains Bettina Fetzer, head of marketing at Mercedes-Benz Cars. “Because sport has the power to change the world. We are proud of our roughly 200 sports projects in 40 countries around the globe.”   

Over the past two decades, a total of 150 million euros in donations have been raised. This has enabled Laureus Sport for Good to reach nearly six million children and young people around the world.  It also provides non-financial support in the areas of PR, networking and consulting. In addition, more and more local Mercedes-Benz subsidiaries are supporting Laureus Sport for Good projects on location, in order to further increase the scope of the initiative. 

A March 2019 study commissioned by Mercedes-Benz and conducted by Deloitte to evaluate the benefit of assistance provided by Laureus Sport for Good Germany, Austria confirmed that these joint efforts are worthwhile. According to the study, the number of each of the particular forms of assistance (funding, attentiveness, networking, and advice) has risen sharply in the years 2015 to 2017. In fact, over the three-year period, there were nearly 200 instances of assistance. In 2017, numerous projects such as move&do in Stuttgart, Kick on Ice in Berlin and High Five in Munich showed positive growth in terms of the number of locations, employees, participants, contacts and budgets. Above all, many projects were able to increase their scope in terms of the number of children and young people taking part. A further indicator of success has been the evaluation of Laureus Sport for Good’s performance by those in charge of the projects themselves. In terms of perceived effectiveness and satisfaction with the funding received, their evaluation has been thoroughly positive. 

To mark the special anniversary of the Laureus World Sports Awards this year, Mercedes-Benz has plenty of good things in store. For example, the company with the famous three-pointed star as its logo will provide a forum for the move&do project. This youth programme in Stuttgart is one of the first German projects sponsored by Laureus Sport for Good. Move&do assists schools in Stuttgart and Mannheim with experiential education offerings. It aims to instil courage and self-confidence in disadvantaged pupils and to promote tolerance and mutual respect in the classroom, and thus strengthen community spirit in schools. “Many teachers are overwhelmed by the many tasks involved in teaching social skills. Faced with the high demand for supporting programmes, many cities and towns simply do not have the budgetary means to provide effective child and youth support services. This is why the type of overarching social commitment that Laureus Sport for Good makes is so important to ensure that socially disadvantaged children do not fall through the cracks,” explains Marcus Weber, move&do project manager and process trainer. Move&do coach Philipp Schaupp, who in 2007 was the first child to receive assistance from the first Laureus programme, is an illustration of Laureus Sport for Good’s practical impact. In a video produced for LWSA 2020, the young man tells his moving story: 

Mercedes-Benz is also making an environmentally sustainable contribution to this year’s anniversary edition of the awards event with its climate-friendly fleet of Enjoy Electric vehicles specially prepared for LWSA 2020.  From shuttle services to the red-carpet driveway, the locally zero-emissions fleet of over 50 vehicles of the premium Mercedes-Benz brand will have everything covered. Mercedes-Benz is thus supporting its partner Laureus in making the 20th Laureus World Sports Awards sustainable while getting its own ‘Ambition2039’ corporate strategy rolling in impressive fashion.  

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