Laureus USA Launches Sport for Good Atlanta, Powered by Mercedes-Benz USA; Initiative Invests $3 Million into Westside Community

Investment in fourteen youth development organizations also supported
by National Recreation Foundation

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–National non-profit Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA, powered by
Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), has invested an initial $1 million to fund
grants to youth development organizations in three of Atlanta’s Westside
neighborhoods. This investment, also supported by the National
Recreation Foundation, is the first phase of a $3 million commitment
that will expand pathways of success for Westside youth. These grants
will help facilitate the growth of 14 out of school programs using sport
to improve the health, education, employment and social and emotional
well-being of local youth.

On Monday, July 17, 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., over 300 Westside youth and
their families will enjoy sports, games and food with the 14 awarded
organizations at historic Washington Park. Together, Laureus USA and
Mercedes-Benz USA will officially kick-off Sport for Good Atlanta with
the support of the National Recreation Foundation, Atlanta Falcons and
Atlanta United FC. The Sport for Good Atlanta Kickoff is also an
official stop on Nickelodeon’s summer-long celebration of play, leading
up to the network’s 14th annual Worldwide Day of Play. The
event will incorporate Nick-themed games and activities to encourage
more active lifestyles for the local community.

“We are excited to support 14 Sport for Good programs in Atlanta’s
Westside, as they give youth a constructive outlet to develop
confidence, set goals, and connect with adult mentors,” said Benita
Fitzgerald Mosley, CEO of Laureus USA and Olympic Gold Medalist in Track
and Field. “By providing these grants, we are empowering these
organizations to work together and make an even bigger impact. One
program alone cannot solve the challenges our research identified, which
is why we are building a team of passionate programs that can make our
long-term goals of reducing violence and improving educational
attainment, achievable.”

“Mercedes-Benz USA places a high priority on nurturing leadership and
for decades has supported programs focused on educating and empowering
the next generation,” said Dietmar Exler, CEO of MBUSA. “Sport for Good
Atlanta will provide young people with tools they need to reach their
full potential. We look forward to working closely with Laureus USA and
our other partner organizations to help create a sustainable future for
the youth of the Westside.”

Westside Community Engagement Revealed Need for Meaningful Sports
Opportunities

This effort is the result of Laureus USA’s thoughtful engagement with
Westside community leaders, coaches, parents and youth over the course
of the past year. Beginning in the summer of 2016, Laureus worked with
Families First (who has served the Atlanta community for over 125 years)
to convene local residents of all ages to understand the current
landscape of sports opportunities in the Westside, and how these
programs could be repositioned to address the greatest challenges that
local youth face.

Laureus USA surveyed over 400 residents, over half of which were youth
aged 12-18. They found violence, drugs and gang activity to be the
greatest challenges faced by youth growing up in the focus
neighborhoods. In addition, a troubling 73% of respondents cited
affordability as the highest barrier between youth and sports
participation.

In direct response to these needs, Laureus USA is now funding a diverse
range of sports activities including baseball, basketball, soccer,
cycling, fishing, golf, tennis, gymnastics as well as track and field.
These free programs will be available to Westside youth in the Vine
City, English Avenue and Washington Park areas.

This long-term commitment will help strengthen the English Avenue, Vine
City, and Washington Park neighborhoods through the power of sport.

About Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA – Laureus USA is a
national non-profit organization advancing the nationwide movement to
use Sport for Good. We invest in programs that are effectively using
sport to improve the health, education, employment and social cohesion
of disadvantaged youth. Since 2012, we have impacted over 480,000 youth
across 110 U.S. cities by investing in programs that use sport for
social change. We have also supported the training of over 3,300 coaches
who now serve as youth mentors in underserved communities. Learn more
about Sport for Good at www.LaureusUSA.com.

About Mercedes-Benz USA – Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), the sales
and marketing arm for Mercedes-Benz in the United States, headquartered
in Atlanta, Georgia, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and
customer service for all Mercedes-Benz products. For the 60 years
Mercedes-Benz has operated in this country, the company has been an
integral part of the communities in which it does business and the
neighborhoods where its employees live and work.

On a national level, MBUSA provides multi-million dollar support to
programs through partnerships with Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA
(a nationwide network of youth sports programs improving health,
education, employment and social cohesion in underserved communities)
and the Johnny Mac Foundation which provides scholarships to children of
fallen soldiers. In Atlanta, MBUSA is involved with over 50
organizations in its effort to empower and enable the next generation
and address local needs in its community including Atlanta’s Westside, a
fast-developing area surrounding the Mercedes-Benz Stadium that includes
under-resourced neighborhoods. Here, MBUSA partners with multiple
organizations working to create a sustainable future for the youth of
the Westside.

About The National Recreation Foundation – The National
Recreation Foundation (NRF) is a private charitable foundation dedicated
to enhancing the role of recreation as a positive force in improving the
quality of life of youth. NRF invests in recreation programs directed at
those who are economically, physically or mentally disadvantaged.

Contacts

Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA
Media Contacts:
Kimberly
Krautter, 404-229-1073 Talk/Text
Kimberly.Krautter@gmail.com
or
Donna
Boland, 770-705-2009
Donna.boland@mbusa.com