BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) _ ESPN and the Walt Disney Company are announcing a partnership with Special Olympics to help promote unified sports in the United States.

The Bristol-based sports entertainment giant is holding a kickoff celebration to announce the collaboration Friday in Bristol.

Unified sports involve the participation of both athletes with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team.

The goal of the collaboration is to get more than one million people to sign up and participate in unified sports, through either playing or coaching, by 2015.

ESPN says it will help develop and strengthen the Special Olympics Unified Sports brand through sponsorships, marketing assistance, advertising, and public service announcements across all of the ESPN platforms.

Celebrities, including Olympic gold medalist figure skater Michelle Kwan will be on hand for Friday’s kick-off celebration.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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