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Case Studies

Brightspot strengthens Special Olympics’ work to promote inclusion, opportunity and health across the globe


For more than a decade, the Brightspot CMS has helped Special Olympics stay connected with audiences worldwide.

By the numbers

Revenue growth YoY
Decrease in average page load time
Increase in page views per session
Decrease in bounce rate

The Special Olympics challenge

To celebrate its 50-year anniversary, Special Olympics partnered with ESPN to develop an inspiring video series, 50 Game Changers, to tell the stories of its athletes, coaches and volunteers, who had dedicated their lives to building a more inclusive world for people of all abilities. Special Olympics' legacy CMS, however, stood in the way of sharing this powerful and essential content with the world. Its outdated website, where simple tasks required extensive efforts, made it near impossible to run a successful digital operation for one of the most well-respected global non-profit organizations. In desperate need of a more modern and accessible CMS solution to replace this outdated and severely limited platform, Special Olympics turned to Brightspot.

Coinciding with the release of this video series, Special Olympics sought a complete redesign of its site and a next-level CMS platform to power it. After a decade of partnership on various initiatives, Special Olympics selected Brightspot’s modern CMS platform to empower its communications and fundraising teams to provide them with the tools required to increase website traffic, in order to boost qualified leads for supporters and improved SEO. Additionally, the site was in need of faster load times and improved site architecture and user experience to better guide its users where they were looking to go.

With Special Olympics’ previous CMS platform, rapid response was impossible. The ultimate measure of success was to improve the flexibility and agility of the website to create a better user experience both online and behind the scenes. Whether responding to the threat of lost government funding in 2019 or sharing vital health resources with its athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic, Special Olympics now has these capabilities.

Brightspot helps us fulfill the mission of Special Olympics by helping us tell our story and make deep and lasting connections with our donors, athletes, and fans from all over the world. Our vision for a more inclusive world is fully embraced by the Brightspot team and it’s evident in how they listen and engage with us as we expand our digital presence around the world on Brightspot CMS.

The Brightspot solution for Special Olympics

Special Olympics, like many organizations tied to legacy CMS solutions, found difficulty maintaining their existing CMS codebase, oftentimes resulting in SEO concerns and outdated websites. Brightspot understood that in order to equip the Special Olympics team with tools that were both useful and intuitive, they would have to create workflows within the CMS that allowed users to quickly review content as it was submitted to help the content creation process work efficiently.

With Brightspot's CMS powering Special Olympics websites, the organization is able to quickly and easily share content that creates deep and lasting emotional connections with their athletes, donors and fans.

Special Olympics project highlights include:

Brightspot's CMS enables Special Olympics to:

  • Communicate the organization’s message more effectively and expand its brand storytelling efforts with a robust publishing platform supporting their digital transformation.
  • Connect users with local programs through geolocation features that make it simpler to participate in local Special Olympics events.
  • Integrate seamlessly with the Brightcove OVP, making it possible for the brand to manage, host and present compelling video content.
  • Receive and publish stories from the field with customizable workflows that enhance collaboration and speed-to-publish without sacrificing content quality. 
  • Maximize partnership opportunities, such as the 50 Game Changers video series with partners like ESPN, Verizon, Coca-Cola and Disney.

To achieve its mission of creating an inclusive world for people of all abilities, Special Olympics now operates 14 sites on Brightspot ranging from its core property ( to its World Games ( to its fundraising ( and awareness ( initiatives. Special Olympics continues to see increased fundraising efforts across multiple campaigns, while also deeply connecting and communicating with its global audience.


Brightspot has always been committed to ensuring that its customers won’t have to compromise, and that was exactly its goal for Special Olympics’ content management platform. With Brightspot, Special Olympics launched the revamped in under 90 days. The organization was also ranked ninth on the list of Top 200 non-profit websites in Elevation’s annual rankings in July 2020.

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