Basketball Courts Around the Country Make a Huge Rebound With an Assist From Sprite

People across the country can score a slam dunk for basketball courts in their area with the simple click of a mouse. The Sprite Spark Parks Project announced the 26 national finalists, and the courts that gain the most online support will be awarded with up to $35,000 in refurbishment funds.

The Sprite Spark Parks Project is a multi-year commitment to restore play environments where teens, families and neighbors can get outside and be active. The first initiative of the program, which focuses on basketball courts, kicked off in February. Since then, people across the country have logged on to sprite.com and facebook.com/Sprite to nominate local courts for refurbishment.

The 26 nominees were selected as finalists by a judging panel and the winners will be determined by a month-long online vote. Until June 10, supporters can log on to sprite.com or facebook.com/Sprite to vote for their favorite courts to receive one of 21 grants to fund items such as new rims, backboards, resurfacing and art installations. Seven courts will be awarded $35,000 in funding. An additional 14 locations will receive $20,000 each.

“Through the Sprite Spark Parks Project we are improving communities in inspired ways, and we’re relying on local residents to show their support for the basketball courts where we can make the biggest impact,” said Augusto Elias, Sprite Brand Director, Coca-Cola North America. “By providing support for these critically important play spaces, Sprite is giving young people safe, fun places to come together in a positive, active way.”

Among the 26 finalists across the United  States is none other than Studebaker Park in Kokomo IN!  Be sure to log on and VOTE for Studebaker Park.

Also new in the Sprite Spark Parks Project this spring is the program’s second major initiative in 2011, through which Sprite is helping to refresh parks and communities across America. Families can participate by collecting and mailing in the green tabs found on specially marked Sprite and Sprite Zero 12-oz cans. For every green Sprite tab redeemed, Sprite will donate 10 cents to Habitat for Humanity International®, with a guaranteed donation of $250,000 and a maximum of $500,000. Habitat for Humanity will use the funds to build homes and active spaces in local communities. All tabs must be received by June 30, 2011. More information about this opportunity can be found at www.SpriteGreenTabs.com.

The third and final 2011 Sprite Spark Parks Project initiative will launch this summer, when Sprite will give families a chance to win a refurbished playground or athletic field for their local school. People can submit My Coke Rewards codes found on Sprite and Sprite Zero Fridge Pack™ and 2-liter products to redeem points for the school they designate. More information will be available on www.mycokerewards.com this summer.

Through the Sprite Spark Parks Project, Sprite will invest approximately $2 million into building or revamping more than 150 basketball courts, community spaces, playgrounds and athletic fields in at least 40 American cities throughout 2011. As a result, an estimated one million young people will have greater access to recreational spaces where they can be inspired to be active and creative.