San Antonio named site for 2018 NCAA® Men’s Final Four®

SanAntonioSports_colorThe NCAA® Division I Men’s Basketball Committee announced that San Antonio will be the site for the 2018 NCAA® Men’s Final Four®. San Antonio was one of eight cities vying for the marquee event in 2017-2020 cycle, including Atlanta, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, New Orleans, North Texas, Phoenix/Glendale, and St. Louis. San Antonio has hosted three Men’s Final Four’s, the last one in 2008.

“This is great news and I want to thank the NCAA for selecting San Antonio as a site for the Men’s Final Four and confirming that San Antonio is one of the best cities in the nation—if not the best city—for hosting a Final Four. I want to thank and commend the hard work of the San Antonio Local Organizing Committee which includes UTSA, San Antonio Sports and our City staff. Once again, all that makes San Antonio special will be showcased across the country and around the world,” said San Antonio Mayor Ivy R. Taylor.

“NCAA fans love coming to San Antonio for this marquee event and our city has the perfect setup for all the Final Four has to offer,” said San Antonio Sports President & CEO Russ Bookbinder. “We look forward to hosting an outstanding event that is so much more than a basketball game.”

Based on the 2014 Men’s Final Four held in North Texas, the event is expected to have an economic impact of $85 million. It will be held in an Alamodome which will undergo extensive upgrades, including expanded concourses and improved interior technology, with a seating capacity of up to 72,000.

“We are proud to welcome back the NCAA Men’s Final Four to San Antonio. The Alamodome, San Antonio’s world-class facility, is already home to UTSA’s Roadrunner football and the Valero Alamo Bowl, and with our planned improvements will be the perfect setting for premier sporting events such as the Final Four,” said San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley.

San Antonio has hosted three previous Men’s Final Fours (1998, 2004, 2008), two Women’s Final Fours (2002, 2010) and two Women’s Division I Volleyball Championship (2005, 2011). Today’s announcement culminated more than a year of planning, meetings, facility diagrams, renderings, bid books, presentations and a site visit. San Antonio’s bid committee, including key members of San Antonio Sports, UTSA, the Convention & Visitors Bureau, Alamodome and the City’s Sports & Convention Facilities Department, traveled to the NCAA® headquarters on Nov. 12 for their final presentation to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee.

“We’re very excited that we have another opportunity to host the Final Four here in San Antonio. This means a tremendous amount to our university and to the visibility of UTSA,” said UTSA Athletic Director Lynn Hickey. “San Antonio is a great site for this event and the NCAA Tournament in general, and we are honored to be the host institution for one of the best sporting events in the nation. The San Antonio Local Organizing Committee is an excellent collaboration of hard-working and committed people. The City has made an outstanding commitment to upgrade the Alamodome, and when you put all of the other things that we have — the proximity of our hotels to the facility, the River Walk, the staff that knows how to run this tournament well — it’s just a win-win. It’s well deserved and we will do a great job as hosts.”

San Antonio Scorpions are a force to be reckoned with

scorpions logoThe San Antonio Scorpions have proven that they are a force to be reckoned with in the North American Soccer League. The team is currently in the running for The Championship, which is the league’s four-team postseason tournament, and are second in the Combined Standings. In addition, the Alamo City Boys have officially secured a semifinal match to be played on Saturday, November 8, at Toyota Field.

For the Scorpions, the 2014 NASL Fall Season has been filled with numerous achievements. The team has set a new team record for total points earned with 49, and extended their team record for wins to 15. Furthermore, the Scorpions have scored the second most goals with 42, and have allowed the fewest goals with 24.

The red-and-black also set multiple team and league records earlier in the fall season, including a nine game unbeaten streak, a six game road winning streak, three straight shutouts, and seven straight games scoring at least two goals.

Critical to the team’s success is the commitment and passion from both the players and the coaching staff. By sticking to the game plan and working as a unit, the San Antonio Scorpions are coming ever closer to achieving their ultimate goal: winning the championship title.

Below is the link to buy tickets to the Scorpions’ semifinal match against the New York Cosmos. Tickets can also be purchased at the Toyota Field box office, by calling the Scorpions at 210-495-8686, or at

San Antonio Sports says, “Rock On San Antonio!”

SanAntonioSports_colorThe Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon & ½ Marathon returns Sunday, Dec. 7. Live, local bands will rock each mile of the course, motivating and entertaining runners all the way to the finish. line. The race welcomes runners from all 50 states and 13 countries, but 86% come from Texas, and 44% come from the San Antonio metro area.  If you’re training and haven’t registered, don’t delay!  Use the code SASports and you’ll get a $20 discount off your marathon entry.  The offer is good until Oct. 1.  To learn more about the race or to register, visit

Kids can be part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon & 1/2 Marathon race weekend excitement by participating in the KiDS ROCK San Antonio powered by San Antonio Sports. KiDS ROCK, is a non-timed, non-competitive event for children in grades K – 7! Kids can become marathon finishers on race day by completing a cumulative marathon training program in the weeks leading up to the race. Or, they can simply choose to run the 1-mile course on race day.  KiDS ROCK San Antonio will be held at a new location this year—Sea World!

If you want to enjoy the fun without the run, San Antonio Sports needs 4,000 volunteers, ages 14 and up, to assist with every aspect of the event including the Health & Fitness Expo, start line, and finish line on December 5-7. Teaming up with friends or family will make it an unforgettable experience.  Each race crew volunteer receives an official race crew t-shirt, a race crew drawstring backpack, refreshments, snacks, free parking, community service hours (if needed) and the satisfaction of helping others and giving back. To register and pick your shift, click here.


Former NFL Stars challenge Wounded Warriors in “A Tribute to Heroes, A Game of Honor”

WW footballThe Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Team (WWAFT) will challenge former players of the National Football League in “A Tribute to Heroes, Game of Honor” flag football game Wednesday, Sept. 10 at Toyota Field.

The WWAFT is composed of more than 25 men and women who served in the United States military and who suffered the loss of a limb in the conflicts in Iraq or Afghanistan. The team’s record is 8-0 versus the former players of the NFL, having defeated NFL alumni team most recently in Philadelphia and in Tampa, Atlanta, Washington, DC, and Green Bay and at the last three Super Bowls.

More than 25 NFL alumni, led by Dallas Cowboy Hall-of-Famer Randy White, Houston Oiler great Dan Pastorini & Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams, will take on these amputee heroes. The mission statement for the team is simply to demonstrate that “the loss of a limb doesn’t mean the end of an athletic career or an active life”

“Many of us with the WWAFT were cared for here in San Antonio – at Brooke Army Medical Center and at the Center For The Intrepid – and it is a privilege for all of us amputee veterans to be able to ‘return home’ to share in this evening with San Antonio,” said BJ Ganem, USMC and WWAFT co-captain. “We want to show our appreciation to this community for all that you have done for us and to show the nation that with your help and care, amputee veterans can accomplish anything – including whupping up on these NFL alumni.”

Additionally, the tribute on 9/10 is intended to recognize all those who enlisted after 9/11, 2001, who knowingly put themselves in harm’s way to defend this nation and to also honor the sacrifice of all of the men and women of our Armed Forces, particularly all of San Antonio’s Gold Star families. The WWAFT is also proud to be able to support and bring out as their guests, all of San Antonio’s special-needs children and adults in a partnership with Morgan’s Wonderland, Gordon Hartman and the San Antonio Scorpions.

Gates at Toyota Field will open at 6 p.m. on Sept. 10. Tickets are $10/Adults, $5/Students and all members of the military (active, reserve & retired) and special needs families of San Antonio will be admitted at no charge, courtesy of Humana.

Humana green logo“Humana has made a $100,000 donation to the Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Team as a symbol of our support to all servicemen and servicewomen who make a timeless sacrifice for our nation’s freedom,” said Orie Mullen, president of Humana Military. “Our sponsorship of this game solidifies all that Humana does for veterans, from hiring more than 1,700 veterans and military spouses as part of our National Veterans Hiring Initiative to providing health benefits to 3 million active duty service members, retirees, and their families in TRICARE’s South Region.”

For local ticket information call (210) 426-4130.

The WWAFT is supported by Humana, the Alamo City Medical Group, Allied Institute of Medicine, the Low T Center and the Military Benefit Association. For WWAFT media inquiries, please contact Chris Visser (at 407-856-7007 or Website:

Randy White, Dallas Cowboys (HoF)
Dan Pastorini, Houston Oilers
Dat Nguyen, Dallas Cowboys (A&M)
D.D. Lewis, Dallas Cowboys (2 SBs)
Dave Edwards, Dallas Cowboys (2 SBs)
Dale Hellestrae, Dallas Cowboys (SMU, 3 SBs)
Steve Folsom, Dallas Cowboys (2 SBs)
Bruce Collie, SF 49ers (2 SBs, Texas-Arlington)
Lyle Blackwood, Dolphins (Churchill HS, TCU)
Mark Dodge, Texas A&M & US Army enlistee
Greg Hawthorne, Pittsburgh Steelers (Baylor, 2 SBs)
Chris Draft, Falcons (played in every WWAFT game)
Dave Vobora, Rams (Mr Irrelevant 2008 NFL Draft)
Kyle Eckel, Naval Academy & Eagles & Patriots
CLINT BRUCE, Naval Academy, SEAL Team 5

Businesses can follow Spurs “Good to Great” example

Wright, John_CroppedBy John Wright, Managing Partner, PS&Co.

As I write this article, we are hours away from the San Antonio Spurs beginning the NBA finals against the Miami Heat for the second straight year.  A little about me – first, I am a sports fan and second, a HUGE Spurs fan.  I know many of you, likely most of you, would also say that you are huge Spurs fans, too.  Over the past week, as the finals have grown closer, much has been made of the accomplishment of the Spurs team, the coaching staff, and the organization as a whole.  According to many of the “experts,” few teams, if any, could have recovered from such a devastating loss and had the focus, drive, and determination to return to the finals for a shot at redemption.  Obviously, the Spurs are no ordinary team.  And they are no ordinary organization.

While it can be hard to fully separate the Spurs fan inside of us, we can look at the Spurs and take some great organizational lessons.  When you hear members of the team, the coaches, or even Peter Holt talk about their success this year, you hear them mention the principle of “Good to Great.”  Much of the inference is applied to moving the ball to improve a “good” shot to a “great” shot.  However, that business principle is not new.  The book “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t” by James C. Collins must be the catalyst.  Further, in those same interviews, you will hear the players talk about culture, commitment, accountability, teamwork (okay that is one they should say), leadership, development, and on and on.

When you look at them through a “non-sports” lens, the Spurs do what we all strive to do.

  • They hire and retain the best talent. The core of the team has been together for a number of years and stay in San Antonio by choice. Don’t forget how seemingly close Tim Duncan was to becoming a member of the Orlando Magic. He, like the others, has stayed because of the organizational difference.
  • They manage and maintain their culture. And they don’t just announce it – they live it. Their culture is clear and consistent.
  • Leaders lead. Peter Holt simply doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He certainly is in a position to be a dominant voice in Spurs operational decisions. Yet, clearly he lets his leaders do their job. I love coach Pop, but I am sure that there are a lot of owners that might not have been able to check their ego and let Pop be Pop. Similarly, Coach Pop had to set aside some of his own control when R.C. Buford became the team’s General Manager. And the examples go on all the way down the bench. Again, the Spurs demonstrate a “Good to Great” principle in getting the right people in the right seat on the bus.
  • They adapt. Just like in business, the market changes, our capabilities change, and products change. While the Spurs will still hold firm the team’s commitment to defense, they clearly are not the same defensively focused team they were when they won their last championship.   In those days, with the same core players, about the only time you saw the Spurs fly up and down the court was when they were matching the speed of the old Mike D’Antoni Phoenix Suns. Those were fun, high-scoring games, but they were rare. Several years ago, Pop and his staff revamped their offense to better suit their roster. While they are still focused on key defensive principles, today the Spurs are a much different team because of their ability to adapt.
  • Lastly, and today most obviously, they take their experiences for what they are and work to improve. I think the “experts” are right. Few, if any, teams or organizations could have responded so well after last year’s loss in game six of the finals.

Admittedly, I am a Spurs “homer,” however, they are a wonderful example for many businesses on strategic thinking, organizational planning, and execution that we should all look to emulate.

In closing, I’d like to leave you with a couple of quotes:

F. Scott Fitzgerald ~ “Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.”

Tim Duncan ~ “We’ll do it this time.”

Go Spurs Go!

Silver & Black Give Back unveils special edition Lucchese Spurs Boots

SBGBLogo_Wordmark_BlackJust in time for the NBA Finals, Spurs fans can now show love for the home team by purchasing a pair of special edition Lucchese Spurs boots. Silver & Black Give Back (SBGB), the nonprofit for Spurs Sports & Entertainment’s family of teams, unveiled the special edition Lucchese Spurs boots for both men and women at the end of May. The exclusive line of Spurs edition boots were created to benefit SBGB youth programs and provide Spurs fans with a Texas-themed wardrobe essential.

SPURS BOOTSThe men’s boot features black Lonestar Leather with the official Spurs logo embroidered on the front and back of each boot, a classic walking heel and Lucchese toe. The women’s boot also features black Lonestar Leather with the official Spurs logo embroidered on both sides of each boot, a ladies heel and ladies fashion toe and scallop top.

The special edition Spurs boots are on sale now and retail for $499.99. Every pair of boots sold will help benefit SBGB youth programs, such as the Team Up Challenge, which just announced the 12 youth-serving nonprofits that will receive a portion of $40,000 as part of the 2014 Summer Team Up Challenge.

Throughout the summer, the nonprofits will work to address community needs together with the San Antonio Stars. On Monday, July 7 all 12 groups will be out in the community bringing service projects to life with help from the entire Stars roster for Team Up Day.

The grant recipients include: Any Baby Can of San Antonio, Boys & Girls Club of San Antonio, Eastside Christian Action Group, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas, Girls Incorporated of San Antonio, Good Samaritan Community Services, SA Youth, San Anto Cultural Arts, San Antonio Public Library, Stand Up for Kids and Martinez Street Women’s Center.

The Team Up Challenge encourages students to apply what they are learning in the classroom to the real world, bringing education alive in powerful ways. Students create projects that address needs that will help improve their community in one of five categories: Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Health & Wellness or Uniformed Services.  As a premier initiative of Silver & Black Give Back, Spurs, Stars and Rampage players work alongside the students to help bring their vision to life.

To purchase the exclusive line of Spurs boots, fans are encouraged to visit Ranch at the Rim for custom sizing. Those who know their boot size can also order online at To find out more about Silver & Black Give Back visit

Copa Rayados Internacional, SeaWorld and San Antonio Sports join forces to offer largest competitive select youth soccer tournament in Alamo City

soccertournamentIn partnership with San Antonio Sports, the SeaWorld Copa Rayados Internacional will expand its tournament opportunities and activities for over 10,000 attendees to enjoy! The event, which takes place during Thanksgiving week November 26-30, 2014, will become part of the Bexar County Games presented by Ancira, with SeaWorld San Antonio hosting the opening ceremonies.

Registration is available online at

SASF“The Bexar County Games are one more way youth can experience the transformational power of sport, which is our mission. The games are played at beautiful new facilities and help level the playing field with what other Texas communities offer,” said Russ Bookbinder, President and CEO of San Antonio Sports.  “We are excited to offer this international competition opportunity.”

The SeaWorld Copa Rayados Internacional has partnered with San Antonio Sports. The non-profit organization sports commission attracts premier events to the Alamo City and delivers youth sports and fitness programs that serve thousands of children annually. SeaWorld San Antonio, the largest marine life waterpark in the world, is the title sponsor and will provide added benefits and opportunities to all attending the tournament. The tournament will attract more than 250 teams from across Texas, the United States, and Mexico. It will be the largest competitive select youth soccer tournament in the city, offering competition levels from elite to division two.


Monterrey Rayados, the Mexican pro club and three-time North American champion, is hosting the elite tournament for a second year in San Antonio. CF Monterrey Rayados is a top ranked professional club, most recently ranked #42 in the world, and has the top youth academy in Mexico.


In 2013, champions crowned from Mexico included Monterrey Rayados, UNAM Pumas, and Santos Laguna; from the USA, the Houston Dynamo, San Antonio Texans, and North Texas’ Olympic Development Program; and internationally, Nigeria, represented by champions, Garden City Panthers.


As a part of the Bexar County Games, the SeaWorld Copa Rayados Internacional will provide more competitive opportunities for youth soccer in San Antonio. In addition to the elite competitive levels of play, the tournament will offer an Alamo division for under 14 designated for mid- to development-level competitive teams. This will provide an opportunity for 100 additional teams to participate in the tournament under the Bexar County Games banner. The 2014 Bexar County Games presented by Ancira consist of four youth sports competitions – basketball, baseball, soccer and lacrosse — that take place at Bexar County facilities, some of the best venues in Texas. The Bexar County Games are proudly supported by sponsors Ancira, HEB, Chipotle, Pizza Hut, Valero, Mission Foods, Nationwide and FOX29/ CW35.


“We have been looking for more opportunities to engage our fan base in the United States and growing this tournament in San Antonio is a priority,” said Nicolas Martellotto, director of CF Monterrey Rayados youth academy. “Monterrey Rayados has a great following in the United States and having this tournament and SeaWorld San Antonio as a partner creates a family and cross-cultural event for everyone to enjoy.”


“The interest for the tournament, going into the second year, has been exploding, attracting more international teams, Texans teams, and teams from across the USA and Mexico. Last year, we had close to 40 teams from Mexico compete, and we’ll increase that number by at least fifty percent!” states Scott Spencer, tournament director for CF Monterrey Rayados and the SeaWorld San Antonio Copa Rayados Internacional. “With the San Antonio Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and San Antonio Sports as strategic partners, it will be a great opportunity for sponsors and partners to engage the regional, national, and international soccer communities.”


See the best of the best youth teams in Texas, Mexico, and beyond in San Antonio this Thanksgiving! To register online visit

Fit Family Challenge gets families moving together this summer

SASFExhibiting a commitment to promote San Antonio as a healthy and active community, Councilman Rey Saldaña joined San Antonio Sports officials to kick off the 2014 Fit Family Challenge, presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, at City Hall on Tuesday, May 13.

Organized by San Antonio Sports, the fifth annual Fit Family Challenge anticipates registration of a record number of San Antonio families to participate in fitness activities between May and August.

A grant from the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation supports the free family fitness program aimed at motivating families to break away from a sedentary lifestyle, get out of the house and come together for fun, fitness-focused events.

“Programs like the San Antonio Sports Fit Family Challenge are helping families get healthy together,” said Councilman Rey Saldaña.  “It’s free.  It’s fun.   And it’s accessible to everyone.”

fitfamilychallengeThe San Antonio Sports Fit Family Challenge, presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, is comprised of four three-week sessions that run from May 17-August 9. It promotes a healthy lifestyle by encouraging people to make small changes, such as integrating a walk into everyday routines and choosing fruit over candy for snacks. There are 101 free events located throughout the city that include organized walks, 5K run/walks, Zumba and fitness classes for children.  There is something for every fitness level.

Participants are asked to 1) exercise as a family, at least 60 minutes a day, 5 days a week, 2) make healthy food choices and 3) keep a fitness journal through a tracking log or online tracking at   If they attend at least three weekly events during any of the four sessions, they are eligible for a prize drawing of $1000 at that session’s big event.

The program is open to all families in Bexar County. However, it focuses its message in the ten zip codes in San Antonio that have the highest rates of diabetes and obesity. Within those zip codes are seven school districts that include: San Antonio Independent School District, South

San Antonio ISD, Edgewood ISD, Harlandale ISD, Southside ISD, Northside ISD and Southwest ISD.  In an effort to eliminate barriers to participation, the weekly events take place at schools in the target neighborhoods.

Parents are the key to having children adopt a healthy lifestyle says Russ Bookbinder, President and CEO of the nonprofit San Antonio Sports. “Our vision at San Antonio Sports is to have healthy kids.  When the whole family is involved, kids learn that taking care of their bodies is important. Through modeling to their children, parents have the power to influence behaviors that will reduce risks associated with diabetes, cancer, obesity, and a lifetime of low self-esteem.”

Mark Canales started his journey to health two years ago at the Fit Family Challenge D4 Heroes 5K.  Over the course of 13 months, he lost over 100 pounds, his fitness levels improved and energy levels soared.  He has kept the weight off and will be bringing 15 family and friends to his third D4 Heroes 5K.  “I remember my struggles, being uncomfortable in my own body.  Now I look forward to working out.  Diet, not dieting, is huge too.  My message to everyone is whatever you do, just start.  Change is gradual but it can happen and you’ll feel better.”

More than 1,000 people registered to run the D4 Heroes 5K – a free, chipped and timed race offered through the Fit Family Challenge on Saturday, May 17.  The remaining sessions’ big events are:

  • June 7 (with District 6)
  • June 28 (with District 8)
  • July 19 (District 3)
  • August 9.

Weekly schedule (May 19-Aug. 8):

Every Tuesday:
Linton Elementary (NISD) 6 p.m.
Dwight Middle School (SSAISD) 5:30 p.m.

Every Wednesday:
Emma Frey (EISD) 5 p.m.
Rayburn Elementary (HISD) 5 p.m.
Whittier Middle School (SAISD) 5:30 p.m.
Univision 41 Únase al Reto (Woodlawn Lake Park) 6 p.m.

Every Thursday:
9th Grade Academy (SISD) 5:30 p.m.
SW High School – 9th grade campus (SWISD) 5:30 p.m.

About Fit Family Challenge
Fit Family Challenge, presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, is a 12-week summer program motivating San Antonio families to learn about and increase physical activity and healthy nutrition.  Fit Family Challenge is a program conducted by San Antonio Sports, with funding from the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation and participation from sponsors, area school districts and volunteers.

School park playground transforms Sky Harbour neighborhood

SA Sports logo colorThe first of three completed SPARK parks was unveiled with the help of 700 students at Sky Harbour Elementary School (Southwest ISD). SPARK is a school park program that turns public elementary and middle school property into neighborhood parks to be enjoyed by the community outside of school hours. The grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony was led by the Leader in Me student council, and included a special song performance by the drama club and a balloon release.


SPARK is an initiative of San Antonio Sports in partnership with the City of San Antonio and participating school districts. The UTSA College of Architecture also participates in the planning process. A licensee of SPARK Houston, San Antonio Sports has spearheaded the SPARK effort with schools throughout Bexar County. Five SPARK parks will be completed by the end of the year in four City Council districts, with eight completed by the end of the school year and five more by the end of summer vacation. There will be at least one SPARK in each City Council district.

SPARK brings together the resources of government, school districts, the private sector, colleges and universities, neighborhood groups, PTA’s and concerned citizens to make San Antonio a healthier place. “This is an ideal shared use agreement,” says Russ Bookbinder, President  & CEO, San Antonio Sports. “It’s a cost-effective way to promote physical activity and provide our community parks and playgrounds, which we know to be a key in combating obesity.”

The schools, their students, families and surrounding community have design input as well as funding and maintenance obligations. A SPARK park is envisioned as a place of fun and creativity, reflecting a neighborhood’s characteristics in its design and art and giving residents a convenient, safe place to play and exercise.

Partners at Sky Harbour SPARK include:  City of San Antonio Council District 4, City of San Antonio Council District 8, The Brown Foundation, Inc., Port San Antonio, Toyota (TODOS – Toyota Organization for the Development of Latinos), Bury+Partners Inc., City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation, H-E-B, Marmon Mok Architecture, Sky Harbour Elementary, Southwest ISD, and The University of Texas at San Antonio College of Architecture.

SASports_dignitaries_playgroundLeft to right:  Florinda Bernal, SWISD board member, Marina Avila, principal of Sky Harbour Elementary, Susan Blackwood, former executive director of San Antonio Sports, City Councilman Ray Saldana, George Block, chairman, San Antonio Sports Board of Directors.

About San Antonio Sports
San Antonio Sports is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to transform our community through the power of sport. San Antonio Sports bids on and hosts premier sporting events such as NCAA® championships, which have generated a local economic impact of more than $446 million. San Antonio Sports kids programs, including the i play! afterschool program, the Community Olympic Development Program, the Corner Store Go!Kids Challenge™ and ING Kids Rock marathon training program, annually touch the lives of more than 185,000 children.  Additionally, San Antonio Sports serves as a catalyst for the development of quality recreational and athletic facilities in our community.  To learn more, visit

San Antonio Sports named as finalist in Aetna Voices of Health Campaign

SA Sports logo colorSan Antonio Sports announced that they are a finalist in the 2013 “Aetna Voices of Health” national campaign. Voting for the campaign takes place at and goes through October 13. San Antonio Sports is the only finalist from San Antonio.

Aetna will award $30,000 to the group that gets the most online votes and $20,000 to the second-place finisher. All of the finalists promote wellness locally by fighting conditions like asthma, diabetes and childhood obesity, which hit minorities at higher rates.

San Antonio Sports is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to transform our community through the power of sport. San Antonio Sports recognizes the link between healthy bodies and healthy minds and works every day to provide sports and fitness programs that inspire children and their families to live active, healthy lives.

“We are thrilled to be named a finalist in the ‘Aetna Voices of Health’ campaign,” said Russ Bookbinder, President & CEO of San Antonio Sports. “This campaign is a great opportunity to promote the important work we are doing in the community. The focus of our submission, our Fit Family Challenge, is a 12-week summer event series motivating San Antonio families to learn about and increase physical activity and healthy nutrition. It has grown every year and is changing lives.”

The “Aetna Voices of Health” website features a one-minute video from San Antonio Sports describing how the prize money would help the organization achieve its mission.

“There are a lot of great organizations participating, and we appreciate any support we receive,” said Bookbinder. “We encourage people to share our video and campaign through social media and spread the word.”

Aetna created “Voices of Health” in 2011 to honor groups that share its goals of closing racial and ethnic health care inequality gaps and helping people live healthier lives. The campaign is part of its support of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project. Aetna donated $1.275 million to support the project, with a portion of its gift used to help plant 180 new cherry trees at the memorial site in Washington, D.C.

About San Antonio Sports
San Antonio Sports is an independent nonprofit organization founded in 1984, with a mission to “transform our community though the power of sport.” Our goals are to bring events that impact—like NCAA Championships; develop healthy kids through our in-and after school programs; and provide places to play, like SPARK—a school park program that is turning public elementary and middle school property into neighborhood parks to be enjoyed by the community outside of school hours. Recognized as one of the premier sports commissions in the nation, San Antonio Sports’ staff has more than 150 years of collective sports management experience.