For the ninth consecutive year, Nickelodeon is empowering kids to get up and get active when its TV channels and websites go off-air and offline for its annual Worldwide Day of Play (WWDoP) on Saturday, Oct. 6, from 12 to 3 p.m. (all times ET/PT). The network’s channels – Nicktoons, Nick Jr. and TeenNick –and their companion sites– Nick.com, NickJr.com, Nicktoons.com and TeenNick.com will also participate in the network’s commemoration of play. At 5 p.m., Nick will premiere “I Play Because,” an action-packed special highlighting how kids around the world celebrated WWDoP. The half-hour special will be hosted by Nickelodeon stars and will feature appearances by First Lady Michelle Obama, David Beckham, U.S. Olympic Gold Medalists Nastia Liukin and Apolo Ohno, among others and musical performances by The Wanted and Rachel Crow.
“Through our ninth annual Worldwide Day of Play we are building upon our ongoing health and wellness messaging to encourage millions of kids around the world to embrace an active and healthy lifestyle,” said Marva Smalls, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group. “This year, we’re championing real kids with a global celebration that kicked off in July with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move London! and will culminate with thousands of events taking place in commemoration of Worldwide Day of Play.”
Nickelodeon kicked off its health and wellness messaging with the “Road to Worldwide Day of Play” on-air campaign, featuring spots encouraging kids and organizations across the country to get up and get active on Oct. 6. The network also launched the “I Wanna Play” sweepstakes on www.thebighelp.com, giving kids an opportunity to submit what their schools or community organizations are doing to celebrate play for a chance to win a grand prize $100,000 custom Nickelodeon playground. Nickelodeon will award secondary prizing of five $10,000 grants to local organizations across the country working to promote active play. The grand prize winner of the “I Wanna Play” sweepstake will be announced on the “I Play Because” special, airing on Nickelodeon on Oct. 6, at 5 p.m.
At 9 a.m., on Oct. 6, Nickelodeon will kick start its on-air celebration with Jeff Sutphen, host of Nickelodeon’s hit game show Figure It Out, from the Big Brothers Big Sisters Race for the Kids in New York City. At 12 p.m. (ET/PT), the channel will be “turned off” by Sutphen, encouraging kids and families to get outside and get active. When the network goes dark, a message encouraging viewers to go play will appear on a loop.
At 3 p.m., Nickelodeon will “turn” the network back on, followed by the premiere of “I Play Because” at 5 p.m. The half-hour special will showcase how kids across the country and around the world celebrated Worldwide Day of Play. In addition to First Lady Michelle Obama, David Beckham, Apolo Ohno and Nastia Liukin, the special will also feature a roster of Nickelodeon stars, including Jennette McCurdy, Ariana Grande, Daniella Monet, Leon Thomas III, Matt Bennett, Lucas Cruikshank, Halston Sage, Gracie Dzienny and Jeff Sutphen. Nick stars will check in from several events taking place around the world, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York’s Race for the Kids, Let’s Move London!, a United States Tennis Association (USTA) event for kids, a health and wellness event hosted by NFL’s Play 60 and Rob Dyrdek’s Street League Skate Championship. “I Play Because” will also include special musical performances from international sensations, The Wanted and rising star, Rachel Crow of X Factor fame.
Nickelodeon and a roster of more than 25 partner organizations will encourage their locals affiliates to host events in markets across the country leading up to and on Worldwide Day of Play (Oct. 6). Organizations participating this year include Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Let’s Move!, Kiwanis-Key Club, National Environmental Education Foundation, NFL Play 60, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, National Park Foundation, National Park Service, Ability Path/Best Buddies, ASPCA, Association of Children’s Museums, National Association for Sports and Physical Education, National PTA, National Wildlife Federation, Outdoor Foundation, Paralympics, Playward, Special Olympics, UN Foundation/Girl Up, YMCA of Greater New York, Youth Service America, US Youth Soccer, Natural Resources Defense Council, Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City, The First Tee and JAM School Program.
In conjunction with Nickelodeon’s WWDoP, the USTA is encouraging tennis clubs, tennis facilities, schools, parks and recreational organizations throughout the country to host USTA Free Tennis Play Days. The USTA Free Tennis Play Days began September 1 and will run through October 6, and are open to the public. During these events, kids will have the opportunity to play tennis as well as participate in a variety of tennis skill and game challenges that can be done individually or in teams. To date, more than 1,000 events have been scheduled across the country. For more information on local USTA Free Tennis Play Days visit www.youthtennis.com.
Additionally, Kids Foot Locker is partnering with Nickelodeon by encouraging parents to sign the “Get Active” pledge in celebration of Worldwide Day of Play. Customers who bring their signed pledge to any Kids Foot Locker store nationwide on Sunday, September 30th will receive a 15% discount to gear up for WWDoP. Kids Foot Locker outreach will include in-store signage and messaging on their social media platforms. Starting September 24th, go towww.kidsfootlocker.com/WWDOP to download the pledge
WWDoP began in 2004 as a part of Nickelodeon’s The Big Help initiative, a kid-led movement for positive change that focuses on issues that are important to kids, including health and wellness, the environment, education, and community service. Through the Big Help health and wellness component, kids are encouraged to be more active for healthier lifestyles. On October 6, kids in every state across the U.S. and worldwide are expected to participate in Nickelodeon’s WWDoP at the more than 4,000 expected local events.
For more information about Nickelodeon’s WWDoP, visit www.thebighelp.com. Click on resources for WWDoP event planning materials.