On February 21, 2018, ESPN and Under Armour—in collaboration with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), one of the leading community development finance institutions in the U.S.—launched a new initiative called RePlay.
The program’s ultimate goal is to revitalize and transform vacant lots into places where communities can come together for sports, recreation and play.
RePlay seeks to help local residents in three cities plan and implement revitalization projects that transform vacant spaces into safe, quality places for youth and community. The initiative will direct over $400,000 in grants to local organizations that will plan and execute projects that create safe recreation spaces to exercise and play on currently vacant lots. The program will award $10,000 planning grants and up to $75,000 implementation grants to help groups working to revitalize vacant spaces in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Los Angeles, California and Baltimore, Maryland.
The application deadline is May 15, 2018. Vacant lots in neighborhoods present great opportunities to provide access to safe, healthy recreation spaces in communities. LISC will identify projects and provide technical assistance to local residents and community groups. Additionally, the organization will assist them from the predevelopment and construction phases to project completion with funding provided by ESPN and Under Armour.
“Too many children aren’t able to participate in sports due to the lack of access to safe places to play for underserved youth,” said Kevin Martinez, vice president of ESPN Corporate Citizenship. “ESPN is excited to team up with Under Armour and LISC through the RePlay program to help improve access so that everyone can get involved and realize the benefits of sport.”
LISC President and CEO, Maurice A. Jones, said that the RePlay Program is aligned with LISC’s longstanding efforts to transform vacant spaces into safe, recreational, sports and play infrastructure in communities throughout the country. “Good recreational spaces are significant threads in the social fabric of healthy communities,” he said. “Our collaboration with ESPN and Under Armour gives us an opportunity to make those communities better and stronger.”
“At Under Armour we believe innovation should be encouraged everywhere – including in our communities,” said Stacey Ullrich, senior director of Global Philanthropy. “We’re thrilled to join forces with ESPN and LISC to ignite innovation and bring the joy of sport and recreation to our communities. Because we all know that sport can inspire, unite and maybe even change the world.”
LISC equips struggling communities with the capital, program strategy and know-how to become places where people can thrive. It combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources. Since 1980, LISC has invested $ 17.3 billion to build or rehab 366,000 affordable homes and apartments and develop 61 million square feet of retail, community and educational space—including athletic facilities and other recreational space.
The application deadline is May 15, 2018.