Record Number of Fans Watch GLSEN, Ad Council and NBA PSA on Anti-Gay Language among Teens
Media Contact: Daryl Presgraves 646-388-6577 firstname.lastname@example.org May 17, 2011
New TV Spot Featuring Phoenix Suns' Grant
Hill and Jared Dudley Premiered Sunday to 11 Million Viewers
A record number of NBA fans watched a public service advertisement (PSA) featuring
Phoenix Suns stars Grant Hill and Jared Dudley on Sunday, when Game 1 of the
Eastern Conference Finals was the most viewed NBA game in cable history. The
PSA is a joint venture between GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education
Network, the Ad Council and the National Basketball Association (NBA) to support
the Think Before You Speak campaign to address the use of anti-gay
language among teens.
A total of 11,109,000 viewers tuned in to watch the game, surpassing the previous
high set in 2009 by more than a million viewers.
"GLSEN is proud to be a part of history and particularly excited that
the Think Before You Speak campaign's message of respect was
introduced to more people than had ever watched an NBA game on cable,"
said Eliza Byard, GLSEN Executive Director. "While we know an incredible
amount of work remains to address the use of anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender language among teens, we've already seen the tremendous impact
our partnership with the NBA will have."
The Ad Council is distributing the PSA to more than 1,600 TV stations nationwide
and the ad will air in donated time. The NBA has committed to support the TV
ad across their broadcast partners-ABC, ESPN, and TNT-as well as
on NBA TV and NBA.com. The league will also support the campaign through their
social media assets where they connect with more than 11 million fans.
"We teamed up with GLSEN for their Think Before You Speak campaign to
engage NBA fans in a crucial dialogue about respect," said Kathy Behrens,
NBA Executive Vice President of Social Responsibility & Player Programs.
"We're so proud our teams and players delivered for the spot's premiere,
when our historic night could add to GLSEN's proven track record of driving
change on the issue of anti-LGBT language and behavior among youth."
Nearly nine in LGBT teens report having been verbally harassed in the past
school year, and almost half have been physically harassed based on their sexual
orientation, according to GLSEN's 2009 National School Climate Survey.
Homophobic remarks such as "that's so gay" are the most commonly
heard type of biased remarks at school, and nine in ten LGBT teens say they've
heard "gay" used in negative way frequently or often.
"While our partnership with GLSEN on Think Before You Speak has been
remarkably successful in terms of raising awareness and influencing attitudes
and behaviors, there are still far too many teens that do not realize the serious
impact of their words," said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad
Council. "With NBA players that teens look up to delivering the message
to record audiences, we will be able to break through and help teens understand
that the casual use of this language carries over into more overt harassment
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is the leading national
education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established
in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and
accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive
contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For
information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy,
student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org
About the Ad Council
The Ad Council (www.adcouncil.org) is
a private, non-profit organization that marshals talent from the advertising
and communications industries, the facilities of the media, and the resources
of the business and non-profit communities to produce, distribute and promote
public service campaigns on behalf of non-profit organizations and government
agencies in issue areas such as improving the quality of life for children,
preventive health, education, community well-being, environmental preservation
and strengthening families.
About the NBA
The NBA, founded in 1946, is a professional sports league and global business
that features 30 teams in the United States and Canada. During the 2010-11 season,
NBA games will reach 215 countries and territories in more than 40 languages.
Official NBA rosters currently feature 85 players from 41 countries and territories.
NBA merchandise is sold in more than 125,000 stores in 100 countries on six
continents. NBA.com averages more than 26 million page views per day, with more
than 50 percent of the site's visitors coming from outside of North America.
The NBA is the No. 1 U.S. sports league on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, with
the most fans, followers, and videos viewed on each, respectively. Through NBA
Cares, the league, its teams and players have donated more than $150 million
to charity, completed more than 1.5 million hours of hands-on community service,
and created more than 560 places where kids and families can live, learn, or