Soccer for a Cause
San Antonio philanthropist Hartman led the effort to create Morgan’s Wonderland so people of all ages with and without disabilities could come together in a safe, colorful, totally-wheelchair-accessible park for fun and understanding. The 25-acre park, which features more than 25 rides, playscapes and attractions, just completed its second season. In the past two years, Morgan’s Wonderland has attracted more than 200,000 guests from all 50 states and more than 30 other countries. More information is available at www.MorgansWonderland.com.
Because anyone with a physical or cognitive special need is admitted free to Morgan’s Wonderland, Hartman sought other revenue streams to help the park meet its financial obligations as well as to expand programs and services at the park for the special-needs community. Morgan’s Wonderland opened in spring 2010 along with STAR Soccer, which conveys profits from the operation of 13 first-class playing fields to the park. Similarly, Scorpions profits will go directly to Morgan’s Wonderland.
Sensing an opportunity to benefit Morgan’s Wonderland for the long run, Hartman in fall 2010 secured an NASL franchise – one rung below MLS – and immediately launched Soccer for a Cause, a campaign to build community support for the new team. This included a name-the-team contest, a logo-design competition and an online vote of fans to select the Scorpions’ jersey. Meanwhile, Nike became the first to sign up as a team sponsor.
Hartman reiterated several key goals for the Scorpions including heightening interest in soccer, promoting physical fitness and boosting tourism, in addition to the primary goal of generating profits for Morgan’s Wonderland.
“Morgan’s Wonderland continues to exceed expectations, profoundly touching the lives of special-needs children and adults, their families and friends,” Hartman said. “Each and every day we draw inspiration from all those with special needs who must deal with hard-to-imagine physical and cognitive challenges.”