With the Invictus Games at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida, just under a month away, we have yet to see much promotion or advertising of the event here in the United States. Even at Walt Disney World, there are no signs or advertisements on the buses, in the hotels, or around the parks. During my recent trip to the Disney parks, I was very disappointed not to see any mention of the Invictus Games anywhere around where I visited with my family. My father is a veteran of the United States Army, and he is thrilled that Prince Harry created such a fantastic event for those in the armed forces from across the globe who have been wounded in battle.
This is an important event that the United States is honoured to be hosting. The Invictus Games were created to show respect for and honour the brave men and women who have risked their lives so that we could be free. Many of these wounded warriors have lost limbs, have noticeable scars, and/or have injuries unseen like PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) that affects at least 20% of those in our armed forces that have fought in the name of freedom. These service men and women deserve all our love and respect. So why is there hardly any promotions in the United States for Invictus Games? Why are we not seeing commercials and more interviews on television? Why is Disney not promoting this? Prince Harry’s recent interview with Robin Roberts on Good Morning American was good publicity for the event and has caused some to look into the games for more information. However, just this interview is not enough to gain the attention needed for the weeklong event.
When Prince Harry announced that the United States would host the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando, he travelled across the pond to Washington D.C. in October of 2015. During this trip, he met with First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Dr Jill Biden at the USO Warrior and Family Center at the Fort Belvoir military base, where they announced the 2016 Games. I am sure that both women are working hard behind the scenes with the preparation, but I want to see them doing more out in the open to make more Americans aware of the event in Florida. Give people the information with enough time to make plans to travel to Orlando or watch it on ESPN when it airs. In my opinion, waiting to advertise in the last few weeks is not a good public relations strategy. Promotions of the games should have begun months before the events were due to take place.
As an American, I am extremely disappointed in the lack of media coverage, advertising, and Disney promotion that has taken place. While travelling this past weekend, I was seated beside a Disney employee on my flight. The only information that she had on the Invictus Games was that the event was taking place this year. She had no idea what the event was for and when it would occur. She was shocked that the games were not more publicised. A friend of mine received a call about her assigned seating for the events on the 12th of April. She requested that there be more advertising and was told that it was due to begin on that day. However, I have yet to see an increase in promotion in the media. From my British friends, I have heard that Invictus has been publicised a decent amount in the United Kingdom in the months leading up to the opening ceremony on the 8th of May. Fox News and CBS News have mentioned the games a handful of times on their shows in the past few months. The Orlando Sentinel has also reported a few times on the events, mainly in the previous couple of days.
We want to make these games a once in a lifetime opportunity for armed service men and women from across the world. As American citizens, we also can do more. We can help these games become well known throughout our country! How can we help? Call your local news stations or radio stations about the games, tell your friends and family, send a letter to your local publications, or even call a congressman or congresswoman to help get the word out! We can show our thanks by helping publicise Invictus for our wounded warriors. They are real heroes, and I sincerely hope that their time in the United States for the Invictus Games is one to remember!
Prince Harry will be in attendance throughout the games. He will arrive in the United States after a brief stop in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to mark the countdown for the 2017 Invictus Games. On the 4th of May, Harry will participate in a polo game to raise money for his charity, Sentebale. From the 5th of May through the 13th of May, Harry will be in Orlando promoting and taking in the games along with First Lady Michelle Obama. I am sure Harry is very much looking forward to the games and wants it to be a success. I know the same can be said for Dr Biden, the First Lady, and for all Americans.
The Invictus Games will be held in Orlando, Florida, USA from the 8th of May through the 12th of May. More information can be found at http://invictusgames2016.org or https://www.espnwwos.com/events/spectator/invictus-games/
More information on the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, Ontario, CA can be found at http://www.invictusgames2017.com