JULY 21, 2010

YMCA announces repositioning strategy so public may better understand community impact of its organization

PHOENIX – For the first time in 43 years, the Y is unveiling a new brand strategy, designed to increase the understanding of the impact our organization makes in our communities. We want more people to take advantage of the Y’s unique capacity to foster lasting personal and social change for the better.

Moving forward, with a more comprehensive visual rollout scheduled for Jan. 1, 2011, the Valley of the Sun YMCA and YMCAs around the country will be more commonly known as “The Y.” Research has shown that most people refer to us as “The Y,” and it is more representative of the full inclusiveness of the Y, supporting the fact that our doors are open to EVERYONE.

Our materials, messaging, and brand will be simplified so it will be apparent that everything we do is designed to accomplish three objectives, which we call our “Mission Pillars”:
Youth Development – Nurturing the potential for every child and teen. In the past year, 98,000 Greater Phoenix, Flagstaff and Yuma kids, youth and teens have been touched by our Y through child care and educational programs, sports and activities, summer day camps, overnight camps, swim programs, teen leadership programs, events and clubs. These opportunities cultivate solid values, skills, and relationships that lead to positive behaviors, goal achievement, self-confidence, and pursuit of higher education.

Healthy Living – Improving the nation’s health and well being. Our Y touches 322,000 Arizona adults and children each year, as we strive to improve the health of every person, by providing support, guidance and resources needed to achieve reachable goals. In addition to our numerous fitness and wellness facilities and programs, we are actively participating in unique initiatives like our partnership with United HealthGroup.

We recently launched our Diabetes Prevention Program, design to help and educate people at high risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Successfully completing this program has proven to cut participants’ chances of developing the disease by more than half.

Social Responsibility – Giving back and providing support to our neighbors. Our Y has always assisted people in giving back and helping their neighbors, by offering them opportunities to volunteer, advocate and support programs that strengthen the communities in which we all live. For example, we partner with Maricopa County Human Services Department to provide the “Las Artes de Maricopa” program. Available to disadvantaged youth ages 16-21, this innovative program offers individuals an opportunity to participate in a variety of public art projects while pursuing a GED, advanced training, and/or employment.

“The Y” is about changing lives for the better. We have been doing this for 160 years and plan to do it for decades to come. Through our re-branding and re-positioning effort, we want to help our communities learn more about our work so we can be more highly recognized as a charitable organization and a vested partner in our communities.
Join us as we work to raise our public image ... to be seen as one of the longstanding, greatest organizations for good, in the world.