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Winter Empire State Games join forces with new foundation

Jim McKenna, ESG alum Tucker West and Sandy Caligiore speak to media as they announce a new partnership between the winter games and the Empire State Sports Foundation.

Jim McKenna, ESG alum Tucker West and Sandy Caligiore speak to media as they announce a new partnership between the winter games and the Empire State Sports Foundation. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— A new partnership with the foundation looking to bring the Empire State Summer Games back will also prove beneficial for the annual Winter Games here.

James McKenna and Sandy Caligiore announced the partnership with the Empire State Sports Foundation of Rochester Oct. 4.

“We started this discussion to put both games under the same major brand during the last winter games,” McKenna said. “We will now have one voice when it comes to attracting sponsorships and getting people motivated for the games.”

McKenna said that having a central foundation to market the games will help bring in more revenue through sponsorships and advertising, which will allow both events to grow.

“Our goal is getting youth involved in sports and we have to be something that is well rounded,” he said. “You have this new wave of sports that are becoming part of the winter landscape and we want to expand the number of sports that are involved. Through this partnership, we will be in a better position to grow to that level by being a partner with the foundation.”

McKenna added that he felt the partnership with the Empire State Sports Foundation would help the winter games reach their goals.

“We started this new venture three years ago with eight municipalities and a lot of private sector sponsors,” he said. “Our intent has always been to grow these games so they become one of the premier multi-sport events in the United States, and this is going to help us accomplish that.”

“This is definitely going to help us state wide,” Caligiore said. “With the foundation, they will help us with attracting sponsors and other things, but we will maintain the autonomy to run the games the way that we have been running them for over three decades.”

Caligiore said that the purpose of the games were to continue to involve youth athletes in olympic sporting events, including Tucker West, who raced at the Winter ESG and helped win a gold medal in the recent Youth Winter Olympics.

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