The Springfield Armor are a dedicated member of the Greater Springfield community. In just four short years in Springfield, the Armor have worked tirelessly to give back to the community that has so readily embraced the Armor organization. Through fundraisers, awareness campaigns, literacy programs and a variety of other initiatives, the Armor have strived to give back throughout the Pioneer Valley.
To view photo galleries from the Armor's 2012-13 community appearances, click here
Read to Achieve
The Armor’s acclaimed ‘Read to Achieve’ program just completed its third year incentivizing local elementary school students to read. The program now includes more than 15,000 students from 45 schools in 13 local cities and towns, as the total number of students participating in the program increased by 28% over the previous year.
‘Read to Achieve’ is an incentive-based reading program aimed at promoting literacy and love of reading amongst elementary and middle school-aged children. The grand prize of the Armor’s four-week program is a FREE ticket to a pre-designated Springfield Armor game for all students who graduate from the program, as well as all teachers and administrators who work on the program. Each student who attends the game is invited down onto the court for a pre-game on-court parade recognizing them for all of their hard work.
For more information on the Armor’s ‘Read to Achieve’ program and to learn how your school can get involved, click here and to see from scenes from the Armor's 2012-13 'Read to Achieve' program, click here.
After the tornadoes struck Western Mass. in June 2011, the Armor quickly mobilized to join the relief efforts being fueled by the dedicated work of the Pioneer Valley chapter of the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and so many other dedicated volunteers. The Armor organized an online auction of team memorabilia, as well as memorable items including a basketball autographed by the entire 2011 NBA All-Star team (donated by the NBA), a Boston Celtics team autographed basketball (donated by the Celtics), a basketball autographed by Washington Wizards’ point guard John Wall (donated through Wall and the Wizards) and Brook Lopez autographed memorabilia (donated by the Armor’s NBA affiliate, the Brooklyn Nets).
The funds raised through the Armor’s online auction, coupled with generous donations from the NBA and the Nets, resulted in the Armor donating $25,000 to the Pioneer Valley Chapter of the Red Cross. One year later, the Armor joined Habitat for Humanity's 'blitz build' to help build a home for a family that had lost theirs to the tornadoes.
Click here for a photo gallery of the Armor’s tornado relief press conference, featuring Springfield mayor Domenic Sarno and officials from the Armor and the Red Cross.
Breast Cancer Awareness
The Armor are proud to partner with Rays of Hope (a branch of Baystate Health Center) annually to promote breast cancer awareness. During the 2011-12 season, the Armor hosted their annual ‘Paint it Pink Breast Cancer Awareness’ night on March 24 against the Canton Charge. The game, which was presented by Big Y, featured Armor players wearing special custom pink jerseys with Rays of Hope’s logo emblazoned on the front. The jerseys were auctioned off during the game, along with other select pieces of Armor memorabilia, with all net proceeds going to support Rays of Hope. The Armor's 2012-13 'Paint it Pink' game on January 5 against the Erie BayHawks generated additional funds for Rays of Hope and also included an on-court recognition of breast cancer survivors.
The Armor have also sold special ticket packages in advance of their annual 'Paint it Pink' game, with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit Rays of Hope. Lastly, Big Y generously donated gift cards and the Brooklyn Nets have graciously donated autographed memorabilia, all of which were raffled off during the game with all proceeds going to benefit Rays of Hope.
US Army Night and High School Invasion Series
This past season, the Armor unveiled a new signature partnership with the US Army geared toward community involvement and engagement. The Armor and the Army partnered on the highly successful ‘High School Invasion Series’, in which Armor coaches and players conducted basketball clinics at area high schools in conjunction with Army personnel, who were responsible for the conditioning portion of the clinics. The two organizations also visited a number of high school basketball games, with the Armor’s mascot, Steal, and the Armorettes Dance Team, implementing in-game entertainment and providing giveaways for fans in attendance.
Additionally, the US Army was the presenting sponsor for the Armor’s regular season finale on March 30, a game in which the Armor set their single-game attendance record. Armor players wore special custom US Army-themed jerseys with the US Army logo emblazoned on the front and those jerseys were auctioned off online after the game with all net proceeds going to benefit the USO.
NBA FIT is the league's comprehensive health and wellness program that encourages physical activity and healthy living for children and families through grassroots programs and events, products and promotional opportunities. The NBA, WNBA and NBA D-League also hot an 'NBA FIT Week' annually to highlight the leagues' focus on community health and wellness. Each year, the Armor host ‘NBA FIT Night’ to drive local interest in health and wellness. Additionally, the Armor host local basketball clinics, also known as FIT clinics, to coincide with 'NBA FIT Week'.
To learn more about the NBA, WNBA and NBA D-League's FIT initiative, click here.
NBA Season of Giving Toy Drive
This past season, the Armor partnered with Kmart (located at 1277 Liberty St. in Springfield) to conduct a holiday toy drive to benefit Baystate Children’s Hospital. Fans who brought new, unwrapped toys to Armor games at the MassMutual Center prior to the holidays, or to the Armor’s offices, received a free ticket voucher to an Armor game in January for their contribution. Kmart also collected toys at their location and generously donated toys from their own stock.
Just before the holidays, Armor players and coaches and staff from Kmart went room-to-room at Baystate Children's Hospital to deliver toys to patients and their families.
Team Community Appearances
The Armor are thrilled to have earned recognition from the NBA Development League for the number of community appearances the team took part in during the 2011-12 season. Armor players and coaches, front office personnel, the team’s mascot, Steal and the dance team, the Armorettes, are committed to visiting area schools, hospitals, soup kitchens, youth centers and more. The Armor strive to set the standard in the Pioneer Valley for community involvement and the total number of appearances in the community that team personnel have made has risen in each of the organization’s three seasons.
To inquire about scheduling Armor coaches, players, Steal or the Armorettes Dance Team to attend your event, complete the Armor's Appearance Request Form and submit it by email, fax or mail for review.
The Armor are proud to facilitate a variety of fundraisers throughout the course of the season to benefit local nonprofit organizations. The Armor’s thriving fundraiser program continued to evolve and expand during the off season, allowing the Armor to provide a comprehensive program that focuses on awareness and creating a unique experience customized to best fit the needs of our nonprofit partners.
To learn more about our comprehensive fundraiser program and to find out how your nonprofit can get involved, click here.
Each year, the Armor fulfill many donation requests, ranging from donating tickets to an Armor game to team signed memorabilia and in-game experiences. The Armor are proud to support their season ticket holders, group clients, corporate partners and local nonprofit organizations by providing items to be used in raffles, auctions and more.
To learn more about securing a donation for your event, contact the Armor by e-mailing Armor@ArmorHoops.com.