As previously mentioned it’s Breast Cancer Awareness month and just about everybody is getting involved; even the National Football League. This year marks the 3rd year that the NFL has gone pink for the month of October. The campaign is called “A Crucial Catch” and is a partnership with the American Cancer Society. The focus is on raising awareness of the” importance of annual screenings, especially for women who are 40 and older.” “Catching” cancer early is one of the best ways to ensure successful treatment.
The league itself has various fundraisers going on not to mention what the individual teams are doing to contribute. The most visible portion of this campaign is the players, coaches and referees all wearing swatches of pink. Everything from baseball hats to gloves, chin guards to cleats, even the balls themselves have splashes of breast cancer pink. After each game, these pink items are added to the NFL auction website where fans can bid on them. The NFL store also features “pink” items for each team ranging from jerseys to tumblers, even jewelry. The proceeds from these items and the auctions go to the American Cancer Society and various team charities.
The league has also partnered with PepsiCo and Kroger’s to feature products with Kroger employees who’ve battled breast cancer pictured with Mark Sanchez and Eli Manning, quarterbacks for the two New York teams, appearing on various PepsiCo products. They’ve even reached out to high schools in the U.S. to encourage their football teams to “go pink” as well.
Then there are the individual teams. With too much going on to mention it all, here are some of the highlights. In Baltimore, during the Ravens game on October 3rd to kick off the month, the town lit the City Hall to look pink and had country singer Martina McBride sing the National Anthem while flanked by breast cancer survivors. In Buffalo they are working with the Niagara Falls Illumination board to get the falls lit pink on Friday October 7th and the Atlanta Falcons are sponsoring a “Dazzle and Dine” event where survivors will be treated “to day of pampering and a night of fine dining with Falcons players.”
I have to admit that generally I’m not a big fan of the whole “shrink it and pink it” style of targeting female fans, but in this instance I think it’s a pretty cool way for the NFL to show support to its female demographic while raising money and awareness for such a good cause. So for the month of October, I’ll forgive any pink jerseys I see and just cheer right along as my teams does well and groan when they don’t.