SBD/October 4, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Inside Look At The NFL's Month-Long Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign

A Crucial Catch's partners in the campaign include Pepsi, Ticketmaster and Barclays
October marks the fifth year the NFL has teamed with the American Cancer Society (ACS) and league corporate partners to "run A Crucial Catch, the league's month-long breast cancer awareness campaign," according to Ryan Basen of SPORTS ON EARTH. The campaign "raises awareness and funds for breast cancer causes supported by ACS and team charities." But A Crucial Catch is "not as altruistic as it is presented to be." Research suggests that the NFL and its corporate partners "are more concerned with enhancing their public images -- especially among women -- and ultimately revenues, than they are with addressing breast cancer." The NFL's partners in this campaign -- including Pepsi, Ticketmaster and Barclays -- also "want to enhance their images." A Crucial Catch is an "example of cause-related marketing -- using marketing strategies in a partnership to benefit both a social cause and an enterprise." The NFL and ACS are "heavyweights in their field, and a third group (the corporate partners) is involved." The NFL and its corporate partners also "generate revenues by selling and auctioning pink hats, shirts and other A Crucial Catch apparel." While all proceeds from auctioned, game-worn items "go to breast cancer causes, the league declines to say what portion of the apparel sales do." A Crucial Catch organizers "try to persuade consumers to adopt ACS' breast cancer awareness messages, and they project them via an NFL-sized marketing effort." Included are three ads posted on NFL.com/Pink, featuring Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald, Saints QB Drew Brees, Giants QB Eli Manning and Jets QB Mark Sanchez (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 10/3).
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