SBJ/Sept. 30-Oct. 7, 2013/NFL Stadium Experience

Testimonials highlight league’s annual drive

Editor's note: This story is revised from the print edition.

The NFL is marking the fifth anniversary of its “A Crucial Catch” breast cancer awareness campaign this week with the debut of a series of two-minute videos featuring survivors who in part credit the league’s efforts for saving their lives.

Elements of NFL’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month activation

The NFL is again thinking pink for breast cancer research.
Photo by: CARLO ALLEGRI / AP IMAGES
Six to eight video vignettes featuring testimonials from survivors who ascribe the NFL campaign with alerting them to the need to get screened
Game balls with pink ribbon decals used for every down, and pink kicking tees
Pink equipment for players, including cleats, wristbands, gloves, sideline caps, helmet decals, captains’ patches, chin straps, shoelaces, skullcaps, sideline towels, eye shield decals and quarterback towels
Pink coins for the coin toss
Pink caps for coaches and sideline personnel, and pink ribbon pins for coaches and team executives
Pink caps, wristbands, whistles and pins for game officials
On-field pink ribbon stencils and “A Crucial Catch” wall banners
Pink goal-post padding in end zones

Source: NFL

The videos, produced by NFL Films, will be made available via NFL.com/pink. They’ll also be shown starting this Thursday on NFL Network broadcasts in October and in select stadiums. Airings during other network game broadcasts could follow.

Throughout the month, the by-now traditional fare of the NFL’s past breast cancer awareness efforts will be showcased as well, including pink cleats, pink gloves and pink on the field.

The league this year is increasing the number of community centers from 17 to 24 that will receive $50,000 annual grants to provide breast cancer detection services. That money is raised through auctions of the pink merchandise, through retail sales and through fundraising by high schools, one of which will be featured in the videos (Walled Lake Western, outside Detroit).

Those six to eight videos are the big addition for the NFL to this year’s campaign. One video features Tina, a New York Jets fan, who says she did her first self-exam after asking her husband why there was so much pink on the field during a game.

“She credits the NFL campaign with saving her life,” said Anna Isaacson, NFL vice president of community affairs.

Some NFL sponsors are tying into the campaign, as well. Ticketmaster, for example, will donate to the league’s fundraising efforts a percentage of revenue from tickets sold through its secondary ticket market, TicketExchange, in October, said Peter O’Reilly, NFL vice president of fan strategy and marketing.

Diet Pepsi plans to feature actress and spokesperson Sofia Vergara in its support of the NFL’s efforts. The brand will donate items and experiences that will be available for fans to bid on via NFL.com/auction, with those offers ranging from a Vergara-signed jersey to a tailgate experience with the “Modern Family” star.

— Daniel Kaplan

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