The NFL Goes Pink for Breast Cancer
It’s wasn’t a coincidence that you saw pink all over the NFL yesterday; it was the NFL’s continued commitment to doing their part to support the efforts and research of breast cancer during the month of October. The National Football League and NFL Players Association will support October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with its largest on-field presence and a national breast cancer screening-reminder and fundraising campaign. In collaboration with the American Cancer Society, the initiative, called “A Crucial Catch: Annual Screening Saves Lives,” encourages women 40 and older about the importance of having an annual mammogram.
Beginning on October 3 and continuing throughout the month, NFL Breast Cancer Awareness games will feature:
- Game balls with pink ribbon decals used for every down
- Players wearing pink cleats, wristbands, gloves, chin straps, sideline caps, helmet decals, eye shield decals, captains’ patches, sideline towels and quarterback towels
- Pink coins used for the coin toss
- Pink sideline caps for coaches and sideline personnel and pink ribbon pins for coaches and team executives
- Officials wearing caps with pink ribbons, pink wristbands and pins and using pink whistles
- On-field pink ribbon stencils and A Crucial Catch wall banners
- Pink goal post padding in end zones
- A Crucial Catch pink glow necklaces for all fans attending the Bears-Giants game on October 3
Game-worn pink merchandise and footballs will be autographed post-game and auctioned at NFL Auction (www.nfl.com/auction). Unique NFL experiences such as a VIP trip to Super Bowl XLV and a 2011 Pro Bowl Spa Retreat Experience in Hawaii also will be up for auction. All NFL Auction proceeds during the month of October will benefit the American Cancer Society and team charities. Special pink merchandise will be available at www.NFLShop.com, in stadium retail stores, at Dick’s, Hatworld and Lids, with a portion of proceeds going to breast cancer charities.
Two national landmarks, the Empire State Building in New York City and Niagara Falls near Buffalo, NY will be illuminated pink in early October to commemorate the NFL, its teams’ and its players’ efforts to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of the NFL’s A Crucial Catch campaign, the Empire State Building will be lit pink on Sunday, October 3, the evening of the Chicago Bears-New York Giants game on NBC (8:30 PM ET). The Buffalo Bills and The Niagara Falls Illumination Board are working together to light the Falls pink on Friday, October 1 in honor of the Billieve Breast Cancer Awareness program.
As national spokespeople for A Crucial Catch, both TANYA SNYDER, wife of Redskins owner Dan Snyder, and SUSIE SPANOS, wife of Chargers president Dean Spanos, are working on a cause that hits close to home.
For Mrs. Snyder, a longtime breast cancer fundraiser, the connection to breast cancer is a personal one. “Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 American women and I was one of them a few years ago,” she said. “I am proud to work with the league and the Redskins to remind fans about the importance of annual screenings.”
Mrs. Spanos is a big advocate for early detection, having caught early-stage cancer during a routine exam. She had the cancer removed and to this day insists on getting checked annually. “I’m an example of when early detection is successful,” she said. “I feel strongly that women need to be their own health advocate, and if there is anything to say, women need to speak up.”
Grammy Award-winning singer KELLY ROWLAND, an advocate for early detection, is lending her time and voice to this cause. Rowland will sing the national anthem at the Bears-Giants game on Sunday, October 3 and perform during halftime at the New England Patriots-Miami Dolphins game the following night. Rowland also filmed a public service announcement raising awareness for A Crucial Catch which will live on www.NFL.com/pink as well as be played on jumbotrons in NFL stadiums.
As Rowland sings the National Anthem at the New Meadowlands Stadium prior to the Bears-Giants game, she will be accompanied by 125 breast cancer survivors from ACS and Hackensack University Medical Center who will form the shape of a ribbon at the 50-yard line. At that moment, the stadium will glow pink with the help of the video boards as well as the tens-of -thousands of fans wearing pink glow necklaces in-stadium.
From cleats to gloves, towels to caps, NFL partners including Nike, Reebok, adidas, Gatorade, Wilson, Under Armour, Cutters Gloves, McArthur Towel and Sports and Longaberger are creating pink merchandise for Breast Cancer Awareness games. Many NFL licensees also will create special pink product, with a portion of proceeds benefitting breast cancer charities. In addition to creating pink sideline towels for players, Gatorade sideline carts will feature pink ribbon decals during October. Head & Shoulders is producing a Breast Cancer Awareness ad with TROY POLAMALU in the P&G Breast Cancer Awareness Brand Saver. Trading card companies Panini and Topps will produce special pink trading cards featuring facts on breast cancer; they will be available, free of charge with purchase, at stadium retail stores.
This year, the NFL and ACS have extended A Crucial Catch to the youth level. ANDY REID, head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, sent a note to every high school football coach across the country offering suggestions and ideas for how schools and teams can “go pink” along with the NFL and ACS to show support for the cause. Coach Reid’s mother-in-law, Virginia Garrett, passed away from breast cancer and his late mother, Elizabeth, was a radiologist who treated many breast cancer patients.
Fans may visit www.NFL.com/pink to learn more about the campaign, the High School football initiative as well as important breast cancer detection information, prevention tips and how to participate in the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk.
NFL Players will be raising money for breast cancer awareness with collective and individual efforts across the country. Through One Team for the Cure and their own foundations, Players will host a variety of events and fundraisers in their team cities and home communities.
Many teams will extend the national platform with local efforts, including the distribution of 650,000 pink ribbons and education cards facilitated by volunteers from Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) Fraternity for women. Teams will designate home games in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and plan special in-stadium or pregame events with local organizations. Team events include:
|Arizona Cardinals||The Cardinals will recognize survivors during their October 10 Breast Cancer Awareness game. Breast cancer survivors will be on-field during pregame ceremonies and during a halftime performance with the Cardinals cheerleaders. In addition, breast cancer survivor Stephanie Foxx will sing the National Anthem.|
|Atlanta Falcons||The Atlanta Falcons will be hosting the 2nd Annual Dazzle & Dine event to honor five breast cancer survivors on October 5. Atlanta Falcon Brian Finneran will be the keynote speaker at the event and will be joined by other Falcons players, including Jamaal Anderson. The survivors being honored at the Dazzle and Dine event will be recognized during an on-field presentation during the Falcons October 24 Breast Cancer Awareness game. During this game, 60 breast cancer survivors will participate in the Falcons Fitness Flag Crew as well as the pregame on-field festivities by unfurling the giant Falcons flag during player introductions.|
|Baltimore Ravens||At their October 10 game, the Ravens will host an on-field survivor tribute prior to kickoff and distribute 20,000 pink ribbons to fans as they enter the stadium, in partnership with the American Cancer Society. Additionally, the Ravens will sponsor the American Cancer Society’s A Crucial Catch Benefit Research Breakfast on October 19 to increase cancer screening funding for low-income local women. A team of more than 200 Ravens staff, family, friends and fans also will participate as Team Purple in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on October 3.|
|Buffalo Bills||To kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month the Bills will host an event in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. At the event the Bills will light Niagara Falls pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. The Bills will host their 5th annual “Billieve” game on October 3. In recognition of A Crucial Catch, 50 breast cancer survivors will be on the field for a special pre-game moment.|
|Carolina Panthers||Panthers RB DeANGELO WILLIAMS is captaining the “Williams Warriors” Komen for the Cure race team for the second consecutive year. In 2009, more than 575 walkers/runners signed up for his team and raised $40,000 for the Komen Foundation. On October 10, the Panthers will hold a pre-game presentation in which survivors from the Williams warriors will present a proceeds check from this year’s race. In addition, Panthers fans who are breast cancer survivors or families that have been impacted by the disease will have the opportunity to stand and be recognized during the presentation. ZTA will distribute 60,000 Think Pink! ribbons at the stadium gates. Williams, who pioneered the idea of pink cleats in 2009, will again lead the Panthers onto the field with a new pink version of the cleats.|
|Chicago Bears||Bears Care, the charitable beneficiary of the Chicago Bears, has been selling Real Bears Fans Wear Pink t-shirts during September and will sell them throughout October with proceeds benefitting breast cancer charities. Fans are encouraged to wear the t-shirts to the October 17 game. A breast cancer survivor finishing her treatment on Friday, October 15 will be honored on-field. Representatives from Wilson and NorthShore University Health Systems will participate in a pregame ceremony to recognize their support of breast cancer research. Also on October 4, 7-11 will be handing out pink ribbon decal tote bags to the first 40,000 fans to enter Soldier Field. Volunteers from ZTA also will be handing out pink ribbons to fans attending the game.|
|Cincinnati Bengals||On October 10, the Bengals will make an on-field, pregame presentation to the Marvin Lewis Community Fund’s Breast Cancer Survivor of the Year. The award winner will deliver the pink coin to game officials for the coin toss. Volunteers from ZTA will hand out pink ribbons and information cards to fans as they enter the gates.|
|Cleveland Browns||The Browns will make an on-field, pregame presentation during their October 3 Breast Cancer Awareness game. On October 3, ZTA will hand out pink ribbons to fans as they enter the gates. A pink ribbon flag will be presented during pregame, and will be held by season ticket holders and members of ZTA who have been affected by breast cancer.|
|Dallas Cowboys||The Cowboys and Susan G. Komen for the Cure are asking fans and supporters to join their “I Promise” campaign. Ambassador Nancy Brinker, Founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and CHARLYN AIKMAN, mother to former Cowboys Hall of Fame Quarterback TROY AIKMAN and a breast cancer survivor will serve as the Cowboys Honorary Captains for the Cowboys game on October 10 and will assist with the coin toss.|
|Denver Broncos||Broncos employees will take part in Komen Denver Race for the Cure on October 3. On October 7, the Broncos will host Denver Broncos’ Ladies’ Night Out, where 20 breast cancer survivors will be identified to be part of game day celebrations later in the month. 100 breast cancer survivors will be on field during a special halftime program at the October 17 game against the Jets. The Denver Broncos will partner with Komen on their November 6 Pink Tie Gala and supply an away game package for their live auction, as well as a variety of pink game-worn, signed items for their silent auction.|
|Detroit Lions||The Lions will sponsor the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk on October 9 at Belle Isle in Detroit. Lions’ players, coaches and staff wives, girlfriends and families will participate in the walk. The Lions Breast Cancer Awareness game on October 10 will feature recognition of the previous day’s Making Strides Walk. 30 breast cancer survivors will form a fan tunnel during pregame warm-ups, players will run through the tunnel and onto the field. In addition, members of ZTA will pass out THINK PINK ribbons and pamphlets as fans enter the stadium.|
|Green Bay Packers||The Green Bay Packers and Kohl’s Department Stores will recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month October 3 against the Detroit Lions with Lambeau Field and Packers players prominently featuring the color pink in several ways. Fans will receive pink Kohl’s Cares® rally towels as they enter the stadium, and then see cheerleaders in pink jackets and TundraLine members in pink hats. At halftime, the Oneida Nation Dancers will be wearing pink jingle dresses while performing a healing dance in recognition of the month. Sunday’s game also features collegiate and alumnae members of the Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity for women distributing pink ribbons and breast cancer awareness information from 8 AM to Noon in the Lambeau Field parking lots.|
|Houston Texans||The Texans Breast Cancer Awareness game will be on October 10. The Texans will work with ZTA who will hand out flyers and pins promoting Breast Cancer Awareness. All employees and coaching staff will wear the special Breast Cancer Awareness pins. Honorary Captains for the official coin toss will consist of several breast cancer survivors and the Halliburton Hometown Hero (recognized Community Activist) will be a breast cancer survivor. The Texans co-sponsor the Susan G. Komen Race at a gold level and have formed a running team for the race open to the public.|
|Indianapolis Colts||To kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Colts will host a “Pink Friday” event on Friday, October 8. That morning, they will partner with Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and the American Cancer Society for the “Pinking of the Canal.” The canal, a waterway that runs through downtown Indianapolis, will turn pink for the weekend. Later in the day, the Colts will host a fan event at Meijer, the official supercenter of the Indianapolis Colts, offering ticket giveaways, the Colts In Motion trailer, cheerleaders and more. On Sunday, October 10, the Indianapolis Colts will incorporate a variety of gameday elements to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month, including Indianapolis Colts Women’s Organization Breast Cancer T-shirts for sale with proceeds benefiting the IU Cancer Center; a large Pink Ribbon Flag On-Field during the National Anthem which will be held by more than 100 survivors. Fans will turn Lucas Oil Stadium “pink” as they hold up and wave pink cards immediately following the National Anthem.|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||On October 3, the Jaguars and Baptist Health will partner with ZTA to give away pink ribbons and provide breast cancer detection information to fans entering at the gates. Baptist Health also will sell A Crucial Catch T-shirts, with 100% of the proceeds going to Baptist Health Foundation for breast cancer prevention and treatment needs. Pink hats and shirts also will be on sale with all proceeds going towards breast cancer research. The cheerleaders at the October 3 game will wear pink jackets and one of the game’s honorary captains will be a patient of the Breast Center at Baptist Health.|
|Kansas City Chiefs||The Kansas City Chiefs will host breast cancer survivors on-field during their game on October 24. During this game, a number of Breast Cancer Awareness Public Service Announcements will be shown in stadium educating fans on the importance of breast cancer screenings and detection. In addition, Arrowhead Stadium will be adorned in pink during the October 24 game. In addition, fans will be given temporary breast cancer ribbon tattoos at the entry gates to the stadium. Jazzercise will give a special halftime performance. The Chiefs are partnering with the National Breast Cancer Foundation in their efforts.|
|Miami Dolphins||Dolphins Foundation will work with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to provide scholarships to students who lost a parent to breast cancer. A $10,000 check presentation will take place during a pregame ceremony. The Dolphins Breast Cancer Awareness game be nationally televised on October 26 on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. Dolphins players will wear orange jerseys during the game and will place the jerseys for action on the NFL Auction site. Team wives and girlfriends will hand out breast cancer stickers at all entry gates to fans. In addition, Dolphins personnel will walk with Publix Supermarkets during a local Komen for the Cure race.|
|Minnesota Vikings||In partnership with ZTA, the Vikings and Vikings Women’s Organization are passing out pink ribbons and breast cancer information cards to fans as they enter the stadium for the October 17 game against Dallas. As part of the Vikings Hometown Hero program, the team will honor a breast cancer survivor prior to kickoff of the game.|
|New England Patriots||During the October 17 game, the Patriots are honoring 20 breast cancer survivors who will line up with Patriots cheerleaders for player introductions. Fans who donate to Susan G Komen during an in-stadium collection will receive a pink towel and the Patriots will match a $10,000 donation.|
|New Orleans Saints||The Saints are participating in the local Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Saints Owner/Executive Vice-President RITA BENSON LeBLANC will participate in the race and serve as honorary chair. Players will wear pink gear on October 3 and the October 3, 24, & 31 games will feature Breast Cancer Awareness reminders on the message and halo boards. The Saints will partner with ZTA to distribute Breast Cancer Awareness cards and pins at the October 3 game. Team partner, Ochsner Health System, will recognize breast cancer survivors during an in-game presentation at the October 31 game as part of their Ochsner Heroes program. Benson LeBlanc also filmed a PSA in support of Ochsner’s “Ochsner Goes Pink” BCA campaign.|
|New York Giants||In celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Giants are inviting 125 breast cancer survivors from the American Cancer Society and Hackensack University Medical Center to participate in pre-game ceremonies. Survivors will be outfitted in pink t-shirts and hats, will form a human ribbon on the field, and will remain in place during the national anthem, sung by Kelly Rowland. Additionally, all fans entering the stadium will be provided with a pink glowstick necklace that they will wear during the pre-game ceremony. Members of ZTA will sell pink Giants hats and mini footballs to fans and money raised will go to breast cancer research foundations.|
|New York Jets||The Jets Breast Cancer Awareness game will be Monday, October 11. The Atlantic Health Jets Women’s Organization (AHJWO) will partner with the American Cancer Society for their Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on October 17 in Parsippany, New Jersey. AHJWO members will form a team, solicit friends and family for financial support and participate in the walk. In addition, players from the New York Jets will wear pink throughout the month of October in support of Breast Cancer Awareness.|
|Oakland Raiders||The Oakland Raiders will again work with the Alta Bates Summit Foundation to provide assistance and support for breast cancer treatment for low income women in the Bay Area. Together, the Raiders and the Alta Bates Summit Foundation will host “Play Like A Pro” at the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum on Saturday, October 30 from Noon until 3 PM. Net proceeds from the event go directly to support the Alta Bates Summit Foundation and, in particular, breast cancer treatment for low income women in the Bay Area. In addition, a portion of the proceeds from sales of the Raiders logo pink ribbon hat will go to the Alta Bates Summit’s Carol Ann Read Breast Health Center. Raiderettes will be wearing the pink hats and jackets throughout the second half of the game on Sunday, October 3.|
|Philadelphia Eagles||On October 3 & 17, the Eagles will sell ‘Tackling Breast Cancer’ (TBC) merchandise including new hats, t-shirts, track jackets and ties. One October 5, Kurt Coleman and other Eagles players will prepare and serve dinner for the residents of Hope Lodge of the American Cancer Society which offers lodging at no cost for cancer patients being treated in the Philadelphia area, as well as visit with the patients and their care-givers. On October 10, the Eagles are sponsoring a team to walk in ACS’s 2010 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Philadelphia, PA. JEFFREY and CHRISTINA LURIE have agreed to match the donations of Eagles employees toward TBC. On October 12, the Eagles will host a ZUMBATHON at the Cherry Hill Health and Racquet Club, with proceeds benefiting TBC.|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||On October 1, Steelers players will visit Magee-Women’s Hospital to offer a nutritional cooking class to breast cancer survivors and patients. Twenty-five survivors also will be honored in a pregame ceremony during the October 3 game and will be on the sidelines for the National Anthem and on the 45-yard line for the coin toss. Fans entering the stadium for that game will receive pink rally towels. ZTA members will distribute pink ribbons at Steelers Experience before the game. In addition, there will be a pink ribbon on the GameDay magazine cover along with the NFL BCA ad in the program.|
|St. Louis Rams||The St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders will join Junior Cheerleaders and Rams Alumni cheerleaders for a special performance at halftime to raise awareness for breast cancer on October 3. The Rams have three former cheerleaders who have survived or are currently battling breast cancer. The Rams will also partner with ZTA to pass out pink ribbons to fans entering the Edward Jones Dome prior to the game. Select players and coaches also will wear pink.|
|San Diego Chargers||On October 24, the Chargers will continue their Breast Cancer Education initiative by partnering with the American Cancer Society to honor breast cancer survivors on the field pre-game as well as working with ZTA to hand out more than 20,000 pink ribbons and information cards at the entrance gates. 65,000 pink reusable grocery totes will be distributed to all fans in attendance and static displays at four locations in-side the stadium will educate fans on the importance of early detection. As part of the pre-game festivities two large pink ribbons will be unveiled on the field and the Chair of the local Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure will be present to accept a donation from the Chargers and to serve as the game’s Honorary Captain. Pink hats also will be available for sale in the team store with proceeds benefitting cancer research.|
|San Francisco 49ers||The 49ers will recognize breast cancer survivors representing the Susan G. Komen Foundation and ACS in a pre-game, on-field presentation at the October 17 game. During the presentation, public service announcements will be shown and each of the survivors will be wearing pink 49ers shirts provided by Stanford Medical Center. They will be joined by 300 high school girls who will form a ribbon on the field. Additionally, the 49ers Gold Rush cheerleaders will be wearing pink gear for the second half of the game. Throughout the game, information about Breast Cancer Awareness will be available in the Gold Mine area of Candlestick Park. Before the game, players’ wives will be in Faithful City distributing information about the upcoming Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk and selling raffle tickets for autographed items to support ACS fundraising efforts. Players’ wives will appear on a local radio show to talk about Breast Cancer Awareness day at Candlestick.|
|Seattle Seahawks||The Seahawks Women’s Association will host the second annual ‘Football 101’ workshop to benefit local breast cancer charities. On October 24, the Sea Gals will wear pink jackets, use pink pom-poms and choreograph a halftime show featuring local high school dance teams. The show will include a reference to HOPE and conclude with the creation of an oversize pink ribbon on the field. The Sea Gals also will donate $1 from the purchase of any Sea Gals Calendar sold on game day to Pink Daisies. Fans will be greeted at the gates by volunteers from the local chapter of ZTA who will distribute 10,000 pink ribbons. The Seahawks Pro Shop will be selling a variety of pink items throughout the month with a pledge to donate 10% of the sales to Pink Daisies. The Qwest Field stadium arches will turn pink October 22-24.|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||In conjunction with the American Cancer Society, the Buccaneers are hosting an awareness breakfast for men on Tuesday, October 12 to encourage them to become more involved in the fight against breast cancer. That same evening, linebacker ADAM HAYWARD will host a private tour of the team’s training facility for the leading fundraising team in the October 2 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, for which he is the Honorary Chair. The team also is donating funds to Faces of Courage, which hosts camps for women and children with cancer. On October 17, members of ZTA will distribute pink ribbons and breast cancer survivors will participate in the on-field introductions.|
|Tennessee Titans||The Tennessee Titans will be celebrating their Breast Cancer Awareness game on October 3. Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity for women will meet fans at the gates of LP Field and distribute 20,000 THINK PINK! ribbons to fans. The Titans will honor twelve breast cancer survivors during a special pregame presentation. During this presentation, Titans owner BUD ADAMS will present survivors with pink roses.|
|Washington Redskins||When the Washington Redskins take on the Green Bay Packers on October 10, fans attending the game will be welcomed by dozens of ZTA members distributing 50,000 THINK-PINK!® ribbons and education cards in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. Moreover, in partnership with The George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates, the GW Mammovan will be on-site prior to kickoff and through the first quarter to provide educational materials as well as tours of the mammovan for interested fans. On October 5, CHRIS & CHRISTY COOLEY and DERRICK & EMMA DOCKERY, in partnership with the Washington Redskins and the American Cancer Society will host the third annual All Star Survivors Luncheon for area women currently battling breast cancer. The breast cancer survivors attending the event will be pampered and supported by a host of players, coaches, and their wives, including TANYA SNYDER, Christy Cooley, and Emma Dockery, serving as “Team Captains.”|