Pink isn’t for boys, or is it? Personally, I think it is adorable when guys wear pink. Then, when really strong men wear really hot pink, on the football field, and for a good cause, it is extra appealing. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and lots of organizations are doing their part to contribute to fighting this widespread disease, even the manliest of organizations, the National Football League.
As part of the “Crucial Catch” Campaign, NFL promotes breast cancer awareness by encouraging women to “catch” signs of breast cancer by scheduling mammograms before anomalies can manifest into something more dangerous. The message is the same as most you will see this month by other organizations. Not only is the NFL recognizing the need for awareness, but they are also promoting limited edition merchandise sales with proceeds going to fund research.
The NFL, its clubs, players and the NFL Players Association are proud to support the fight against breast cancer. Our campaign, “A Crucial Catch”, in partnership with the American Cancer Society, is focused on the importance of annual screenings, especially for women who are 40 and older. Throughout October, NFL games will feature players, coaches and referees wearing pink game apparel, on-field pink ribbon stencils, special game balls and pink coins – all to help raise awareness for this important campaign. All apparel worn at games by players and coaches, along with special game balls and pink coins will be auctioned off at NFL Auction (www.NFL.com/auction), with proceeds benefitting the American Cancer Society and team charities. This is an issue that has directly touched the lives of so many in the NFL family, and we are committed to helping make a difference in breast cancer prevention.
You can find this same practice across other sports organizations. For example, the NHL supplied hit pink hockey sticks to their players, and then auctioned them off. Even the minor league team I worked for in Fort Worth took part in a similar campaign, we had pink jerseys and painted our bases pink for one game where we partnered with our local Susan G. Komen chapter. This may not be considered a new way to reach out to female fans since it has been done for several years now, but there are still innovative forms of communication being utilized. All of the on field promotions, televised advertisements and commentary direct female fans to the NFL Pink microsite that encourages men and women to bid on the game-worn merchandise, schedule a mammogram (probably just the women on this one) or buy other branded pink gear. Teams are even incorporating the pink theme into their social media presence, for example, the Dallas Cowboys changed their typically blue motif to pink for the entire month of October.
Generally, I am not really a fan of using the whole “breast cancer awareness” premise to sell tickets or merchandise because I think some uses are a cheap way to bolster sales. But in this instance I think it is pretty amazing. With the widespread reach of the NFL and the fanaticism that surrounds the individual teams, the ticket and merchandise sales are already there, so why not use it as a platform to help out such an important organization? Plus, the NFL is not only acknowledging their female demographic, but also showing support for these women and families who have been affected by breast cancer. Furthermore, women and men alike get to purchase some pretty sweet limited edition hot pink merchandise.