By Barry Janoff
December 9, 2016: The American Cancer Society this weekend will launch the first multi-media campaign to support the Coaches vs. Cancer program, an alliance with the National Association of Basketball Coaches that features college basketball coaches to raise awareness and donations.
The cause marketing campaign, "Come and Play For Us," is built around a TV spot that includes such well-respected head coaches as Lon Kruger (University of Oklahoma), Tubby Smith (Memphis), Roy Williams (North Carolina) and Jay Wright (Villanova University).
Since its founding, Coaches vs. Cancer has raised more than $100 million for ACS, according to the NABC.
ACS said it worked with Houston-based marketing agency Professional Sports Partners to "enlist the support of high-profile Div. I college basketball coaches whose lives have been touched by cancer and are valuable leaders with the Coaches vs. Cancer program."
The campaign runs from Dec. 10 through March Madness and the NCAA Div. 1 Men’s and Women’s Final Four in April 2017. TV will air on broadcast and cable, with support from radio, digital and social media.
The new campaign will launch in conjunction with the college hoops game on Saturday in which Duke plays the University of Nevada Las Vegas in the T-Mobile Arena, benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer, to air on ESPN (2 PM PT).
In conjunction with its first ad campaign, Coaches vs. Cancer has unveiled a redesigned Web site with new digital content and consumer interface to engage college basketball fans.
According to Coach Kruger, "I am honored to be part of this campaign that embodies my passion and dedication to fighting cancer. I hope it motivates fans to have the courage to help me race towards victory over cancer and finish the game with a win."
David Doan, vp-sports alliances for ACS, said, "This is the first time we've ever launched a TV and digital ad campaign for this program, and we look forward to making an impact on brand awareness and participation."
In the spot, the four head coaches are seen making phone calls, speaking as though they are taking to potential basketball recruits.
"We are a winning team," says Wright.
"We have been winning for more than 20 years" says Williams.
"With you joining the team we will go even further," says Kruger.
The spot then gets to the point as the coaches’ conversations morph into supportive pitches for the American Cancer Society.
"We are helping the American Cancer Society in the fight against cancer," says Smith. "With you, we will help more patients on their road to recovery."
"Over 15 million survivors prove we’re on the path to victory," says Wright.
All four coaches are then seen saying, "Come and play for us," with the spot directing viewers to CoachesVsCancer.org for more information. "So, can we count you in?" asks Wright. (See the full spot here.)
Among the initiatives under the Coaches vs, Cancer banner, the Coaches vs. Cancer Three-Point Challenge is an on-going platform at participating universities nationwide in which people are encouraged donate to ACS based on the number of three-point shots made by their team.
In addition, numerous Coaches vs. Cancer classics and tournaments are held at the high school level throughout the season.
Upcoming events include:
• Suits and Sneakers Week Jan. 23-29, 2017
A nationwide event where coaches and their staff wear sneakers with their suits during games to "raise awareness and help save lives from cancer by raising funds and encouraging people to educate themselves about cancer prevention, screening, and early detection."
• The 10th annual Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic, scheduled for May 21-23, 2017 at the Shadow Creek and Southern Highlands Golf Club, Las Vegas, hosted by the MGM Grand.
• Coaches vs, Cancer National Golf Tournament and Circle of Honor Dinner, scheduled for June 11-12, 2017, at Merion (PA) Golf Club.
"This is a very important and exciting time for the Coaches vs. Cancer program as we continue to make progress and increase relevancy of the program to continue reaching college basketball fans to help us save more lives from cancer," Sharon Byers, chief development and marketing officer for the American Cancer Society, said in a statement.
The Coaches vs. Cancer platform traces its roots back to Norm Stewart, former head coach for the University of Missouri’s men’s basketball program, who was a cancer survivor and a member of the NABC. In 1993, he challenged fans to pledge a dollar amount for every three-point shot made by his team during the season.
"The concept evolved into a nationwide effort uniting coaches, fans, players, and communities across the country in the mission to end cancer," according to ACS.
American Cancer Society Hits Campuses For A House United
Back to Home Page