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Big game, big win for the American Cancer Society

​Super Bowl LIV lived up to the hype many were hoping for in Miami, Florida, when the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs took the field. The Kansas City Chiefs – winning the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years – were not the only winners to come out on top. The American Cancer Society successfully raised awareness and funds for our mission at events and promotions leading up to Super Bowl LIV. 

Here are some of the highlights:

  • To date, ACS has tracked close to 200 million impressions, particularly among key audiences within the African American, millennial, and sports fan demographic, with amplified awareness through our ACS Masterbrand channels – We amplified and engaged with content from partners, ambassadors, NFL teams, and media throughout the NFL season across all our social channels. 

  • ACS engaged with social media tweets and posts which reached over 11 million followers, related to #CrucialCatch and the Super Bowl Sweepstakes. There were also more than 100 influencer and partner posts engagements, including NFL teams, NFL players, and other influencers supporting the American Cancer Society. 

  • Although the dollars from Superbowl activations are still being counted, we know we raised over $100,000 from the Superbowl Sweepstakes. Other activations included Pro Bowl ticket incentives and our partnership with BET Network and the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration, which highlighted ACS mission and impact in health equity via our CHANGE Grant Program – a focus of our overall impact mission work for 2020 and beyond. 

  • During the 2019 season, ACS and the NFL surprised two cancer survivors with tickets to the Super Bowl. Allan Smith and Dominique Farrar fulfilled their dream in Miami and were hosted by ACS and the NFL to a memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

  • Through the Crucial Catch Super Bowl Sweepstakes, Michelle Gipson, a 15-year Kansas City Chiefs season ticket holder who lost her mom to breast cancer, was sent on the VIP trip of a lifetime to Super Bowl LIV in Miami. After discovering she carried the BRCA2 gene mutation, Michelle opted for preventive surgery to reduce her breast cancer risk.  

  • Our celebrity partners, Caleb McLaughlin and Ken Jeong not only helped create a memorable experience for our sweepstakes winner but also showed their support through their personal social media channels. 
Social media highlights

Earned media highlights of Crucial Catch Sweepstakes winner

Our work with the NFL continues to elevate the American Cancer Society brand and shows the impact we can have through our Sports Alliances and celebrity partners. Thank you to all the amazing volunteers, staff, and partners that made this Super Bowl experience possible! 

  • ACS launches Relay For Life chatbot via Facebook Messenger

    Chatbot helps maximize customer self-service by answering common questions 

    The American Cancer Society recently launched a new chatbot within the Facebook Messenger platform on the American Cancer Society Relay For Life Facebook page. This chatbot focuses on helping consumers quickly find answers to commonly asked questions related to Relay For Life.

    These common themes were identified for why a customer would use the Messenger platform before creating this unique chatbot.

    • General Relay For Life information
    • How to find a local event
    • How to donate
    • How to dedicate a luminaria
    • How to fundraise

    This chatbot will help customers find answers to their questions by providing information, videos, or links where applicable. When a more complex answer is required, such as a specific cancer related question, the chatbot will guide them to call NCIC or use Live Chat on cancer.org.

    Users can access the chatbot on their mobile device or computer by visiting the American Cancer Society Relay For Life Facebook page and clicking "Send Message". A customer will then be able to choose to join an event, explore topics, or contact us with one click.

    A similar chatbot for the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Cancer Facebook page will be coming soon.

  • Help promote Give Blood to Give Time and consider donating blood

    ​We hope you have been seeing our Give Blood to Give Time ads popping up on the internet.

    One features model Cindy Crawford, whose brother died from leukemia before he turned 4 years old. Today, as a spokesperson for the American Red Cross, she helps shine a light on how blood donors play an important role in the battle against cancer.

    Another video features Hannah, a young girl who underwent lots of transfusions during her treatment for leukemia. Now in remission, Hannah says: “For every blood donor out there, there is not enough gratitude in the world for you guys. You are giving a life to someone who needs a life, so thank you.”

    And, if you have not seen this moving video, watch now

    This joint campaign with the American Red Cross was launched on Feb. 10 and continues through Feb. 29. We want people to know that blood donations help patients fighting cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation can damage the body's ability to generate healthy blood cells and cause potentially life-threatening conditions. Blood transfusions from generous donors help to provide patients with critical clotting factors, proteins, and antibodies needed to help their bodies fight back.

    Cancer patients use nearly 1/4 of the blood supply – more than patients fighting any other disease – but only 3% of Americans donate blood in a given year.

    Here’s how you can help:

    • Schedule a blood donation:  To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in general good health may be eligible to donate blood. If you want to donate platelets, which takes loner than donating blood, watch this video. A whole blood donation takes about an hour from start to finish, but the actual donation itself only takes about 8-10 minutes. Platelet donation may take up to two and a half hours, and a Power Red donation is about an hour and 15 minutes long. A Power Red donation allows you to safely donate two units of red blood cells during one donation. Donors of all blood types, especially type O, and platelet donors are urgently needed. Platelets – a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, surgical patients, and bone marrow transplant recipients – must be transfused within five days of donation, so there is a constant, often critical, need for platelets to keep up with hospital demand. 
    • Make a financial gift: Give a financial gift to the American Cancer Society to support its comprehensive approach to attacking cancer that includes breakthrough research, free rides to treatment, free lodging near hospitals and a live 24/7 helpline. Or, donate to help the American Red Cross to support the collection and distribution of lifesaving blood products to cancer patients in need.

    Visit GiveBloodToGiveTime.org to do either!

    Helping underwrite this is Merck Pharmaceuticals.

    If you missed the story about the launch of Give Blood to Give, read this.

  • Partnership with Andersen grows

    ​Window and door manufacturer has donated windows to Hope Lodge

    In just 15 months of partnering with ACS, Andersen Corporation and Renewal by Andersen have raised $604,000 for the American Cancer Society, as well as provided tens of thousands of dollars of in-kind donations.

    Since 2018, Minnesota-based Renewal by Andersen has been a committed partner. In that first year, Renewal by Andersen mobilized its network and kicked off its “Wear Pink, Save Lives” campaign. They set a goal of raising $150,000 during the month of October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Thanks to the dedication of all of their locations across the country, they blew that goal out of the water, raising more than $207,000 in just a few short weeks. 

    In 2019, Renewal by Andersen announced it would help the American Cancer Society fight for a world without cancer all year round. Its 2019, its "Wear Pink. Save Lives.” campaign raised $241,750, and the company installed 114 new windows at our Hope Lodge in Kansas City, MO, saving us more than $100,000 in product and labor.

    Renewal by Andersen’s partnership expanded to its parent company, Andersen Corporation, when American Cancer Society became a featured charity for its employee giving campaign. That raised $155,063 in October 2019.

    Watch Renewal by Andersen General Manager David Meade, a cancer survivor, explain why the company is proud to support ACS. The video also features Dave Bension, EVP, North Region.

    This year, Renewal by Andersen will be donating and installing new windows at our AstraZeneca Hope Lodge Center in Boston.

    For questions about these partnerships, please contact Keely Couillard and Casie Kamph.

    Andersen Corporation and its affiliates make up the largest window and door manufacturer in North America.

    TOP PHOTO: Pictured from left, Cindy Makel, Amy Haynes, Christi Erickson, Mike Noble, Suzanne Swanson, Keely Couillard, and Ashley Berndt, all ACS staffers; Anthony Carrino, HGTV influencer; Matt Martinek, ACS; David Reber, general manager Kansas City Renewal by Andersen; Adam May, communications manager, Renewal by Andersen; Danica Cherry, ACS; and two Renewal by Andersen installers.

  • That’s a wrap on Suits And Sneakers Week!

    ​Basketball coaches across the nation wore sneakers January 20-26

    Coaches vs. Cancer Suits And Sneakers Week ran from January 20-26, uniting coaches across the country to raise funds and awareness for our fight against cancer. While coaching games during the week, more than 350 NCAA coaches wore sneakers with their game attire to raise awareness about the fight against cancer. 

    This incredible week united players, coaches, fans, and so many others to stand for those fighting this disease and remember those lost. Images from several basketball teams flooded in on Instagram. View the Coaches vs. Cancer Instagram page (with or without signing in) to see some memorable experiences from across the nation. If you do have an Instagram account, sign in to check out these highlight reels from Suits And Sneakers Week and the Sneaker Cam (a sneaker level view of the excitement), and follow the Coaches vs. Cancer page. Also, check-out ACS2Go for #SuitsAndSneakers photos from ACS staff. 

    A few highlights from Suits And Sneakers Week include:  

    • The Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s basketball team designed personalized sneakers with shamrocks and blue butterflies with an RP on the back in memory of Rebecca Pflueger. Rebecca’s son, Rex Pflueger, plays on the Notre Dame men’s basketball team. Rex said, “my mom radiated positivity and love to everyone she has ever met.” Rebecca lost her battle with brain cancer in September 2019. The coaches and players wore these incredible shoes at the Syracuse-Notre Dame game on January 22. Watch here
    • Holly Rowe, ESPN reporter and cancer survivor received a very public emotional tribute. Before the start of the second half of the Oklahoma-Baylor game, broadcasters, coaches, players, and fans participated in a tribute organized by Coaches vs. Cancer. They held up signs with the words "I Fight For" on them, on which they had written the name(s) of a loved one. Many of them had written Holly's name on their card, including ESPN broadcasters Fran Fraschilla and Bob Wschusen. Holly's reaction is what you would expect. Watch here.
    • The University of Minnesota Golden Gopher men’s basketball team visited with kids at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital. Their new friends helped decorate some special shoes for their coaching staff to wear at their game against Michigan State on Sunday, January 26. Giving back is at the heart of Coaches vs. Cancer Suits And Sneakers Week. 
    • The Sports Business Daily interviewed Sharon Byers, chief development, marketing, and communications officer, about her “weekend plans” in support of Coaches vs. Cancer Suits And Sneakers Week. She shared that coaches have raised more than $125 million for cancer research, education, and prevention through the Coaches vs. Cancer platform since its start. In addition to recognizing our NABC coaches, Sharon recognized our high school coaches and the wives of many of our coaches who support our mission. 
    • Again this year, Vineyard Vines created a Coaches vs. Cancer Tie. With the purchase of this tie, 30% of all sales benefit the Coaches vs. Cancer program. You might have even noticed coaches sporting this tie during Suits And Sneakers Week. 

    Thank you to all the coaches, players, and fans who made this a fun Suits And Sneakers Week!  


  • We have a Super Bowl winner!

    We are so happy to announce that the winner of this year's sweepstakes is Michelle Gipson, a 15-year Kansas City Chiefs season ticket holder who had preventive surgery after discovering she had the BRCA2 gene mutation. She will attend the Feb. 2 Super Bowl in Miami with her husband. 

    Michelle was ecstatic upon learning that she had won our sweepstakes, and became very emotional. She is thrilled that she will be watching her team play in the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years. 

    Michelle's mom passed away from breast cancer, and Michelle opted for preventive surgery to reduce her breast cancer risk.

    Michelle and her husband will meet FOX's Masked Singer and Crazy Rich Asians star, Ken Jeong, and sit next to Netflix's Stranger Things star, Caleb McLaughlin, at Super Bowl LIV.

    This year's Crucial Catch Super Bowl LIV Sweepstakes raised more than $100,000 for ACS.

  • Congratulations to the Spirit of Relay Award winners!

    Awards are presented in two categories: nomination-based and data-determined

    The Spirit of Relay Awards seek to honor and recognize all those who have gone above and beyond to help the American Cancer Society lead the fight for a world without cancer through the Relay For Life movement. From engaging survivors or an entire school community to promoting an event or creating an event experience to remember, individual victories collectively translate to attacking cancer from every angle. 

    Some award winners were chosen based on the Pat Flynn Spirit of Relay Award, and others were determined by data compiled in AC reporting systems. To learn more about the criteria for each of these awards, review the Relay For Life Nationwide Awards Program Flyer

    Be sure to look for this news on local Facebook pages so you can share the announcement with all those you know. We want to shower our winners with congratulatory messages for their achievements!

    Below are the winners of the highest Spirit of Relay Awards. For the entire list of all winners, please visit Relay Connect.

    • Pat Flynn Spirit of Relay Nationwide Award Winner:  Relay For Life of Father Ryan High School – Nashville, TN 

    Select Fundraising and Data-Based Award Winners

    • Gordy Klatt #1 Net Income Event: Relay For Life of Gwinnett County  Lawrenceville, GA (pictured above)
    • Gordy Klatt #1 Per Capita: Saint James Parish – Louisiana
    • Gordy Klatt Power of Hope: Los Angeles County – California
    • #1 Rookie Event (year 1): Relay For Life of Taneytown Taneytown, MD

    Teams of Excellence

    1. Nucor Steel Decatur – $450,100 – Decatur, AL 
    2. Nucor Steel Louisiana – $418,202 – Lutcher, LA
    3. Taco Bell – $315,000 – Jacksonville, TX 
    4. Southern Motion – $285,000 – Pontotoc, MS
    5. Rosebud Miners – $266,999 – Ford City, PA



  • ESPN reporter and cancer survivor receives a very public emotional tribute

    ​ESPN sideline reporter Holly Rowe, who continued to work while battling melanoma, received a surprise tribute during the Jan. 20 Oklahoma-Baylor baskeball game in Waco, Texas.

    Before the start of the second half, broadcasters, coaches, players, and fans participated in a tribute organized by Coaches vs. Cancer. They held up signs with the words "I Fight For" on them, on which they had written the names of loved ones. Many of them had written Holly's name on their card, including ESPN broadcasters Fran Fraschilla and Bob Wschusen. Holly's reaction is what you would expect.

    Watch here.

    Read more about her cancer journey.

    This week, Jan. 20 - Jan. 26, is Coaches vs. Cancer Suits And Sneakers Week, when NABC coaches trade in their dress shoes for sneakers to raise awareness about the fight against cancer. This season, Suits And Sneakers Week is supporting childhood cancer research, services, and prevention efforts.

  • Relay Rewards continues for the 2020 event season

    ​Relay participants encouraged to start earning Relay Rewards today!

    Once again, Relay For Life participants have the opportunity to earn Relay Rewards - points for fundraising and for taking specific actions that lead to more fundraising and engagement with the American Cancer Society.

    The Relay Rewards incentive program allows our Relay participants to earn branded merchandise that recognizes their hard work and commitment to the Relay For Life movement.

    The point system is mostly driven by individual fundraising. Volunteers earn one point for every dollar raised that is credited to their personal fundraising page on their event website. Volunteers can also earn up to 50 additional points by taking specific actions.

    Once a volunteer has reached 250 points, the lowest point total needed to redeem for Relay Rewards, they will receive an email letting them know of their achievement and how to log on to ShopRelayRewards.org to check their point balance, browse, redeem, and earn more points.

    This Relay Rewards program has many benefits to the organization and Relay For Life volunteers, including:

    • Building affinity and loyalty to our organization and Relay For Life
    • Motivating volunteers to raise more funds by not only incentivizing them to reach the next level of the program, but also to reach goals within each level of the program
    • Rewarding volunteers for their fundraising success and taking actions that help to increase fundraising
    • Giving volunteers the flexibility to spend their points however they wish, whether it's on one item or multiple items
    • Allowing volunteers to rollover any leftover points if they register for the next year’s event by the end of the calendar year (Jan – Aug events). Fall event participants (Sept. – Dec.) have until April 1 to register for the next year’s event.

    For more information, please reference visit ShopRelayRewards.org.

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