(LOS ANGELES, CA) – October 27, 2017 – Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) is set to launch a new public service announcement (PSA) campaign in collaboration with SU2C Founding Donor Major League Baseball. The PSA, titled “Whatever It Takes,” features Major League players and moments from MLB’s Championship Season that underscore the message that the end of the fight against cancer is unlikely to come from a single “home run,” but rather will be the result of numerous and smaller, yet meaningful, scientific advancements that keep the fight moving forward. The broadcast PSA will debut Saturday, Oct. 28, during Game Four of the 2017 World Series. Continuing a proud tradition that launched in 2011, the 113th Fall Classic will feature a moving tribute in the form of the “SU2C Placard Moment” following the end of the 5th inning. Thousands of fans in the ballpark will hold cards to honor those currently in the fight or who have been lost to cancer. MLB and its 30 Clubs are the founding donors of SU2C, committing $43 million to date to SU2C’s innovative cancer research.
In addition to the broadcast PSAs, a print PSA will be launched that features images of Major Leaguers Jason Kipnis (Cleveland Indians), Michael A. Taylor (Washington Nationals), and Yasmani Grandal (Los Angeles Dodgers). In both PSAs, the players, each of whom appeared in the 2017 MLB Postseason, prepare to drop down bunts alongside photos of 10-year-old cancer survivor Jacob Teel of Delight, AR, and 33-year-old cancer survivor Dalia Margolis of Los Angeles, CA.
Teel, who has battled cancer three times in his young life and was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the age of 3, became an instant media sensation after appearing in the All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game this past July during MLB All-Star Week in Miami. Teel hit a single and scored the first run for his team after MLB Network Analyst and former MLB All-Star Pitcher Al Leiter asked Teel to pinch hit for him. Margolis was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma in 2005 when she was 22. She underwent multiple rounds of chemotherapy and was declared cancer-free in 2006.
“Major League Baseball is proud that our partnership with Stand Up To Cancer is a prominent part of the celebration surrounding jewel events,” said Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. “We hope that launching this new public service announcement campaign alongside this year’s World Series Stand Up moment will give added attention to the cause. Due to the great support from our fans, Clubs and players, Baseball continues the fight against this horrible disease.”
“The leadership, compassion and generous commitment MLB has demonstrated and made is absolutely extraordinary,” said SU2C Co-Founder Rusty Robertson. “For nearly a decade, MLB has been one of our biggest allies in leading a national movement for cutting-edge research and innovative cancer treatments to save lives. The sight of 50,000 people of all walks of life standing shoulder to shoulder with players, coaches, broadcasters, and owners, holding signs in honor of loved ones, has become one of the most indelible and moving tributes in all of sports and pop culture. It underscores how this terrible disease affects everyone, and it will take a powerful movement to end it.”
As a metaphor to describe the cancer research work being done by scientists and doctors worldwide to make discoveries that will advance new treatments, the PSA uses MLB game footage of several players executing one of baseball’s simplest, yet often effective, plays – the bunt (opposed to hitting the big home run) – to drive home the game-winning run.
Washington Nationals center fielder Michael Taylor said: “I am honored to be included in this Stand Up To Cancer campaign, and proud to help Major League Baseball in supporting this worthy cause. Unfortunately, it seems we’ve all had our lives touched by cancer in one way or another. I admire the strength and perseverance of all who go through that battle, and those committed to finding a cure.”
Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis said: “I’m proud to participate in MLB’s SU2C campaign – with my mother’s illness and witnessing what Mike Aviles’ young daughter, Adriana, went through, I’m eager to assist any way I can to eliminate this awful disease.”
Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal said: “I’m appreciative of everything MLB is doing in the fight against cancer, and I’m honored to be included in Stand Up To Cancer’s campaign. My wife and I had a dear friend recently diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and we’re proud to stand with her and do what we can to support others in their battle against this horrible disease.”
The PSA features the message: “As we continue to swing for the fences, at Stand Up To Cancer we know that any advancement can bring someone home. Stand up for the 16 million people living with cancer in the U.S. and Canada. Visit StandUpToCancer.org.” The TV, print and radio creative was developed by San Francisco-based Duncan Channon, a two-time Ad Age Small Agency of the Year (2016 and 2017).
While we have made significant progress, there is much left to do in the fight against cancer. The disease still affects 1 in 2 men and 1 and 3 women in the U.S.
Since SU2C’s launch in 2008, Major League Baseball has provided year-round promotional support, including featured spotlights during the World Series, the MLB All-Star Game and many other individual games and activities throughout the year.
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About Stand Up To Cancer
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. SU2C, a division of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2008 by film and media leaders who utilize the industry’s resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, and to increase awareness about cancer prevention as well as progress being made in the fight against the disease. As SU2C’s scientific partner, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and a Scientific Advisory Committee led by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, conduct rigorous, competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and provide expert review of research progress.
Current members of the SU2C Council of Founders and Advisors (CFA) include Katie Couric, Sherry Lansing, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Pamela Oas Williams, Ellen Ziffren, and Kathleen Lobb. The late Laura Ziskin and the late Noreen Fraser are also co-founders. Sung Poblete, PhD, RN, has served as SU2C’s president and CEO since 2011.
For more information on Stand Up To Cancer, visit StandUpToCancer.org.
MLB is the most historic professional sports league in the United States and consists of 30 member clubs in the U.S. and Canada, representing the highest level of professional baseball. It is the best-attended sport in North America, and since 2004, MLB has enjoyed its best-attended seasons in the history of the game. Led by Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., MLB currently features record levels of labor peace, competitive balance and industry revenues, as well as the most comprehensive drug-testing program in American professional sports. MLB remains committed to making an impact in the communities of the U.S., Canada and throughout the world, perpetuating the sport’s larger role in society and permeating every facet of baseball’s business, marketing and community relations endeavors. With the continued success of MLB Advanced Media and MLB Network, MLB continues to find innovative ways for its fans to enjoy America’s National Pastime and a truly global game. For more information on MLB, visit MLB.com.
Adam Miller, Rubenstein Communications
Sheri Goldberg, ID PR
Major League Baseball