In all major league sports we see teams and players endorsing certain products or brands in order to make money. In recent years, teams and players are now donating money and endorsing many good causes. For example, the NFL and its players heavily support breast cancer awareness and the fight against breast cancer. October is breast cancer awareness month and throughout the whole month, players from all 32 NFL teams will be decked out in pink accessories including socks, gloves, armbands, and athletic tape. For those of you who don’t know, pink is the color representing breast cancer awareness and NFL players will flaunt as much pink as they can in order to raise awareness.
Because of this new trend in the NFL, every time I see an athlete wearing pink I immediately associate that color with the breast cancer awareness ribbon. The large scale media coverage that the NFL receives is a great way for breast cancer foundations to gain a great deal of exposure and recognition. Essentially, breast cancer foundations are getting free advertising by gaining the support of the NFL.
Not only do professional teams religiously wear pink in October but teams all the way down to the youth level wear pink on game day. At my high school, every fall sports team from football to girl’s field hockey showed their support of breast cancer by wearing pink accessories or uniforms. This just goes to show the impact that media exposure from the NFL had on breast cancer awareness. Advertising that makes people associate certain symbols with your organization seems to be very effective.
Breast cancer organizations are just one example of the many organizations that receive a lot of free recognition from media exposure. I think it’s great that professional athletes are philanthropists considering their massive paychecks, however I think that raising awareness of charitable organizations goes much farther than the money.