For the last 14 years, the National Football League (NFL) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) have teamed up to support the fight against cancer through “Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer.”
The initiative, which kicks off in stadiums Sunday and continues to be highlighted through Week 6 games, addresses early detection and risk reduction efforts across multiple types of cancers.
Since its inception, Crucial Catch has placed an emphasis on getting screened and catching cancer early when it may be easier to treat.
New this year, through funding provided by the NFL as part of the Crucial Catch initiative, fans and members of the NFL Family will be able to easily find their nearest cancer screening centre and additional screening resources at NFL.com/CrucialCatch or by texting “CATCH” to 635635.
The site also provides resources for fans to determine the type of cancer screening they need, a cancer hotline and a 24-hour chat for anyone who needs their screening questions answered.
This year, Crucial Catch will be featured in a brand spot that is part of the League’s new “We See You” cause advertising campaign.
Houston Texans wide receiver John Metchie III, who was recently diagnosed with a form of Leukemia, is featured in this public service announcement (PSA) and is helping use his voice to encourage the NFL family to get screened.
“With my recent cancer diagnosis, I know now more than ever the importance of screening and early detection,” said Houston Texans Wide Receiver JOHN METCHIE III.
“I’m thankful to be able to use my voice and my story to encourage others to get screened so they can catch cancer early when it’s easier to treat.”
The NFL has funded the American Cancer Society’s Community Health Advocates Implementation Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) grants since 2012, which have contributed to more than 600,000 screenings in under-resourced communities and reached more than 1.3 million individuals through education, screening reminders and patient navigation.
CHANGE grants are currently removing barriers to cancer screening in the 32 NFL markets. Some of the services provided this season include providing funding for mobile mammograms, expanding screening services to the uninsured and operations outside of normal business hours, plus rides to those experiencing transportation barriers.
All 32 NFL teams will have the option of supporting the Crucial Catch initiative in stadiums and in their communities this year. In addition, players may wear cleats and shoelaces in any colour representing the type of cancer awareness they support and/or have been impacted by during their team’s Crucial Catch game.
Additionally, 22 NFL players, including John Metchie III, have joined the American Cancer Society as player ambassadors to champion the fight against cancer as part of Crucial Catch.
Beginning on Sunday, Oct. 2, and continuing through Week 6, NFL Crucial Catch games will feature an array of in-game visuals such as Crucial Catch game balls, goal post wraps and field-wall banners, branded on-field equipment for players, coaches, and officials among other activations that will make the initiative come alive in-stadium. Game-worn Crucial Catch merchandise will be auctioned on NFL Auction (NFL.com/Auction).
The NFL does not profit from the sale of Crucial Catch merchandise. Charitable contributions are donated to the American Cancer Society to support its CHANGE grant program.
NFL-issued Crucial Catch gameday apparel will feature a multi-coloured logo representing all cancers. New Era and Nike have created newly designed Crucial Catch gear, highlighting the NFL’s commitment to drawing awareness to and supporting multiple cancer prevention efforts. Fans can purchase NFL-licensed Crucial Catch apparel on NFLShop.com.
Fan Creations has also released Crucial Catch wooden signs again this year to remind those that have been diagnosed with cancer that they are not alone in fighting this disease which will be available for purchase on NFLShop.com and proceeds will go to ACS.
“We See You”
This year’s Crucial Catch ad campaign focuses on cancer awareness and early detection initiatives, in partnership with ACS. The NFL created a PSA to increase awareness and, most importantly, encourage fans to be proactive in finding their local cancer centre and local screening resources.
The PSA speaks to the struggles that many face when it comes to taking the next step in getting screened – whether it be lack of transportation or health insurance, etc. – and the solutions that the NFL and American Cancer Society are working to provide through resources funded by Crucial Catch grants.
The NFL and ACS see a future where everyone has access to cancer screenings, no matter who you are or where you are from. You can see the spot featuring Metchie III here.
For the second year in a row, the American Cancer Society and the NFL are teaming up for a Crucial Catch Facebook fundraising challenge with a goal of raising $500,000.
A series of Facebook ads will launch promoting the “October 25 Push-Ups A Day” challenge presented by NFL’s Crucial Catch. Facebook users can opt-in to the challenge via a Facebook group where they will connect with other Facebook users around the country, join teams or participate individually.
In addition to logging 25 push-ups a day, users will be encouraged to start a Facebook fundraiser to raise money for American Cancer Society’s Crucial Catch program. Last year, the challenge raised $330,000. Fans can sign up at cancer.org/crucialcatch.
Additional Crucial Catch Activations
Crucial Catch kicked off this NFL season during training camp with an initiative to raise awareness and reduce the risk of skin cancer. Several NFL club training camps offered sunscreen samples at their training camps as well as sun safety tips. Find more information at cancer.org/sunsafety.
Youth Crucial Catch
Each year, college, high school and youth football teams from across the country do their part to raise funds and help the NFL in these efforts.
Schools, leagues, intramural clubs, and community athletic organizations are invited to unite with the NFL and join Youth Crucial Catch to raise funds to beat cancer. To start a fundraising team, register online at youthcrucialcatch.org.