MLS WORKS, Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative, will officially launch its 5th annual Kick Childhood Cancer campaign benefiting Children’s Oncology Group, on Saturday, Sept. 1 as part of childhood cancer awareness month. Supported by all 23 MLS clubs, the month-long campaign will feature a commemorative gold adidas Nativo 2018 Official Match Ball and limited-edition merchandise designed by Los Angeles based designer Daniel Sulzberg. Kick Childhood Cancer campaign elements will also take place in-stadium, on League social and digital channels, and national and regional broadcasts.
Limited edition Kick Childhood Cancer scarves and t-shirts will be worn by MLS players, coaches and PRO referees during pre-game activities. The apparel, along with other “gold-themed” merchandise, including lapel pins and plush toys, are available for purchase at MLSstore.com and at select in-stadium retailers with proceeds benefiting Children’s Oncology Group. MLS Kick Childhood Cancer games will also include “gold-themed” corner flags and goal nets, gold captain’s armband and commemorative jersey patches. Fans can also donate directly to Children’s Oncology Group by visiting http://soc.cr/lbNv30lAEf8.
Fans are encouraged to support their local club activations and post images with their Kick Childhood Cancer scarf, or other favorite club scarves on Instagram and Twitter using #ScarvesUp. MLS WORKS will make a donation to Children’s Oncology Group for each post that includes the hashtag. Additionally, fans will have an opportunity to bid on Kick Childhood Cancer game-used autographed memorabilia as part of the MLS WORKS holiday auction beginning in early November.
"Helping to end childhood cancer is a priority for the League and our clubs," said JoAnn Neale, Chief Administrative & Social Responsibility Officer, MLS. “Our annual Kick Childhood Cancer campaign demonstrates the League-wide commitment to help improve research and clinical trials, but also provides support and encouragement for patients and families involved in the fight against childhood cancer. We’re hopeful our efforts will make an impact in helping to find a cure.”
Children’s Oncology Group is the world’s largest organization devoted exclusively to childhood and adolescent cancer research, uniting a global research team of more than 10,000 experts in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other select countries in the fight against childhood cancer. The organization’s goal is to cure all children and adolescents with cancer, in addition to reducing the short and long-term complications of cancer treatments, determining the causes, and finding ways to prevent childhood cancer.
“The Children’s Oncology Group is honored to have the ongoing support of MLS and its many clubs, fans, and other supporters. MLS WORKS Kick Childhood Cancer Campaign, now in its fifth year, has been a remarkable source of support for the more than 220 COG member hospitals, universities, and cancer centers around the world that are dedicated to ending childhood cancer,” said Children’s Oncology Group Chair Dr. Peter Adamson. “This partnership will help us build an unprecedented platform for discovery that will impact research efforts benefitting thousands of children with cancer.”
Kick Childhood Cancer donations have enabled Children’s Oncology Group to strengthen research efforts across the entire spectrum of pediatric cancers, including Project:EveryChild – a unique project aiming to capture the biology and outcome data of every child diagnosed with cancer. A single enrollment into a clinical trial for Project:EveryChild can approach $10,000 per patient. MLS has contributed to offsetting the costs of nearly 15,000 children by the end of 2018 and an anticipated 25,000 by 2019.
For more information on Kick Childhood Cancer, Children’s Oncology Group or other MLS WORKS initiatives, visit MLSsoccer.com/.