Apple Inc., Nike Inc, The Green Bay Packers And Many More Turn Pink
October is here, and that means the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) is again in full swing.
The initiative, which was originally created in 1985 by the American Cancer Society and the pharma division of Imperial Chemical Industries (now a part of AstraZeneca plc), aims to promote mammography as the most effective way for women to protect themselves from the cancer.
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one of every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. On an annual basis, that's 220,000 cases diagnosed, with one-fifth of those patients dying from the disease. If the disease is detected early through mammography, the five-year survival rate is a huge 98 percent.
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One of the most notable characteristics of the month-long awareness effort is the proliferation of the color pink and pink ribbons.
This phenomenon had its origins in 1991, when the Susan G. Komen foundation handed out pink ribbons to the participants of its New York City race supporting survivors of cancer. Two years later, Evelyn Lauder, then the senior corporate vice president of Estee Lauder Companies Inc (NYSE: EL), founded The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and officially made the pink ribbons its symbol.
The ribbons and pink have grown more prevalent and recognizable every year since.
Here are just a few of the companies that will be wearing pink this October, both physically and metaphorically, in order to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Jamba, Inc. (NASDAQ: JMBA)
The national juice and smoothie chain Jamba Juice will serve its customers with new “Pink Whirl” cups, featuring pink detailing instead of the the company’s standard design with red, orange, yellow and green.
Customers will have the option to donate $1 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, as well as the opportunity to sign a donation pledge and post it on a display in the front of the store. Coupons with four special offers will be included.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)
The world’s most valuable company just announced that it will be accepting donations to the California-based, private, non-profit clinical research center City of Hope via its iTunes Store. Apple has collected donations for other organizations before, notably the Red Cross, but this initiative marks the first time Apple is helping to raise funds for City of Hope and for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in general.
The Asian-American restaurant chain is going pink in a big way, painting the 11-foot-tall “horse warrior” statues at 250 of their restaurants bright pink. Of course, it’s not just about the color: The company will donate $1 for every selfie taken in front of one of the pink horses, as well as for every sushi roll ordered. The company’s goal is to raise $100,000 for breast cancer research.
Nestle SA Reg Shs. Ser. B Spons (OTC: NSRGY)
In a new ad campaign for its Nestle Fitness cereal, the company attached a camera to the center of a woman’s bra and tracked how many people, men and women, stared directly into the camera.
Turns out a lot of people looked, but to be fair, it was a bright pink bra conspicuously protruding from underneath a woman’s clothing. The punch line at the end reads, “Your breasts are checked out every day. So, when was the last time you checked your own?” Watch that commercial here:
Nike Inc (NYSE: NKE) and the University of Oregon
The number two ranked University of Oregon football team will wear specially designed pink and black Nike uniforms on Thursday in their game at the University of Arizona. This isn’t the first time Nike has gussied up the Ducks in honor of NBCAM; last year, the team wore pink helmets.
The Green Bay Packers And Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE: KSS)
It’s not just college football that is helping to raise awareness: The Packers will be partnering with Kohl’s Cares, a program at the retailer that donates 100 percent of the net profit from certain items to children’s health and education, to fill Lambeau Field with the color pink.
Fans will receive pink rally towels as they enter the stadium, cheerleaders will be using pink pompoms, the field will feature pink ribbon stencils and even the game balls will feature the pink ribbon. Needless to say, the Packers game against the Vikings on October 2 will be very pink.
Though the Packers seem to have a good thing going, the NFL as a whole is facing some not so great news regarding NBCAM.
The NFL And The Proctor & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG)
Corporate sponsors have been very sensitive to the recent NFL scandals. Anheuser Busch Inbev SA (NYSE: BUD) publicly condemned the league in a statement made last month, and Radisson Hotels pulled its sponsorship for the Minnesota Vikings, whose star running back Adrian Peterson was arrested for child abuse.
Proctor & Gamble went a step further and pulled its support for the NFL’s NBCAM initiative, called the Crucial Catch Campaign, weakening the league’s support of the cause (though the league is still partnered with the American Cancer Society).
Because P&G pulled out, a crucial part of the campaign, in which players from all 32 teams would have served as “ambassadors” for the cause, has been canceled. These players would have engaged with social media to promote awareness and would have worn special pink gear, like mouth guards.
Despite the disheartening news from the NFL, the widespread corporate support for the NBCAM means the color pink will be pretty hard to miss this October.
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