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Jul272010

MLB, SU2C Using Virtual Goodies At All Ballparks To Strike Out Cancer

July 27, 2010: Stand Up To Cancer and Major League Baseball have launched an online segment of their alliance that enables fans to customize virtual baseball virtual goods from their favorite ballparks, including bases, ballpark seats, suites and even the pitcher's mound.

The program, "MLB.com Stand Up Stadiums," will be supported at launch by a PSA created by MLB.com and SU2C that will be shown on ballpark video boards and at MLB.com and club Web sites. The PSA is introduced by actress Melissa Joan Hart, who explains the new initiative.

SU2C is the charitable initiative supporting groundbreaking research aimed at getting new cancer treatments to patients in an accelerated time frame. In paying for the virtual items, fans will be contributing directly to cancer research  and will also be able family and friends who have been affected by cancer.

After choosing their favorite team and ballpark, fans can select the virtual piece of the stadium they'd like to dedicate. According to MLB, the minimum donations will be tiered based on the items available: $5 per ballpark seat, $100 per suite, $200 per base and $500 per pitcher's mound. Individual donations at each tier may be increased as desired.

Before completing the donation, fans can enter a dedication name, write a personal commemorative message and upload a digital photograph to customize their virtual items.  Fans will be able to preview their items before ordering in a special team-branded gallery page. The donor will have a unique web page link to display and share the virtual item with friends, families, co-workers and others touched by cancer via e-mail and across social networking platforms. (Full details here.)

"Stand Up to Cancer is thrilled to continue our long-standing partnership with Major League Baseball, through MLB.com and Stand Up Stadiums," SU2C co-founder and movie producer Laura Ziskin said in a statement. "It's a platform that allows baseball fans everywhere to help make real progress against cancer. As a person living with cancer, I also know that this tribute space will make a personal difference in the lives of patients, survivors, and all of us in the fight."

Major League Baseball was the founding donor to contribute to Stand Up To Cancer in 2008. MLB Network will be among a number of stations donating an hour of time on Set. 10 for a "Stand Up To Cancer" telethon, hosted by Katie Couric, Diana Sawyer and Brian Williams. Other networks involved include HBO, and E!

According to Dinn Mann, evp-content for MLB.com "Stand Up Stadiums present a compelling online vehicle to honor loved ones and rally fans in the fight against cancer. The virtual ballparks provide a convenient way to donate, to spread the word interactively, and as an extension of Commissioner Selig's, and the industry's, commitment to the cause."

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