By the Staff of NYSportsJournalism.com
December 17, 2013: If you are someone who feels that you should deal with cancer lying down, you could learn a thing or three from Stand Up To Cancer, which is fighting the good fight under the battle cry, "This is where the end of cancer begins."
SU2C, a program of the Los Angeles-based non-profit charitable organization, Entertainment Industry Foundation, was established in 2008 by film and media leaders who "utilize the industry’s resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, and to increase awareness about progress being made in the fight against the disease."
Both Major League Baseball and MasterCard, an official partner of MLB, have been lead supporters of Stand Up To Cancer, which was launched in 2008.
MLB and MasterCard took their support to a higher level in 2013, including activation around the All-Star Game in New York, a "Dig In & Do Good" push that spurred consumers to use their MasterCards, SU2C’s Second Annual Ugly Sweater Campaign with a new alliance from The Dan Patrick Show, the MLB.com Auction held this month in conjunction with baseball's winter meeting and a bevy of stars that ranged from Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) and the official mascots from the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies to celebrity chefs.
"Dig In & Do Good," was unveiled in conjunction with activities surrounding MLB's All-Star Game, with MasterCard promising to donate up to $4 million to Stand Up To Cancer each time card holders spent $10 or more when dining out or ordering in, and paid with their MasterCard or MasterCard enabled with PayPass. The goal of $4 million was met by the September deadline. Which inspired a re-launch of the campaign, with MasterCard offering another $4 million in donations. (Details here.)
To date, MasterCard has raised more than $12 million for SU2C, according to the organization.
"By aligning with a cause that people are passionate about and delivering a program that leverages activities they're already planning — the simple act of dining out — we're able to drive significant funds to help further critical cancer research initiatives," Cheryl Guerin, group executive, U.S. marketing for MasterCard, said in a statement. "We're now three years in to our engagement with Stand Up To Cancer and every time we wrap a program like this we are astonished at the outpouring of support from our cardholders, issuers and restaurant industry partners. It's something we can all feel good about being a part of."
Two-time Emmy winner Stonestreet, Mr. Met and Phillie Phanatic were featured in national marketing to support "Dig In & Do Good," which received national attention throughout the baseball campaign.
The MLB.com Auction (pictured) saw all 30 teams donate at least one item or experience, with most teams offering up multiple donations. The event raised more than $120,000, bringing the two-year MLB.com Auction total to more than $270,000 for SU2C.
To date, MLB and its 30 clubs have committed more than $40 million for SU2C through 2014.
According to Rusty Robertson, co-founder for SU2C, “Stand Up To Cancer was founded on the belief that each and every one of us can make a difference in the effort to make more cancer patients survivors. The incredibly generous support SU2C receives from all facets of the Major League Baseball community exemplifies that belief."
SU2C said that since its inception, it has funded more than 500 scientists, pledged some $262 million and awarded more than $160 million for 37 grants. Also per SU2C: Today, nearly 4,500 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer.