MLB & MasterCard ‘Stand Up To Cancer’ At World Series

Continuing Major League Baseball’s strategy of using the World Series to raise awareness of the cause and charity programmes of MLB and its partners, Game Four aimed to inspire the baseball community to join MLB’s ‘Stand Up 2 Cancer (SU2C) partnership in tandem with sponsor MasterCard.


As the Boston Red Sox and St Louis Cardinals battled it out for baseball’s biggest crown, the league’s health CSR initiative dovetailed with that of sponsor MasterCard in a multi-platform cause-led alliance.


At the turnstiles, all fans were given a MasterCard underwritten ‘Stand Up 2 cancer’ silicon bracelet and placard.


The initiative reached a poignant crescendo before the top of the sixth inning when everyone in the stadium – fans, players, umpires, and broadcasters alike – all held their placards which each had personalised by writing the name of someone they know and loved who has been affected by cancer (see MLB/Fox TV footage here)


MasterCard, the preferred card of MLB, presented SU2C with a donation of $4m as part of the payment brand’s umbrella ‘Dig In & Do Good’ programme.


The campaign was initially launched at the 2013 MLB All-Star Game at New York’s Citi Field and at a post-game charity event in NY’s MLB Fan Cave which was hosted and curated by Chef Marcus Samuelsson).


The $4m total was raised by baseball fans and card holders through $10-plus MasterCard purchases when dining out or ordering in.


To support the initiative, MasterCard encouraged card holders and consumers to join the movement and help spread the word by across their social media channels by making reservations, booking orders and inviting friends and family to dine with them through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Chirpify.


MasterCard’s ‘Dig In & Do Good’ campaign included a public awareness television spot featuring SU2C actor ambassador Eric Stonestreet (best known for his role as Cameron Tucker on the ABC comedy Modern Family).



(as well as a behind-the-scenes film of the commercial was seeded on YouTube)



Stonestreet was on hand for the pregame check presentation.


‘Both my grandpas passed away from cancer,’ said Stonestreet before the game began. ‘My uncle and my mom are two-time cancer survivors. I’m not unique in any way. Fortunately, though, there are a lot of developments that give hope in the fight against cancer.’


MasterCard also ran its current MLB-led cause commercial featuring baseball mascots ‘Phillie Phanatic’ and ‘Mr Met’ during the Game Four broadcast.



“The ‘Dig In and Do Good’ program gives our cardholders a simple way to stand up to cancer when they sit down for a meal and join us in support of a cause that is personal for so many of us,’ explains MasterCard Chief Marketing Officer Alfredo Gangotena.


‘It’s an extension of our commitment to give our cardholders meaningful and unique ways to make a difference while going about their daily lives and doing the things they enjoy.’


Among the stadium’s sell out 47,469 crowd, 13-year-old Blair Williams held up a Stand Up To Cancer placard in section 234 of Busch Stadium reading ‘I stand up For Jim Williams’ – her father who suffers from sarcoma.


‘It was very special, because her father is fighting cancer,’ said her mother Lisa Wood. ‘So it was a great moment for her to be able to do something for her dad.


The players were fully involved with the initiative too.


David Ortiz led an inspirational team meeting in the dugout after the fifth inning and then led out all the players for the event.


Indeed, moments before hitting the the game-deciding homerun, Red Sox star Jonny Gomes held up two placards of his own – one for his late high school coach and the other for a five-year-old fan.


‘It was just pretty ironic that happened in the top of the sixth,’ said Gomes in his postgame interview. ‘I think there were some angels above the stadium looking down on myself and everybody else.’


Even the broadcaster Fox got involved, as one cameraman rigged his equipment with a sign in support of a San Francisco Giants cameraman and cancer sufferer.


During the broadcast, SU2C ran a public service announcement strand of its campaign ‘Stand Up, Anytime, Anywhere’ and two PSAs aired in connection with the in-stadium moment leading into the sixth inning.


The campaign stretched beyond the confines of the stadium itself.


Prior to World Series Game 4, SU2C launched its mobile app enabling users to create their very own custom photo placards with the names and images of cancer sufferers they love.


The app was launched by a campaign fronted by MLB star players.


Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia fronts one spot in which he uses the app to create a placard for his wife Kelli (a melanoma survivor), while San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval leads another creating a placard for his friend and cancer survivor Donna Musgrave.


A set of spots saw San Francisco Giants’ third baseman Pablo Sandoval use the new SU2C iPhone app to stand up for his friend Donna Musgrave, while Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia uses it to stand up for his wife Kelli





It was back in 2008 that MLB became a founding donor of SU2C, which has funded 10 research teams with 500 scientists from more than 100 institutions; more than 3,000 patients have participated in clinical trials facilitated by SU2C.


Since then MLB has backed SU2C with more than $35m.


‘It’s all about the fans,’ outlines MLB EVP Business Tim Brosnan.


‘Cancer is a disease that touches everyone, and baseball wants its fan base to know — we want the country to know, we want the world to know – that we care. I think that taking a moment during the World Series is the ultimate statement that people care. The umpires, the players, the fans, the executives — everybody’s connected to someone who was ravaged by the disease. So it’s personal to everyone, which makes it a more personal moment to the industry, and all the more meaningful.’




MasterCard ‘Dig In & Do Good – SU2C’ TVC YouTube



MasterCard Do Good Website



StandUp2Cancer Website



StandUp2Cancer MasterCard Partnership Website



SU2C App



MLB World SU2C Film YouTube




MLB Fan Cave



Eric Stonestreet Twitter



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