Major League Soccer, MLS WORKS – the League’s social responsibility platform – and Continental Tire are teaming up during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month with the 10th annual “Kick Childhood Cancer” (KCC) campaign to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer research and treatment.
At a local level, Sporting Kansas City established The Victory Project in 2013 to help children battling cancer by uniting players, staff, fans and partners across the region through numerous events and initiatives. Sporting KC will celebrate The Victory Project’s 10 years of community impact in September during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month with the club’s annual Kick Childhood Cancer theme night on Sept. 23 as each past Victory Project Honoree is invited to return to Children’s Mercy Park for a special matchday that will include a pre-match tailgate and on-field experiences.
In addition, Children’s Mercy Park will host a community blood drive on Sept. 29 in support of patients in local hospitals and Sporting Kansas City associates will volunteer at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City on Sept. 12 and Sept. 14 to serve meals for families with children undergoing treatment at Children’s Mercy.
At the league level, MLS and Continental Tire will donate more than $100,000 to Children’s Oncology Group (COG). The world’s largest organization devoted exclusively to childhood and adolescent cancer research, COG unites more than 10,000 experts in childhood cancer at more than 200 leading children’s hospitals around the world.
Fans are encouraged to support by donating $10 in honor of the 10 years MLS has been in the fight against childhood cancer. For every $10 donation, fans will receive a chance to win a trip to 2024 MLS All-Star Week. Donations can be made at donateKCC.com.
“Major League Soccer and our clubs are grateful to partner with Continental Tire to raise awareness and resources in the fight against pediatric cancer,” said Sola Winley, MLS Executive Vice President, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer. "Our collective aim is to inspire hope for families impacted by cancer and support efforts to provide access to life-saving treatment.”
"We are proud to partner with MLS WORKS on the Kick Childhood Cancer campaign for the fourth straight year,” said Travis Roffler, Director of Marketing, Continental Tire. “Through this partnership, we have been able to raise more awareness and contribute important funds through Kick Childhood Cancer to help strengthen the Children’s Oncology Group's research efforts. This year, rather than use our marketing dollars on an extensive campaign, we donated it straight to COG and we’re encouraging fans to contribute as well. Together, hopefully we’ll make our biggest impact yet for the children and their families in the United States and Canada who are affected by childhood cancer.”
Throughout the month of September, MLS, its clubs and players will drive awareness of the campaign through in-stadium activations, League social and digital channels, and content on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV. Highlighted by the internationally recognized gold color for childhood cancer, MLS Kick Childhood Cancer matches will feature:
- A commemorative edition adidas 2023 MLS WORKS Kick Childhood Cancer Official Match Ball will be used in match play
- 2023 Kick Childhood Cancer adidas pre-match tops will be worn by players during pregame and warmups on game day as well as on the bench, sidelines and during training and in community outreach efforts
- Gold corner flags, goal nets, and captain’s armbands
- Gold ribbon jersey patches
- PRO referees will sport wristbands featuring a Kick Childhood Cancer ribbon
Fans can purchase Marvel inspired 2023 MLS Kick Childhood Cancer adidas Pre-Match Tops on MLSstore.com. MLS will donate all wholesale royalties from the KCC adidas Pre-Match Tops to COG through December 31, 2023.
The Kick Childhood Cancer campaign has enabled COG 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. Raising awareness and funds for pediatric cancer remains crucial because the cost of a single enrollment into a clinical trial such as Project: EveryChild can approach $10,000 per patient. According to COG, the League’s Kick Childhood Cancer campaign has helped to offset the costs of nearly 50,000 clinical trial enrollments to date.
MLS and Continental Tire will host an online auction November 20 through December 3 that will feature game-used, autographed jerseys from the KCC matches.
For more information on additional ways the League and clubs are supporting KCC, visit MLSsoccer.com/KCC or follow @MLS and @MLSWORKS on social media platforms.