MLS, MLS WORKS – the League’s social responsibility platform – and Continental Tire are teaming up once again to support Childhood Cancer Awareness Month with the 9th annual “Kick Childhood Cancer” campaign to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer.
In 2022, the Kick Childhood Cancer (KCC) campaign will again benefit Children’s Oncology Group (COG), the world’s largest organization devoted exclusively to childhood and adolescent cancer research, uniting more than 10,000 experts in childhood cancer at more than 200 leading children’s hospitals around the world. 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.
A new element for this year’s campaign – the Continental KCC Challenge - will give Sporting Kansas City fans an opportunity to donate to Children's Mercy. Taking place throughout September, fans can visit www.TheContinentalKCCChallenge.com to donate to a local KCC charity on behalf of their favorite MLS club and Continental Tire will match each donation up to $50,000. A KCC auction consisting of game-used, autographed jerseys from September matches will also provide an additional fundraising opportunity from October 31 through November 14.
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 more than 40,000 clinical trial enrollments to-date, with nearly 44,000 expected to be enrolled by the end of 2022.
“We’re proud to partner with Continental Tire in the fight against pediatric cancer,” said JoAnn Neale, Major League Soccer’s President & Chief Administrative Officer. “We hope our efforts to raise awareness and funds will support important research and provide families with access to life saving treatment.”
As part of this year’s campaign, MLS and Continental Tire will partner with MLS clubs to “surprise and delight” pediatric cancer patients and health care providers with unique experiences and acts of kindness throughout the month. MLS clubs have also created custom pajama bottoms to be distributed to local pediatric cancer patients as a token of comfort while they continue their journey in the fight against cancer.
“We are proud to partner with MLS WORKS on the Kick Childhood Cancer campaign for a third year,” said Travis Roffler, Director of Marketing, Continental Tire. “Through our 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. As our partnership continues to grow with each year, so will our impact on 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 on national and regional broadcasts. Highlighted by the internationally recognized gold color for childhood cancer, MLS Kick Childhood Cancer matches will feature:
- A commemorative edition adidas 2022 MLS WORKS Kick Childhood Cancer Official Match Ball will be used in match play
- 2022 MLS Kick Childhood Cancer adidas Pre-Match Tops will be worn by players during pregame and warmups 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 2022 MLS KCC adidas Pre-Match Tops and New Era KCC caps on MLSstore.com. MLS will donate all royalties received from the KCC adidas Pre-Match Tops sold into official retail partners to COG through December 31, 2022. Fans may also donate directly to COG HERE.
A sampling of the way clubs are activating during Kick Childhood Cancer month will be featured on MLSsoccer.com, @MLS and @MLSWORKS social handles, as well as club social platforms. For more information on Kick Childhood Cancer, COG or other MLS WORKS initiatives, visit MLSsoccer.com/mlsworks.