MD Anderson, Houston Dynamo partner to end cancer
MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Houston Dynamo are working together toward one goal: end cancer. As of Jan. 1, 2019, MD Anderson is the official cancer center and jersey partner of the two-time Major League Soccer (MLS) champion. The collaboration marks the first season-long cause-related jersey partnership in MLS history. MD Anderson and the Houston Dynamo plan cancer prevention education, community outreach, survivorship celebrations, public service announcements and philanthropic initiatives.
“This unique collaboration will provide a platform for educating millions of fans on how they can reduce their own cancer risk and actively engage in our collective efforts toward Making Cancer History,” says Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson.
A launch event in November revealed the Houston Dynamo’s 2019 away jersey bearing MD Anderson’s strike-through-cancer logo. The co-branded jersey symbolizes the two organizations’ mutual commitment to encouraging fans, club partners and the Houston community to join the team effort in Making Cancer History®. The Houston Dynamo also announced that BBVA Compass Stadium would be a completely tobacco- and smoke-free facility as of Jan. 1, 2019.
The partnership enables MD Anderson to reach a broad, diverse and international audience through joint community events, stadium signage and public service announcements. The Houston Dynamo will engage player ambassadors in cancer prevention education initiatives and create fundraising opportunities to support MD Anderson’s mission to end cancer.
“I’m pleased to welcome MD Anderson as a part of our club, and I’m proud to have such a highly respected organization on the front of our shirts,” says Gabriel Brener, Houston Dynamo majority owner. “I’m sure that our fans will feel that same pride in knowing that they are not only supporting a club, but are also supporting a truly worthwhile mission. The opportunity for our club to help MD Anderson promote such an important cause, to end cancer, is one that excites and motivates everyone.”
Healthy concession menu options will be available for the 2019 season. The Houston Dynamo also will donate a portion of single-game ticket sales to MD Anderson along with offering fans the option to add a donation during the purchase process.
“We applaud the Houston Dynamo for making a bold commitment to the health of its fans, players and staff by creating a tobacco- and smoke-free environment for all to enjoy,” says Pisters. “We’re proud to align with this forward-thinking organization as we work together to promote cancer prevention and to advance innovative cancer research and patient programs.”
Joining Pisters and Brener at the launch event were Houston Dynamo minority owners Oscar De La Hoya, Jake Silverstein and Ben Guill, a member of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors. John Walker, president of business operations for the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash, players Chris Seitz and Memo Rodriguez and team mascot Diesel also were on hand.
Cancer patients and survivors, Houston Dynamo fans and MD Anderson supporters turned out for a festive celebration emceed by Sarah Pepper of Mix 96.5, with a DJ, music by Houston Dynamo supporters group El Batallon and a display of trophies and giveaways, including a scarf featuring MD Anderson’s strike-through-cancer logo and the Houston Dynamo’s #ForeverOrange slogan. Activities included face painting, photo stations and an inflatable soccer activity.