MLS & Continental Tire team up for 10th Annual Kick Childhood Cancer campaign!

Major League Soccer (MLS), 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. The campaign begins tonight with St. Louis CITY SC’s match and runs through the end of September.

“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.”

In celebration of the 10-year milestone, 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.

“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.

Below is a sampling of the way clubs are activating during Kick Childhood Cancer month.

  • St. Louis CITY SC: By partnering with BJC Healthcare, St. Louis CITY SC is looking to raise hope and awareness of childhood cancer, as kids are at the heart of the club’s efforts to unite the region through soccer. On the club’s Kick Childhood Cancer Night, St. Louis CITY SC is collaborating with the St. Louis Children’s Foundation to fundraise for childhood cancer research at Siteman Kids at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. On this particular evening, the match will feature the personal stories of childhood cancer patients, survivors and BJC Healthcare professionals, all of whom will participate in special matchday moments.
  • Houston Dynamo Football Club: Houston Dynamo Football Club and Make-A-Wish identified a patient to design the superhero cape that will be distributed at the KCC match on September 16 at Shell Energy Stadium. The team will be led onto the field on Sept. 16 by one lucky child selected, in collaboration with MD Anderson, as the “honorary captain.” The “honorary captain” will visit the Club’s Performance Center to meet his teammates prior to the match, sign a contract and join the Dynamo for all pre-game activities on match day. Both MD Anderson and the Dynamo will select an additional 21 children to join the teams as honorary team members as they take the field for the match at Shell Energy Stadium. Off the field activities include a visit to the local Ronald McDonald House to host dinner plus fun soccer and arts and crafts activities with families staying at the Ronald McDonald Holcomb House.
  • LA Galaxy: In partnership with adidas, the LA Galaxy hosted pediatric cancer youth patients from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles this month as part of Major League Soccer’s Kick Childhood Cancer campaign for the club’s first-ever Boot Making Lab at Dignity Health Sports Park. The youth were partnered with first-team players and coaches to decorate a select set of boots and shoes. In celebration of these newly designed boots/shoes, the boots/shoes will be worn by the players and coaches during training sessions this week and on Saturday, Sept. 2 for the official LA Galaxy Kick Childhood Cancer theme night match. The decorated player boots will be auctioned off after the Sept. 2 game, with all proceeds directly benefiting Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The youth cancer patients will be in attendance for the LA Galaxy’s Kick Childhood Cancer match, where they will have the opportunity to see Galaxy players wear their designs on the pitch. The youth will also be honored as the club’s “Heroes of the Match” during halftime of the Sept. 2 match and will also participate in the “Mascot Scramble”, where they will play a mini soccer game against the various mascots from multiple Los Angeles sports teams.
  • Philadelphia Union: The Union have once again partnered with Kisses For Kyle, a non-profit organization that supports families battling childhood cancer, to continue the club’s Fearless 43 Campaign. The campaign, so named after the approximately 43 children diagnosed with cancer every day, was started by the Union in 2019 to create special moments for children battling cancer and their families. The club has identified 43 kids fearlessly fighting cancer and will engage with them and their families through acts of kindness, events, and a special game day experience. Each Fearless 43 child will receive a pair of custom Union X KCC pajamas on September 14, when the Union hosts their “Save Subaru Park” event. The families can participate in superhero activities and enjoy entertainment including a movie, photobooth, face painting and more. The Union will host their Fearless 43 families at their match against FC Cincinnati on September 16 where they will be treated to a superhero tailgate, be honored in an on-field recognition at halftime and receive exclusive on-field post-game autographs.

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.

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