ESPN and The V Foundation announced today that the Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research raised more than $1.8 million toward cancer research during December 2013, bringing the seven-year Jimmy V Week total to $8,246,000 in contributions. This year’s V Week initiative featured a simulcast of Jim Valvano’s iconic 1993 ESPYS speech across ESPN domestic networks, a slate of new public service announcements and special content and messaging across ESPN domestic platforms to drive donations.
Front Row caught up with Susan Braun, CEO, The V Foundation, to learn more about how these extraordinary results make a real difference in the fight against cancer.
What has ESPN’s Jimmy V Week meant to The V Foundation over the past 7 years?
How can we begin to describe how valuable V Week is to The V Foundation? It raises funding for vital cancer research, it reminds us of the urgency of our quest to end cancer, it engages media personalities, producers, sponsors and – so very importantly – viewers from around the country. In seven years, V Week has raised more than $8 million for The V Foundation. ESPN continues to raise the bar as a partner in this fight against cancer. There is simply no better ally. Everyone at The V Foundation is profoundly grateful.
What are some of the special projects that The V Foundation supports with these funds?
These funds help fuel our V Scholar grants which support talented young investigators who are making great strides in cancer research. Translational grants allow scientists to translate findings from the lab into advances for people with cancer. The Foundation has awarded $115 million to cancer research, and this would not have been possible without ESPN’s leadership and collaboration.
Editor’s note: ESPN also previously donated $1 million to The V Foundation’s endowment fund, which enables 100 percent of donations from V Week to go directly to cancer research.
How do you work together with ESPN to help grow V Week each year?
The V Foundation collaborates closely with ESPN to coordinate the messaging for V Week. The Foundation communicates with a special ESPN integration committee lead by their Corporate Outreach Department and leaders from each division. We share strategic communications, marketing ideas, and cancer research advances to help build a strong and relevant storyline for sports fans, who rally behind our cause year after year.
Braun and ESPN Vice President, Global Corporate Outreach, Kevin Martinez discuss V Week in this video.
V Week video produced by Josh Lander
V Foundation video produced by Kathryn Monahan