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12th Annual V Week for Cancer Research Nets Record $8.3M

Fans, partnerships and ESPN employees key factors in fund-raising success

ESPN’s 12th annual V Week for Cancer Research raised more than $8.3 million for the V Foundation, a record. That represents an 83 percent year-over-year increase.

Front Row asked Brent Colborne, senior director of programming and scheduling and chair of the V Week Committee, about the 2018 fund-raising success.

How was this year different from all others?
We stayed true to the mission of leveraging all ESPN platforms to build awareness of the V Foundation and generate funds, but this year it was essential to engage other partners.

  • Kicks to Beat Cancer: High-profile athletes and coaches– such as Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Kyrie Irving, Chris Paul and Coach K [Mike Krzyzewski] — donated a pair of signed/game worn sneakers for auction making this a success in its first year.
  • Craig Sager Style Day: Worked with our partners at the NBA, and Turner Sports, our on-air talent, NBA athletes and coaches to honor Craig Sager in true “Sager Style” with flashy attire.
  • WeRateDogs Partnership: Merchandise and social posts were created to fundraise and educate users on the canine comparative oncology efforts of the V Foundation.
  • Tyler Trent Fund: ESPN created a fund to support cancer research for Adolescents and Young Adults (AYAs).
  • What were the driving forces for this year’s success?
    The fundraising goal was to surpass $5M, and to hit over $8.3M is a true testament to the hard work, passion, and creativity of the people at ESPN. Fundraising was up year-over-year this year, and each new program brought in new audiences/fans/donors to the V Foundation. Quality storytelling and impactful features anchored these initiatives across our networks throughout V Week.

    What are your teams’ goals for next year and what messaging do you want fans to remember?
    Goal No.1 is to exceed $8.3M. I believe we will accomplish that by creating new and bigger initiatives that are set up to generate a high level of awareness and funds. It’s important to convey the fact that we are working as a team toward one common goal, which is to eradicate cancer.

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