ZERO is happy to announce our partnership with ON THE LINE, a new initiative that will use the power of sports entertainment to encourage discussion between men and their family, friends and physicians about prostate cancer risk factors, testing and treatment options. ON THE LINE will bring together the wide distribution and media savvy of ESPN, legendary coaches such as Bobby Knight and Digger Phelps, star athletes and celebrities, medical experts like the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and partners on the ground such as ZERO — The Project to End Prostate Cancer, challenging men to take charge of their health.
Beginning in February 2011, the campaign will de-mystify the topic of prostate cancer by presenting information about the disease. ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports and primary media outlet for ON THE LINE, will weave together its signature style of clever, creative humor with its focus on a wide range of sports to bring the conversation home and motivate men to manage all aspects of their health. ESPN is a natural fit for the campaign, with its founding and association with The V Foundation for Cancer Research, which has raised more than $100 million since 1993, and the media network’s ongoing relationships with correspondents, professional athletes, and sports analysts who have been impacted by the disease.
“ON THE LINE speaks to men in ways they really understand and appreciate: through sports and humor,” said Digger Phelps, renowned Notre Dame basketball coach, ESPN analyst and prostate cancer survivor. “I know, first hand, the importance of getting the facts about prostate cancer and being able to weigh your options. Burying your head in the sand is dangerous. It’s only by taking charge of your health and talking to your doctor and your family that you can come up with the best plan of attack – one that can save your life.” Phelps, a spokesperson for the ON THE LINE campaign, was diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent surgery for the disease in 2010.
Recognizing that it takes a powerful team to motivate men to take a proactive role in managing their health, ON THE LINE has assembled a collection of organizations and partners to drive men to team up with their family and physician in understanding their risk factors related to prostate cancer risks and options.
The campaign draws on an independent panel of experts and prostate cancer physicians from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) – the world’s leading professional organization representing doctors who care for people with cancer – to provide the core clinical prostate cancer information which serves as the basis for the campaign content. ON THE LINE has also enlisted ZERO — The Project to End Prostate Cancer, Us TOO, Prostate Conditions Education Council (PCEC), and the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) to serve as local and community resources and networks. These teammates are are already “on the field” fighting the disease, through education, testing, community support, policy initiatives, fundraising and special events.
Through exciting and interactive resources that include a comprehensive web site, educational materials, sport and celebrity spokespersons interviews, televised commercials and messages woven throughout ESPN’s assets, ON THE LINE addresses prostate cancer from the perspectives of both men and women. Understanding that there are many people who have an influence on a man’s decisions, including the women who play a primary role in the healthcare decisions of a family, ON THE LINE provides complementary sections across all supporting channels that offers a “guy’s take” and a “woman’s take” on prostate cancer, to promote a true team approach.
“When my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer, I wanted to know all about the disease,” said ESPN sports reporter Erin Andrews. “Being around so many men for my job, I can tell that prostate cancer is a tough thing to talk about, but it’s definitely time to bring the topic out of the shadows. Using sports figures is genius, and I expect that this campaign will score big.”
Using at times a platform of humor to deliver the difficult truths of prostate cancer is a core element of ON THE LINE. A series of ads themed around “Don’t You Hate it When She’s Right” will begin breaking on ESPN on (DATE), calling on all too familiar familial themes that most men can relate to. Spots will feature vignettes with Bob Knight and Erin Andrews going toe to toe, and coaching legends in heated discussion with a waitress in a coffee shop – all debating the most important issue ON THE LINE: men’s health.
The unparalleled effort of ON THE LINE is made possible through the contributions of sponsors committed to the wellbeing of men and their families, including founding sponsors Amgen and sanofi-aventis, both of which have long-standing histories in discovering and developing treatments for those living with cancer. Future phases of the ON THE LINE campaign will continue to educate men about the importance of managing their health, and about prostate cancer as a critical men’s health issue.