Major League Soccer, 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 (Matchday 29) 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 in Columbus, Ohio.
"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 at 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 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
MLS and Continental Tire will host an online auction from November 20 through December 3 that will feature game-used, autographed jerseys from the KCC matches.
KCC Pre-Match Tops
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.
By partnering with BJC Healthcare, St. Louis CITY SC look 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 are 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.
In partnership with the Ronald McDonald House, Houston Dynamo FC will visit a local Ronald McDonald house and host dinner plus fun soccer and arts and crafts activities with families staying at the Ronald McDonald Holcomb House. Separately, the 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.
Through collaboration with MD Anderson, one lucky child will be selected as the “honorary captain” and will visit the team at the training facility, sign a contract and participate in all pre-game activities with the actual team captain, giving them the feel of what game day is like as a professional. Additionally, both organizations will select 21 children to join the teams as honorary team members as they walk out to take the field for the match at Shell Energy Stadium.
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.
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, 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 host 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.