The newly announced partnership between the Houston Dynamo and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center will go much deeper than a logo on a jersey. The landmark agreement between the two Houston institutions has a much bigger goal in mind: ending cancer.
This mission has been the singular focus of MD Anderson since its inception in 1941, and partnering with the Dynamo will broaden its reach to even more Houstonians and soccer fans.
"This unique collaboration will provide a platform for educating millions of fans on how they can reduce their own cancer risk and actively engage in our collective efforts toward Making Cancer History," said Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson.
For the Dynamo, this groundbreaking partnership, the first season-long cause-related jersey sponsorship in MLS history, accomplishes two of the three core objectives for the organization put forth by majority owner Gabriel Brener.
“I want to have a team that is a competitive team, that consistently plays for championships,” Brener said. Off the field, Brener wants to see “that it’s a socially responsible organization and that we have a viable business.”
The addition of MD Anderson as a sponsor enables the Dynamo to make a difference through a number of social initiatives made possible by the partnership.
Brener and Dynamo leadership have committed to making BBVA Compass Stadium a tobacco- and smoke-free facility beginning in 2019 in alignment with MD Anderson's mission to end cancer. Sunscreen will be provided for fans at day games to reduce the long-term risk of sun exposure. In addition, MD Anderson will collaborate with chefs at BBVA Compass Stadium to design healthy concession menu options.
“We applaud the Houston Dynamo for making a bold commitment to the health of its fans, players and staff by creating a tobacco- and smoke-free environment for all to enjoy," said Pisters. "We are proud to align with this forward-thinking organization as we work together to promote cancer prevention and to advance innovative cancer research and patient programs."
Dynamo fans will be encouraged to join in the partnership in a variety of ways throughout the season, including an option to add a donation to MD Anderson and its cancer research efforts when purchasing tickets. In addition, the club will donate an added portion of the sale of every single-game ticket in 2019 to MD Anderson. Players will serve as ambassadors in cancer prevention education initiatives, and more initiatives to support cancer fundraising, awareness and recognition will be revealed following the full MLS schedule announcement.
Every time the Dynamo take to the field will be a statement by the team and its supporters that they are united to end cancer.
“I am proud to have such a highly respected organization on the front of our shirts,” Brener said. “I am sure that our fans will feel that same pride in knowing that they are not only supporting a club, but are also supporting a truly worthwhile mission.”