MLS WORKS, Major League Soccer’s social responsibility platform, will launch its 6th annual Kick Childhood Cancer campaign benefitting Children’s Oncology Group (COG), on Saturday, August 31 as part of childhood cancer awareness month.
The Houston Dynamo will host Kick Childhood Cancer Match against Orlando City SC on Saturday, Sept. 21. Pediatric patients from MD Anderson’s children's art project will paint a picture that will be turned into a mini 10'x16' tifo for the match on Sept. 21. Additionally, the Dynamo will select 11 pediatric patients who are currently battling cancer or who are in remission to be the Starting XI. Each child will get to design a superhero cape for that match and join their favorite player out of the tunnel against Orlando.
Supported by all 24 Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs, the month-long campaign will feature a commemorative gold adidas Nativo Questra 2019 Official Match Ball to be used during all matches as well as gold corner flags and goal nets. Kick Childhood Cancer gold captain’s armbands and gold ribbon jersey patches will be worn by the players, while coaches and technical staff will wear Kick Childhood Cancer pins and New Era caps on the sideline.
Fans are encouraged to support the campaign by using #KickChildhoodCancer on social media. For each post, that includes the hashtag, MLS will donate $1 to Children’s Oncology Group. New for 2019, players will wear special edition adidas Kick Childhood Cancer training tops during procession and national anthem, which are available on MLSstore.com and in team shops beginning Friday, August 30. Kick Childhood Cancer New Era caps will also be available on MLSstore.com and team shops. Proceeds will benefit Children’s Oncology Group.
Fans will also have the opportunity to win Kick Childhood Cancer adidas training tops throughout the month by entering MLS WORKS’ sweepstakes on Instagram. To enter, comment #KickChildhoodCancer and #Sweepstakes, follow @MLSWORKS and tag two or more friends.
Children’s Oncology Group is the world’s largest organization devoted exclusively to childhood and adolescent cancer research, uniting more than 10,000 experts in childhood cancer at more than 200 leading children’s hospitals around the world. Funds raised from the Kick Childhood Cancer campaign over the last five years have enabled Children’s Oncology Group to strengthen research efforts across the entire spectrum of pediatric cancers, including Project:EveryChild – a unique project aiming to capture the biology and outcome data of every child diagnosed with cancer. The cost of a single enrollment into a clinical trial such as Project:EveryChild can approach $10,000 per patient. MLS has helped to offset the costs of more than 17,000 enrollments to-date, with an expected 25,000 to be enrolled by the end of 2019. Fans can also donate directly to Children’s Oncology Group by visiting http://soc.cr/lbNv30lAEf8.
To close out the month, eMLS players will unite for a Kick Childhood Cancer fundraiser - a live stream of eMLS 24 Hours of FIFA 20. eMLS players will take to Twitch to raise awareness and funds for Children’s Oncology Group. The 24-hour stream will begin at 6 p.m. ET on September 24 and conclude at 6 p.m. on September 25. More details to be released in the coming weeks.
Autographed, game-used, memorabilia will be auctioned off online from September 23 to October 7 and as part of MLS WORKS holiday auction from November 25 to December 9.
Campaign elements will also take place in-stadium, on league social and digital channels, and national and regional broadcasts. For more information on Kick Childhood Cancer, Children’s Oncology Group or other MLS WORKS initiatives, visit MLSsoccer.com/mlsworks.