The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center today announced the Houston Dash will join the institution's efforts toward one goal: end cancer. Beginning with the 2020 season,
MD Anderson will serve as the official cancer center and jersey partner of the Houston Dash from the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) and continue to serve in the same role for the two-time Major League Soccer (MLS) champion Houston Dynamo. The collaboration with the Dynamo was the first season-long cause-related jersey partnership in MLS history and is the only such partnership in NWSL history.
"The opportunity to join forces with the Houston Dash provides us the chance to reach even more people in our local community as well as across the nation and all over the world," said Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president, MD Anderson. "We are proud to team up with these phenomenal organizations to educate both players and fans on ways to reduce their cancer risk and to support our mission to end cancer."
Building on the multi-year agreement established in November 2018 with the Houston Dynamo, the Houston Dash also will now collaborate with MD Anderson through community events, stadium signage and public service announcements. Similar to the Houston Dynamo, the Dash will engage player ambassadors in cancer prevention education initiatives and will support fundraising opportunities which include contributing a portion of the club's ticket sales to MD Anderson.
“The front of a soccer jersey is one of the most visible platforms in all of sports, and one that creates an instant connection between a brand, a club and its fans,” said Dash president John Walker. “We are thrilled to be able to grow our club partnership with MD Anderson and now align the Houston Dash with the world’s leader in cancer research and treatment. Following the tremendous success of last summer’s Women’s World Cup, the excitement and interest in women’s soccer in general and the NWSL and the Dash in particular is on the rise. It’s a great time for our club and our league, and adding a partner like MD Anderson only continues to elevate that profile.”
Dash players Jane Campbell, Rachel Daly and Kristie Mewis joined Dynamo team mascot Diesel and MD Anderson employees for a kick-off event at MD Anderson this morning. Attendees had the opportunity to view the 2020 Dash primary and Dynamo secondary jerseys bearing MD Anderson's strike-through-cancer logo. The co-branded jersey symbolizes the organizations' mutual commitment to encouraging fans, club partners and the Houston community to join the team effort in Making Cancer History®. Los De Siempre, from Dynamo Supporter Group El Batallon, provided beats for the festive celebration, which was complete with photo stations, giveaways, and a Dynamo and Dash pop-up merchandise shop.
Fundraising opportunities to date, including a portion of the proceeds from select ticket sales and jersey sales as well as in-stadium fundraising, totaled more than $48,000 and will go toward cancer research and patient programs. Fans will have the opportunity to support MD Anderson's mission in various ways throughout the season, including volunteer opportunities, fundraising through events such as MD Anderson’s annual Boot Walk To End Cancer and through the purchase of individual match tickets.
BBVA Stadium, the home of the Houston Dash and Dynamo, is a tobacco- and smoke-free facility and is the only such venue in Houston. Announced last year, smoking and tobacco are prohibited throughout the property, including the seating bowl and concourse. BBVA Stadium has also partnered with MD Anderson’s dieticians to offer healthy concession menu items.