In late 2018, the Houston Dynamo and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center announced the first season-long, cause-related jersey partnership in Major League Soccer history. As part of the partnership, the Dynamo pledged to help with the fight to end cancer by donating a portion of all single-match ticket sales to MD Anderson for cancer research.
On Wednesday, February 19, the club followed through on their pledge when Club President John Walker presented MD Anderson President, Dr. Peter W.T. Pisters, with a check for more than $48,000 during a kickoff event. The money was raised by the Dynamo taking $1 from every 2019 single-match ticket sold online, as well as offering an add-on donation option to anyone purchasing an online ticket.
“Our community efforts are something we are really proud of,” Walker explained, “and none more so than our relationship with MD Anderson, so when we started the relationship, we pledged to give a portion of every single-game ticket purchase through the 2019 season and beyond back to MD Anderson. So that, coupled with some other fundraising efforts that we did internally, we were able to present more than $48,000 to MD Anderson, and we look for that number to grow as we sell more tickets over the next few years, so we are really proud of that.”
While Walker and Pisters were on stage for the check presentation, standing to the side of the stage with a huge smile was the man who helped make this idea into a reality – Houston Dynamo Manager of Ticket Operations and Technology John Boer. On a daily basis, Boer works behind the scenes to create ticket packaging and pricing options for Houston Dynamo and Dash fans, but last year he was also instrumental in the creation of the ticket donation process.
“As a ticketing guy, being able to put this process together on the back end is always fun, but from getting everything hammered out to now see a tangible check donated from our organization to MD Anderson, for me, this is what it is all about,” said Boer. “That is what we are doing here. Regardless of how you can help with the Dynamo or our partners out there, it is about creating championship level experiences both at BBVA Stadium and away from the stadium. While we are not solving cancer, MD Anderson literally is doing that here, so the fact that we can actually contribute to that and the fact that I had anything to do with it is incredible.”
Seeing the fruits of his labor displayed on such a grand stage, Boer is even more motivated to get the initiative started again this upcoming season. He also welcomes the added wrinkle of setting up the same initiative with Dash ticketing options, as MD Anderson was announced as the official cancer center and jersey partner of the Houston Dash at the kickoff event as well.
With a bright smile on his face, Boer summarized his thoughts on the project in one sentence, “It means everything to me, just to see all of it come to fruition for such a worthy cause, this is why I do what I do.”