REAL BASEBALL PLAYERS WEAR PINK . . . REEBOK CLEATS
Ortiz, Fielder, K-Rod and others to help raise awareness - and money - for breast cancer on Mother’s Day
Select, Game-Worn Pink Cleats to be Auctioned Off to Benefit Avon Foundation for Women
CANTON, MA (May 7, 2009) - Reebok today announced a Mother’s Day initiative to help raise awareness and money for breast cancer research. During Major League Baseball games on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10th, many of Reebok’s athletes will don pink cleats, with a select number of the game-worn cleats to be auctioned off post-game to benefit Avon Foundation for Women.
Among those who are expected to wear the pink Reebok cleats are twelve players from the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays, who will be featured on ESPN’s Sunday Night Game of the Week, as well as the game’s umpiring crew and the entire Red Sox staff including Manager Terry Francona. Players “getting their pink on” include David Ortiz, Jonathan Papelbon and Tim Wakefield of the Red Sox and Gabe Gross, Grant Balfour and James Shields of the Rays, along with other players from both teams.
In addition, MLB stars Francisco Rodriguez (New York Mets), Nate McLouth (Pittsburgh Pirates), Justin Morneau (Minnesota Twins) and Prince Fielder (Milwaukee Brewers) also are expected to wear the pink cleats on Sunday to support this initiative.
“Reebok has been a supporting partner of the Avon Foundation for a number of years and breast cancer awareness is a cause that has become an integral part of who we are as a brand,” said Chris Waldeck, Reebok’s Director, Cleated and Equipment – Team Sports. “We are also the official footwear supplier of Major League Baseball, so we jumped at the chance to be a part of this initiative, which supports a great cause and also lets our players express how much their mothers mean to them.”
Several of the players wearing the pink cleats on Sunday will autograph their game-worn footwear and put them up for auction on www.reebok.com with proceeds to benefit Avon Foundation for Women. The Avon Foundation will award the funds to advance breast cancer research and access to care. More details on the auction will be announced Monday morning, May 11, including the auction end date and which players will be participating.
Reebok joins Louisville Slugger and other Major League Baseball providers in participating in the Mother’s Day “pink” initiatives. All players will be wearing pink ribbons on their uniforms and team staff will have pink ribbons on other on-field apparel. Bats stamped with a pink MLB logo will also be made available for athletes to use. This is the first time players will be wearing pink footwear.
Reebok has a long history of working with its athletes to support charitable initiatives. The most recent, an auction of Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes’ autographed game-worn gloves raised over $70,000 for the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America.
Reebok International Ltd., headquartered in Canton, Massachusetts, is a leading worldwide designer, marketer and distributor of sports, fitness and casual footwear, apparel and equipment. A subsidiary of the adidas Group, the company operates under the multiple divisions of the Reebok brand, Reebok-CCM Hockey and the Sports Licensed Division. For more information, visit Reebok at www.reebok.com.
About the Avon Foundation for Women
The Avon Foundation for Women, a 501(c)(3) public charity, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women and their families, and today brings this mission to life through a focus on breast cancer and domestic violence. The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade launched in 1992 and has now reached 55 countries, raising awareness and funds for access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer, with a focus on the medically underserved. Through 2008, Avon global philanthropic efforts have raised and awarded more than $660 million worldwide. For information visit www.avonfoundation.org.