Today, the National Football League (NFL) continues its 15-year partnership with the American Cancer Society through the launch of Crucial Catch, the NFL’s early detection and risk reduction initiative. The initiative is activated on-field during games and in the community in local club markets starting today through Week 6 of the NFL season.
Crucial Catch empowers fans to take their health into their own hands by getting screened for cancer, educated on the importance of early detection, and discovering ways to reduce their cancer risk. Over the years, the NFL has contributed more than $27 million to the American Cancer Society through sales of Crucial Catch branded merchandise, NFL Auction items, and general fundraising.
Funds raised aid the American Cancer Society’s CHANGE Grants, which support community health centers in all 32 NFL team markets by increasing access to low or no-cost cancer screenings in communities that need it most. CHANGE Grants have contributed to more than 650,000 cancer screenings in under-resourced communities and have impacted over 1.3 million men and women with education, patient navigation and screening resources.
To address screening barriers, the following 2023 CHANGE grant recipients are offering education, screening resources and patient navigation to the communities they serve.
In addition to the CHANGE grants in each NFL market, this year, to specifically improve breast cancer outcomes, the NFL and the American Cancer Society are also piloting Links to Care Community Grants in select NFL team markets. Successful breast cancer screening programs require collaboration and well-coordinated approaches to deliver high-quality care from cancer screening-to-treatment. Select team healthcare partners and CHANGE grant-funded community health centers are collaborating in the Links to Care pilot program to assess challenges within the screening to treatment process and develop action plans based on evidence-based practices. See the full list of CHANGE grant and Links to Care grant recipients here.
Sleep Number, an official Crucial Catch partner, has teamed up with the NFL to present The Defender; an online tool for fans to access cancer resources – including finding their local screen center, scheduling screening reminders, and having their cancer-related questions answered through the American Cancer Society’s 24/7 chat and hotline. The Defender presented by Sleep Number also features a quiz that analyzes user’s health information to provide personalized recommendations on how they can reduce their cancer risk.
For the second season in a row, the Crucial Catch PSA is a part of the “We See You» campaign, focusing on the concept of Everyday Strength and featuring New Orleans Saints Tight End, FOSTER MOREAU who is in remission from a Hodgkin Lymphoma diagnosis. “When I was diagnosed with cancer, I realized that it is a journey that you need to come up with a plan for quickly with the help of others and listen to the advice of professionals,» says FOSTER MOREAU. «I also saw firsthand the importance of early detection. I’m happy to use my experience and story to emphasize to others the importance of checkups and screenings.»
All 32 NFL teams support the Crucial Catch initiative year-round and 20 NFL players, including Global Ambassador, Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott, have joined the American Cancer Society as ambassadors to amplify the impact of Crucial Catch through appearances, fundraising campaigns and social media.
NFL Crucial Catch games will feature an array of in-game visuals such as Crucial Catch game balls, goal post wraps and field-wall banners, branded on-field equipment for players, coaches, and officials among other activations to make the initiative come alive in-stadium. Game-worn Crucial Catch merchandise will be auctioned on NFL Auction at NFL.com/Auction. The NFL does not profit from the sale of Crucial Catch merchandise. Charitable contributions are donated to the American Cancer Society to support its CHANGE grant program.
NFL-issued Crucial Catch gameday apparel will feature a multi-colored logo representing all cancers. New Era and Nike have created newly designed Crucial Catch gear, highlighting the NFL’s commitment to drawing awareness to and supporting multiple cancer prevention efforts. Fans can purchase NFL-licensed Crucial Catch apparel on NFLShop.com/CrucialCatch NFL proceeds from the sale of Crucial Catch merchandise fund CHANGE grants in under-resourced communities.
Fan Creations has released a selection of Crucial Catch wooden signs to encourage those in the fight against cancer with a positive message. These products are available for purchase on NFLShop.com with proceeds going to the American Cancer Society’s CHANGE grants.
Additional Crucial Catch Activations
Super Bowl Sweepstakes
With a $10 or more donation to the American Cancer Society, fans have the chance to enter to win a Super Bowl LVIII VIP experience, a meet & greet with Alyssa Milano and other exclusive perks through the 2024 Super Bowl Sweepstakes. Donations provide cancer screening resources in under-resourced communities and supports the NFL’s Crucial Catch initiative. The Sweepstakes is supported by promotional partners Visa and Sleep Number. To enter, visit cancer.org/superbowl
100 Miles to Intercept Cancer
Beginning in October, fans have the opportunity join American Cancer Society ambassador and Detroit Lions Defensive Back Brian Branch in raising funds for the American Cancer Society. Participants will challenge themselves to “Train Like a Pro» through jogging, walking or running 100 miles. To join the challenge, visit cancer.org/crucialcatch.
Crucial Catch kicked off this NFL season during training camp with an initiative to raise awareness and reduce the risk of skin cancer. Several NFL clubs offered sunscreen samples at their training camps as well as sun safety tips. Find more information at cancer.org/SunSafety.
Youth Crucial Catch
Each year, college, high school and youth football teams from across the country do their part to raise funds and help the NFL in these efforts. Schools, leagues, intramural clubs, and community athletic organizations are invited to unite with the NFL and join Youth Crucial Catch to raise funds in the fight against cancer To register a high school football team or to sign up to fundraise, register online at youthcrucialcatch.org. To learn more about the NFL’s Crucial Catch initiative, please visit NFL.com/CrucialCatch.
Crucial Catch Canada
This year, all net proceeds from Crucial Catch merchandise sold on NFLShop.ca will be donated back to the Canadian Cancer Society. These funds will help improve the quality of life of people affected by cancer, their families and caregivers by supporting programs and services offered by the Canadian Cancer Society such as the Cancer Information Hotline, Transportation Program and CancerConnection.ca.
Zeta Tau Alpha
Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity for women (ZTA) celebrates 25 years of partnership with the National Football League this season. In 1999, ZTA collegiate and alumnae members first distributed pink ribbons at a Washington Commanders’ game. Since then, Zetas have partnered with all 32 NFL teams to support Crucial Catch and promote the early detection of breast cancer. As part of this collaboration, ZTA has handed out more than 10 million pink ribbons to NFL fans. Breast cancer education and awareness has been ZTA’s national philanthropy since 1992 and its members encourage everyone to Think Pink®, a registered trademark of Zeta Tau Alpha.