The gold standard by which charities are measured these days remains the pink campaigns of Breast Cancer Awareness month, led by the yeoman work of Susan G. Komen. However as we reach mid-Movember, it is worth a tip of the hat to the growing work for the “Movember” campaign, which supports cancer that strikes men, especially prostate cancer and early detection.
the theme for “Movember” is to get primarily men (although women can help out with a fake one) to grow a mustache or not shave for the 30 days of the month, and then gain dollars through pledges for growing their ‘stache. The NHL, a league which has created a yearly ritual of not shaving during the playoffs, has joined in en force this year, with “Movember” nights and campaigns around the league, led by the New York Islanders and Anaheim Ducks, whose goaltender Jonas Hiller has affixed photos of all his teammates to his mask this month, all with mustaches. The Ducks’ tie is even more noteworthy since two players, Saku Koivu and Jason Blake, are cancer survivors.
Now “Movember” has its shortcomings; guys have to look a little unkempt in a month not known for vacations, and it is not as easy to activate such a program as it is with a “Wear Pink” campaign. Also other sports, especially Major League baseball, do activate against prostate cancer with blue bats and other events around Father’s Day each year. Still “Movemeber” has a great upside, with the potential of thousands of fake ‘staches being given out at games during the month, maybe even tied to Coaches vs. Cancer events in college hoops. The fake handouts are low cost and would make for great digital integration and TV. Still it does cost money to engage nationally or internationally, and the campaign is growing now with the NHL assisting. It is a fun and noteworthy push for awareness, one which hopefully can gain steam in the coming years for a very noble cause or series of causes.