By rallying the entire WWE Universe, WWE is helping to provide resources, strength and hope to those battling critical and life-threatening illnesses. During Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month in September 2020, longstanding partners The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a top-rated cancer research charity, and WWE announced their campaign to raise money for pediatric cancer research through Connor’s Cure.
Established in 2014 by Stephanie McMahon (WWE Chief Brand Officer) and her husband Paul Levesque (WWE Executive Vice President, Global Talent Strategy & Development), Connor’s Cure is a charitable fund dedicated to the memory of WWE fan, Connor “The Crusher” Michalek, who lost his battle with medulloblastoma, a rare tumor that affects the brain and spinal cord at eight-years-old. Campaign elements for 2020 included: two new PSAs featuring pediatric cancer patients and survivors, custom merchandise, a virtual fundraiser, virtual hospital visits from WWE’s larger-than-life Superstars and much more.
The “Support Tomorrow’s Superstars” campaign featured pediatric patients dressed as their favorite WWE Superstars or dressed in their own WWE Superstar personas, including Lance “The Tumornator,” “Superman” Jimmy, “Krazy Kelsey” “Princess Hannah,” “Lillian The Feline Fighter” and “Tristian The Titan.” WWE partnered with Ryan Seacrest Studios and the following hospitals to produce photo and video content from inside the hospitals for PSAs and digital creative:
- UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
- Children’s Health Dallas
- Levine Children’s Hospital (Charlotte)
- Children’s Hospital at Montefiore
- Oschner Health (New Orleans)
Through brand activation during WWE’s weekly flagship programming, Connor’s Cure was featured on marketing materials and various key TV set elements. WWE Superstars, referees and announcers also wore Connor’s Cure shirts, face masks, stickers/pins and bracelets. Through broadcast support, including announcer mentions, lower thirds, features and airings of WWE-produced PSAs, WWE reached more than 17.4M unique domestic viewers. WWE also promoted the 2020 Connor’s Cure collection on WWEShop.com, which featured a new campaign t-shirt and Connor’s Cure face mask. Additionally, WWE continued to sell Connor’s Cure bracelets and pins and offered donation at checkout on WWEShop.com and auctioned five Connor’s Cure Paintings.
Enhancing WWE’s mission of putting smiles on people’s faces, throughout the month of September, WWE Superstars, including WWE Champion Drew McIntyre, Charlotte Flair and The New Day, conducted virtual hospital visits at Levine Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Children’s Medical Center of Dallas and Boston Children’s Hospital—helping to uplift patients during their medical treatment.
WWE also hosted the Connor’s Cure Superstar Challenge. WWE employees, family, friends and the WWE Universe participated by walking or running any distance at any time and any place to raise funds for pediatric cancer research. The fundraiser raised $15K with 12 teams and 88 participants.
Between Monday, August 31 – Wednesday, September 30, WWE promoted Connor’s Cure and the V Foundation for Cancer Research in support of Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.
Campaign highlights included:
- $2M in-kind support
- 40.8M total impressions
- 188K social media engagements (likes, shares, RT, comments)
- 840K video views
- The Connor’s Cure Superstar Challenge raised $15K
- More than $25K raised in September, more than $160K raised YTD
- Dick Vitale and the V Foundation announced $1.8M in grants being awarded to fund pediatric cancer research. Of the $1.8M, WWE/Connor’s Cure and Dick Vitale provided $900K each
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