Was It the Seahawks vs. Cancer Game? Not Exactly. But When Two Seattle Area Hospitals Teamed Up with Their Local Football Team, They Scored Big Dividends.

December 19, 2019

// By Peter Hochstein //

Peter HochsteinProperly done, the participation of sports teams can create impressive visibility and emotional involvement for a cancer awareness promotion. Here’s what it produced for the State of Washington’s Virginia Mason Health System and CHI Franciscan.

If you didn’t know the whole story, you’d think last October 20 was a less-than-glorious Sunday in Seattle. It was a football day, of course, and the Seattle Seahawks lost to the Baltimore Ravens 30-16. But for two local hospitals, Virginia Mason Health System, with about 600 licensed beds, and CHI Franciscan, with about 1,300 licensed beds across 11 hospitals in the Pacific Northwest, the day was a big win in their efforts to build awareness of the need for cancer screening.

Working with the Seattle office of an organization called Bendigo that specializes in sports marketing for health care organizations, the two hospitals launched a promotion called Crucial Catch. It involved print and radio advertising, stadium signage, videos on the internet, interviews on local news and talk shows, and ceremonies in the stadium. All of this was designed to generate publicity encouraging people to get screened for cancer.

How well did it work?

The promotion this year generated earned media exposure, estimated as worth somewhere between $100,000 and $160,000, depending on which hospital marketer you talk to. The hospitals also earned and split cold hard cash from the sale of Seahawks-related merchandise, about $20,000 worth. They registered approximately 995,000 impressions on TV and social media. There were numerous mentions of Crucial Catch during the broadcast of the game. There were also impressions made on fans in the stadium stands, 67,000 of them.

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