Award Recognizes Brinker’s Leadership in Building Races, Sports Partnerships for Charity
NEW YORK – Aug. 19, 2014 – The woman who put athletes in pink and turned millions of people into walking and running global forces for good was today honored for her innovation and vision by female sports leaders at the Cynopsis Sports Women of Action Summit.
Nancy G. Brinker, founder and chair of global strategy for the Susan G. Komen breast cancer organization, today received the Cynopsis Sports Impact Award for her leadership in turning a small race for breast cancer awareness in 1983 into the global Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® series, which now draws 1.5 million participants in more than 130 cities worldwide.
Along the way, Brinker also brought professional and amateur athletes and organizations into the fold to raise awareness about the disease, as she set out to fulfill her promise to her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, to end breast cancer forever.
Brinker accepted the Impact Award from WWE Chief Brand Officer, Stephanie McMahon. "Nancy's tenacity has been responsible for transforming the sports world's support for breast cancer research and awareness. From the NBA and NFL to MLB to NASCAR and Indy Car, Nancy has left no stone unturned, and WWE is exceptionally proud to be at the forefront of this movement," McMahon said in her remarks at the ceremony.
“In 35 years we’ve gone from a society where the disease couldn’t be talked about on television to a society where Major League Baseball and NFL athletes wear pink,” Brinker said. “But, much remains to be done, and we will keep acting, keep fighting, and keep using every tool at our disposal to save lives.”
Since its founding in 1982, Komen’s fundraising and awareness model has been rooted in physical activity, with the creation of its successful and often-emulated Race for the Cure series. Since its inception, more than 22 million people have crossed a Race for the Cure finish line.
In addition to the Race series, Komen has created active awareness campaigns with specialized events such as Rally for the Cure, Bowl for the Cure and the Susan G. Komen 3-Day 60-mile walk.
In addition to Komen-organized sporting events, Komen has partnered with sporting leagues, teams, players and events to bring attention to the cause. Currently, Komen has partnerships with the Dallas Cowboys, Major League Baseball, WWE, LPGA, Pippa Mann for the Indianapolis 500 and Zumba Fitness. Athletic apparel and sporting goods companies New Balance; Titleist, Pinnacle and FootJoy Worldwide; BOSU; Tubbs Snowshoes; and Kent International bike manufacturers are additional athletic tie-ins that the world’s largest breast cancer nonprofit has utilized in building awareness around the disease and raising resources to combat it.
One of Komen’s most recent partnerships is with WWE through the “Rise Above Cancer” campaign, which launched in 2012 and raised more than $1 million for Susan G. Komen. During October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, WWE Superstar John Cena wore co-branded pink and black ring gear that fans were able to purchase. In 2013, WWE and Susan G. Komen expanded their joint “Rise Above Cancer” campaign to include all WWE Superstars and Divas wearing customized “Rise Above Cancer” t-shirts to help raise awareness and funds for Komen. This past May, the two organizations teamed up again for National Women’s Health Week with a campaign to remind women how a healthy lifestyle is critical in the fight against breast cancer. WWE continues their support of Susan G. Komen this fall.