Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research Raises Awareness for Cancer Research

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Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research Raises Awareness for Cancer Research


Annual Week-Long Initiative Showcases Fundraising Effort with Special Content across Multiple ESPN Platforms Dec. 1-7

Because of extensive research, there are more than 12 million cancer survivors in the United States today. However, there are more than 1.6 million Americans diagnosed with cancer every year. More research is needed.  

ESPN’s fourth annual Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research, Dec. 1-7, will raise awareness of the need to fund cancer research and to spotlight research successes. The initiative will feature special content across ESPN U.S. media platforms to drive donations to The V Foundation for Cancer Research. In the first three years, Jimmy V Week has raised more than $2,630,000 million in net proceeds for cancer research; last year more than $950,000 was raised.

Jimmy V Week will launch Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m. ET with a simulcast of Jim Valvano’s 1993 ESPYs speech across ESPN media. The week will conclude with the Jimmy V Women’s Basketball Classic Presented by Corona Extra on Monday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. (No. 8 Texas A&M at No. 6 Duke on ESPN2) and Tuesday, Dec. 7 with the Jimmy V Men’s Basketball Classic Presented by Corona Extra doubleheader from Madison Square Garden at 7 p.m. (No. 19 Memphis vs. No. 7 Kansas) and 9 p.m. (No. 2 Michigan State vs. No. 13 Syracuse).

“The commitment of our fans and employees to defeat cancer is unmatched,” said George Bodenheimer, President, ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports. “I’m inspired by the creativity and hard work of our ESPN volunteers who continually enhance this initiative.”

Jimmy V Week content will be incorporated into studio programs and event telecasts across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN.com, ESPN3.com, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Classic and ESPN Mobile. Details include:


  • A special launch of the week on Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. featuring Valvano’s 1993 ESPYs speech, introduced by members of his 1983 N.C. State championship team, aired simultaneously across multiple entities;
  • Special elements – including features, vignettes and public service announcements — during game and studio programming across numerous ESPN platforms;
  • Multiple chat sessions and special content on ESPN.com;
  • Special updates and user comments on various ESPN and V Foundation Facebook and Twitter pages;
  • Elements in ESPN The Magazine;
  • A “Rise Above” feature on a high school boy and girl athlete who has battled cancer in the respective editions of the Rise publications;
  • Two Never Give Up marathons on ESPN Classic;
  • Special graphics, including a Jimmy V Week logo.

Other special efforts:

  • Referees donating a portion of their one-day salary to The V Foundation’s Blow the Whistle on Cancer Campaign®;
  • The V Foundation’s efforts with outreach on its web site (www.jimmyv.org) such as “Share Your Stories” about Jim Valvano, the personal effect of his speech on others and individuals’ battle against cancer.

Simultaneous Launch Across Multiple Entities
For the fourth straight year, Jimmy V Week will open with a complete presentation of Jim Valvano’s speech from the 1993 ESPYs aired across eight ESPN media outlets as well as the ABC SuperSign in Times Square on Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m. Former N.C. State players Terry Gannon, Sidney Lowe and Dereck Whittenburg, members of Valvano’s 1983 NCAA Championship team, provided a special introduction to the speech. The approximate 13-minute long open will be seen simultaneously on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN3.com, ESPN Mobile TV and ESPN’s international network, ESPN America. In addition, the speech will air in the Nokia Plaza in the Los Angeles LA Live complex on Tuesday, Dec. 7, at 6 p.m. PT (9 p.m. ET).

The speech will be available for the entire week on ESPN.com, ESPN3.com and jimmyv.org.

Further Details:

Event and Studio Programming to Showcase Jimmy V Week Elements
Jimmy V Week segments on how cancer has touched the sports world will appear during studio and event programming across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNU and ESPN3.com all week, including guest interviews, features, testimonials and vignettes. The live event schedule features 23 men’s and women’s college basketball games, eight college football matchups, three NCAA women’s soccer contests, two NBA, two English Premier League soccer matches, one Monday Night Football, one college hockey game and six PRCA events.

In addition, Jimmy V Week elements, guests and features will be aired on SportsCenter, First Take, PTI and Outside the Lines, as well as ESPN Radio’s national programs. Guests are to be determined. Features include:

  • The inspiration six-year-old Jaxson Hinkens, who is battling neuroblastoma, provides to the University of Wisconsin football team, including quarterback Scott Tolzien who receives his Saturday pre-game pep talks via voicemail messages from Hinkens.
  • Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and his play caller, 14-year-old Matthew Costello, who has an inoperable brain tumor and is a classmate of Cameron’s son.
  • The strength of North Carolina women’s basketball forward Jessica Breland, who returns for her senior season after missing last year with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

ESPN Deportes Feature
ESPN Deportes will provide an original vignette about Jim Valvano’s story with information on how to donate to The V Foundation.

Special ESPN.com Content, Highlighted by Multiple Chat
ESPN.com will have special Jimmy V Week content highlighted by multiple chat sessions with sports celebrities and ESPN personalities throughout the week. Scheduled guests include ESPN’s Howie Schwab (Dec. 1 at 1 p.m.), Memphis men’s basketball coach Josh Pastner (Dec. 2 at noon), Texas A&M women’s basketball coach Gary Blair (Dec. 3 at noon), BYU men’s basketball coach Dave Rose (Dec. 3 at 1 p.m.), Syracuse men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim (Dec. 6 at noon), The V Foundation CEO Nick Valvano (Dec. 6 at 3 p.m.) and Duke women’s basketball coach Joanne McCallie (Dec. 7 at 3:30 p.m.). Additional content includes Jim Valvano’s 1993 ESPYs speech; stories on athletes who have been touched by cancer, including former NFL player Merrill Hoge’s battle with non-hodgkins lymphoma; Dick Vitale reflecting on his memories of Valvano; and links to a calendar of events and to www.jimmyv.org for more information on The V Foundation and how to donate.

ESPN Rise Stories in Magazines and Online
The current editions of the boys and girls versions of ESPN Rise magazines include a “Rise Above” feature on a high school athlete who has battled cancer. Each story is available on www.espnrise.com and alerts readers of the Jimmy V Week initiative. 

ESPNRise.com will offer extensive content, including several stories on high school athletes who have been touched by cancer:

  • Ashley Runion: The Osbourn Park (Manassas, Va.) softball star fought back from a near fatal fight with acute myeloid leukemia to return to the mound as one of five pitchers on the Virginia Glory travel team.
  • Heather Defoe: The Winter Springs (Fla.) lacrosse community rallied to have a specially sanctioned game so the freshman player’s terminally ill father could see her first varsity lacrosse start.
  • Taylor Matt: An update on a previous story about the top defender on the Cazenovia, N.Y., high school girl’s lacrosse team. Last spring, she was battling leukemia and undergoing chemotherapy.
  • Zach Cote: On Dec. 15, his school and community will host a basketball game to raise money for cancer research in honor of the high school basketball player who lost his leg to cancer. The players will wear special gold-colored uniforms – the color for childhood cancer — with a letter “Z” on them in honor of Zach.
  • James Kay: The football player who overcame cancer to make his way back to the field.

ESPN Classic Never Give Up Marathons
ESPN Classic will offer a Never Give Up marathon to launch and conclude Jimmy V Week. The opening marathon of five memorable N.C. State college basketball games coached by Valvano – including two gameseach from the 1983 ACC and NCAA Tournament — leads to the simultaneous launch of Jimmy V Week Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 9 a.m. ESPN Classic will conclude the week with three classic games leading up to the Jimmy V Classic on Tuesday, Dec. 7: The schedule:

Date Time (ET) Show
Wed, Dec 1 9 a.m. 1988 N.C. State vs. Duke
  11 a.m. 1983 ACC Tournament Semifinal: North Carolina vs. N.C. State
  1 p.m. 1983 ACC Tournament Final: N.C. State vs. Virginia
  3 p.m. 1983 NCAA Tournament Regional Final: N.C. State vs. Virginia
  5 p.m. 1983 NCAA National Championship: N.C. State vs. Houston
Tue, Dec 7 11 a.m. 1983 NCAA National Championship: N.C. State vs. Houston
  1 p.m. 2008 Jimmy V Classic: Davidson vs. West Virginia
  3 p.m. 2008 NCAA National Championship: Memphis vs. Kansas

Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research Message on BottomLine
The following Jimmy V Week messages will be included across each of the ESPN networks’ BottomLines for live event programming: “Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research – Join ESPN and The V Foundation in the fight against cancer. Call (800) 4-JIMMY-V or visit jimmyv.org” and “To donate $10, text jimmyv to 85944. Message and data rates may apply.”

The V Foundation on Facebook and Twitter
Jimmy V Week updates and user comments will be available through The V Foundation Facebook and Twitter pages as well as the ESPN You Tube channel.

Watermark Logo
In an effort to remind viewers of the special week-long initiative, a Jimmy V Week watermark logo will appear in the upper right corner of the screen during live event programming across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Classic and ESPN3.com (excluding during live NFL and NBA telecasts).

Public Service Announcements
Public service announcements regarding the need for cancer research will air across multiple ESPN networks. ESPN Deportes will air a Spanish language public service announcement.

About The V Foundation for Cancer Research
The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, The Foundation has raised more than $100 million to fund cancer research grants nationwide. It awards 100 percent of all direct cash donations and net proceeds of events directly to cancer research and related programs. Administrative and fundraising expenses are paid by their endowment. The Foundation awards grants through a competitive awards process strictly supervised by a Scientific Advisory Board. For more information on The V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit www.jimmyv.org

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