ESPN’s 2018 ESPYS Week benefitting the V Foundation for Cancer Research raised more than $5.5 million, beating last year’s fundraising numbers. This includes $1.8 million that will be directed to the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund, which encourages cutting-edge research for minority populations suffering from cancer. To date, ESPYS-related fundraising efforts have totaled over $42 million.
ESPYS Week is a week-long fundraising drive across ESPN platforms, which includes fundraising messaging from ESPN talent and programs, as well as proceeds from the week’s events: ESPYS Auction, ESPY Celebrity Golf Classic and the Sports Humanitarian Awards.
The 14th annual ESPYS Auction featured more than 80 exclusive opportunities with celebrities, athletes and legendary coaches, as well as behind-the-scenes experiences with ESPN. A “Pitch Lunch” with Dallas Mavericks’ Owner Mark Cuban landed the highest bid. Other popular packages included a trip to the opening of Star War’s Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World Resort and a 2019 Wimbledon experience.
The 18th annual ESPY Celebrity Golf Classic at Pelican Hill Golf Club hosted over 31 foursomes, pairing guests with athletes and celebrities including NFL legend Joe Theismann, NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry and six-time MLB All-Star Kenny Lofton, among many others.
Proceeds, including a $500,000 presenting sponsorship from Bristol-Myers Squibb, from the fourth annual Sports Humanitarian Awards, which celebrated the impact made by athletes, teams and sports industry professionals who use the power of sport to make a difference throughout the world, contributed to the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund. The Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant, the U.S. Women’s National Ice Hockey Team, and former NBA player David Robinson were among those honored throughout the evening.
Also at this year’s ESPYS, the V Foundation announced that Bristol-Myers Squibb provided a $2.5 million charitable grant for cancer survivorship research. The grant will be used by the V Foundation under the Robin Roberts Survivorship Fund, which aims to improve the long-term health and wellness of oncology patients after treatment. Recent research has led to improvements in treatments and so there are more cancer survivors than ever before. The Robin Roberts Cancer Survivorship Fund will focus on biomedical cancer research areas with particular relevance to survivors including pediatrics, immuno-oncology and data science research focused on improving survivors outcomes.
“We are lucky to have such a dedicated partner in ESPN. For 25 years, our motivated teams have worked so well together to support research and confront cancer. This wonderful partnership has funded more than $200 million in bright ideas and cutting-edge cancer research. We will continue to accelerate this research until we achieve – Victory Over Cancer®,” said Susan Braun, CEO of the V Foundation.
Additional funds were raised from donations made by the public and those directly from ESPN employees.
Kevin Martinez, vice president, ESPN Corporate Citizenship stated, “The storytelling and excitement around the ESPYS is the perfect time to rally employees, fans, clients and the sports community to raise money for the V Foundation for Cancer Research. Our goal is to team up with the sports industry in the fight against cancer.”
About ESPN Corporate Citizenship
ESPN believes that, at its very best, sports uplifts the human spirit. Its corporate citizenship programs use the power of sport to positively address society’s needs through strategic community investments, cause marketing programs, collaboration with sports organizations and employee volunteerism, while also utilizing its diverse media assets. For more information go to www.espn.com/citizenship.
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 University basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, the Foundation has funded more than $200 million in cancer research grants nationwide. The V Foundation awards 100% of direct donations to cancer research and programs. The V Foundation’s endowment covers administrative expenses. The Foundation awards peer-reviewed grants through a competitive awards process strictly supervised by a Scientific Advisory Committee. For more information on the V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit www.jimmyv.org.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol-Myers Squibb, visit us at BMS.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.