Fans Find Pink, Teal Match; Breast Cancer Month Popular Cause Even among NFL Players

By Marino, Mike | The Florida Times Union, October 13, 2012 | Go to article overview

Fans Find Pink, Teal Match; Breast Cancer Month Popular Cause Even among NFL Players


Marino, Mike, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Mike Marino

Pink. Not really compatible with teal. Except it was last Sunday at EverBank Field and, for the rest of the month, will be with all the other clashing colors in the NFL.

For the fourth straight year the league is supporting the fight against breast cancer with its "A Crucial Catch" program to promote screening. Supporting by saturation, actually. Pink is everywhere you look in October, from goalpost padding to cheerleaders' outfits to players' shoes.

It has also spread throughout the stands, exponentially. Fans are buying. A lot.

"We have a large amount of sales from our breast cancer awareness merchandise," said Anne Lacey Whitaker, spokeswoman for Jacksonville-based Fanatics. The giant sports e-retailer and its brick-and-mortar at The Avenues mall have dedicated space and a portion of sales for pink NFL merchandise.

Although she wouldn't give specifics for either, Whitaker did give round figures that show more than just casual interest.

"We're currently selling more than 50 percent over last October," she said Wednesday. "That's in just nine days versus 31 days."

The NFL told the Business Insider website this week that 5 percent of its sales go to its partner, the American Cancer Society, and the rest to pay for its initiative. As for others in the breast cancer community, they're happy to tag along, if only unofficially.

"It lifts it up, brings it to the fore," said Bruce Groh, executive director of the North Florida affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. "It makes it easier for people to talk about breast cancer when NFL players are running around in pink shoes."

Not typically - or, at all - a guy color, the NFL is helping it cross gender lines.

"A lot of women have really gravitated toward it, of course," Whitaker said. …

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