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ESPN Celebrates the 12th Annual V Week in Support of the V Foundation

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Fans Can Bid on Craig Sager Game-Worn Jackets and “Kicks” by Durant, Curry, Bryant and a Dozen Other NBA Stars

For a 12th consecutive year, ESPN’s V Week for Cancer Research— beginning on Giving Tuesday, November 27, and running through December 8— will drive awareness and funds for the V Foundation for Cancer Research across ESPN platforms. All proceeds will go directly to cancer research and related programs. Last year, V Week raised a record $4.5 million, bringing the 11-year total of contributions to more than $22.2 million.

“The 2018 V Week is set up to be our best yet as we impose some serious style into our fundraising efforts — celebrating the legendary panache of the 2016 V Perseverance Award winner Craig Sager and giving sports fans access to some very impressive shoes from the top stars in basketball,” said Kevin Martinez, vice president of ESPN Corporate Citizenship. “We’re excited to once again use ESPN’s reach and resources to bring ever-important funds and awareness for cancer research.”

The 2018 V Week will feature three new initiatives to raise funds for the V Foundation:

  • Kicks to Beat Cancer (Nov. 26-Dec. 6): ESPN commentator and professional athletes are putting their “kicks” to good use by reaching into their extensive shoe collections and donating a signed pair to be auctioned off in support of the V Foundation. NBA and WNBA stars past and present have donated their shoes, including Kobe Bryant, DeMarcus Cousins, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Joel Embiid, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, Boban Marjanovic, Candace Parker, Chris Paul, Paul Pierce, Scottie Pippen, Tracy McGrady, Jalen Rose and PJ Tucker. Additionally, ESPN’s NBA host Michelle Beadle, Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim, and Duke’s all-time leading head coach and Hall of Famer, Mike Krzyzewski, will also be donating their shoes. The Jump will showcase an exclusive look into a few of these stars closets and get a closer look at their impressive collections.
  • Craig Sager Style Day (Nov. 29-30): In honor of famed sports reporter Craig Sager, who lost his battle with cancer in 2016, ESPN, NBA on TNT and NBA TV on-air commentators will wear jackets and clothing that capture Craig’s signature “Sager Style.” The two-day initiative celebrating Sager’s love of life and outrageous fashion will be featured on the NBA doubleheader, Rockets at Spurs (Friday, Nov. 30 at 8 p.m. ET) and Nuggets at Blazers (Friday, Nov. 30 at 10:30 p.m.). In addition, two of Sager’s own game-worn jackets will be up for auction.

Fans can bid on both the shoes and jackets at www.ebay.com/espn.

  • WeRateDogs “h*ck cancer” Campaign (Nov. 27-Dec. 8): Sports fans love their dogs, and ESPN hopes to harness that passion by teaming up with WeRateDogs to drive awareness to the V Foundation’s canine comparative oncology initiative and highlight dogs who are currently fighting cancer. WeRateDogs has created custom merchandise with the slogan “h*ck cancer” and will donate 100% of net proceeds from these sales to the V Foundation.

Also during V Week, NFL Countdown will highlight one very special pair of shoes showcasing the V Foundation as part of the NFL’s ‘My Cause My Cleats’ program. Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins will sport the V Foundation cleats during the Week 13 match up vs. the Oakland Raiders.

Additional V Week programming includes:

Jim Valvano’s ESPYS Speech Roadblock

Just twice a year (V Week in Dec. and ESPYS Week in July), nearly all of ESPN platforms pause regularly scheduled programming and run a roadblock in support of the V Foundation. On Wed., Nov. 28, at 7 p.m. ET the 15-minute roadblock presentation will highlight former N.C. State coach-turned ESPN commentator Jim Valvano’s legendary 1993 “Don’t Give Up” ESPYS speech. It will be offered simultaneously on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN Pac Rim, ESPN Caribbean, ESPN3, ESPN Deportes, Longhorn Network, ESPN Radio, the ESPN App and ESPN.com. The roadblock will be streaming live on all networks listed and fans can access it on demand via ESPN3 replay. A captioned version also will be available on the ABC SuperSign in Times Square, HearstLive, New York City Disney Store and within Disney Resorts.

“Cancer Is” Campaign

Cancer is many different things to different people — everyone has their own unique experience and personal journey. A special V Week campaign will center on the phrase ‘Cancer Is …’ allowing participants to define cancer in their own terms. Vignettes and special PSAs that highlight strength and inspire hope by showing the victories over cancer will air throughout V Week during live events including NBA, NFL and college football and basketball games, studio programming and ESPN Radio shows. Across all ESPN networks, the Bottomline scroll will encourage viewers to join ESPN and the V Foundation in the fight against cancer by visiting v.org/donate.

The Jimmy V Basketball Classics

The Jimmy V Men’s and Women’s Basketball Classics Presented by Corona will begin with the Women’s Classic on Sunday, Dec. 2, followed by the Men’s Classic on Tuesday, Dec. 4, all airing live on ESPN.

  • 2: No. 1 Notre Dame vs. No. 2 UConn,  4 p.m. at the University of Notre Dame
  • 4: Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma, 7 p.m. at Madison Square Garden

West Virginia vs. Florida, 9 p.m. at Madison Square Garden

About the V Foundation for Cancer Research
The V Foundation for Cancer Research is dedicated to declaring victory over cancer. ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator, founded it in 1993. Since 1993, the Foundation has funded more than $225 million in cancer research grants nationwide. It awards 100 percent of all direct cash donations to cancer research and related programs. Due to generous donors, the Foundation has an endowment that covers administrative expenses. The Foundation awards peer-reviewed grants through a competitive awards process vetted by a Scientific Advisory Committee. For more information on the V Foundation, please visit www.jimmyv.org.

About ESPN Corporate Citizenship
ESPN believes that, at its very best, sports uplifts the human spirit. Its corporate citizenship programs use 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.

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Contact: Belen Michelis, ESPN, (860) 766-1425, [email protected]