Updated: Jun 4, 2020
They say everything is bigger in Texas. The mindset is all about more, more, more. For MD Anderson’s partnerships with the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash, you really can’t have too much of a good thing.
The partnership, announced in November 2018, debuted starting with the Dynamo during the 2019 season. MD Anderson had previously showcased their large presence within the PGA Tour. Aligning with the Dynamo allowed them their first opportunity to go all in on a multi-faceted sports team. The deal marked the first season-long cause related kit partnership in MLS history.
Photo from the Dynamo/MD Anderson partnership announcement event
“The team at MD Anderson has kept a clear objective throughout our partnership,” said Dionna Widder, Chief Revenue Officer of the Houston Dynamo and Dash. “They wanted to use the global popularity of soccer to raise awareness to their mission to end cancer.”
Activations within the Dynamo’s BBVA Stadium further highlight the partnership off the field. Many efforts have been made to foster a healthier lifestyle that align with MD Anderson’s great mission of good health. Case and point: by the start of the 2019 season, the stadium had transformed one of their concession stands to serve only healthy menu options and became 100% tobacco and smoking free. Additionally, during the season, sunscreen packets were made available for free at guest services locations.
“The consistency has always been geared towards being on a mission,” said Widder. “Everything has circled back towards the biggest goal of not only spreading awareness of beating cancer but also to take tangible steps to help bring that lifestyle to the fans and the greater community. In all of the steps that we’ve taken, the partnership really helps come to life.”
In addition to the tangible improvements that benefit fans, MD Anderson adds to their in-stadium visibility via stadium signage along the inner bowl and throughout the concourse. Their presence truly comes to life even more through cancer and survivorhood Nights (End Cancer Night, Soccer Kicks Cancer Night, Kick Childhood Cancer Night) throughout the 2019 season.
Forward Darwin Quintero wearing the Dynamo Primary kit
“We put our fans at the forefront with this partnership,” said Widder. “We are always happy to grow with this partnership and be flexible in adding in elements as it is so purpose driven. We have doubled down on the league’s initiative to beat childhood cancer and MD Anderson is side-by-side with us in helping to accomplish that.”
With all of the stellar community initiatives in place with the Dynamo, the partnership expanded to the Dash in February 2020. The Dash serve as a natural fit with helping to combat women’s cancer. And with new kits released, the partnership has the look and feel to truly draw attention to a great cause.
Midfielder Kristie Mewis, Goalkeeper Jane Campbell, & Forward Rachel Daly (left to right) at the Dash/MD Anderson partnership announcement event
“Both of our organizations have further adopted a “one club mentality” as we look to grow the game in the community through both teams,” said Widder. “MD Anderson has been supportive every step of the way as we continue to build the branding and identity in unison with both clubs.”
The Dash have helped to further promote the team's mission of healthy living. Two Dash team ambassadors have shared healthy living exercises that fans can participate in from the comfort of their own home. Player PSA’s and hospital videos have generated activity to the organization’s social presence off the field, furthermore helping to integrate the Dash into the community.
Forwards Nichelle Prince & Katie Stengel (left to right) wearing the Dash Primary kit
Another addition to the partnership will be the extension of ticket fundraising. For each ticket purchase for both the Dynamo and Dash, the clubs will donate $1 to MD Anderson. And to further the goodwill, fans will have the option to round up their purchase to the nearest dollar. These donations will help to boost MD Anderson in their efforts to eradicate the deadly disease. Even more noteworthy has been the donation option that has accompanied the fundraising. With fans having the option of donating additional funds, the response has been overwhelming supportive. To date, $48,000+ has been raised since the beginning of the Dynamo partnership in late 2018. As we await the return of the MLS and NWSL seasons, that value will only increase.
“The people that we work with at MD Anderson are absolutely incredible,” said Widder. “Their leadership and marketing team are creative, professional, flexibly individuals. Their mission is one that unites us. We are playing for something now that goes beyond winning.”