Sports events can learn a lot from watching one another. The recent partnership between a national governing body and a foundation to prevent melanoma, which has resulted in the availability of free sunscreen at events throughout the sports season, is an object lesson, providing sun safety, cancer awareness, community service – and effective marketing.
When USRowing announced its alliance with the Midwest Melanoma Partnership, it provided a template for event organizers everywhere. After all, as the weather warms up across much of the U.S., many athletes are headed outside for competitions. And whether that means they’ll be on the field, the road, the court, the water or even – at this late date, the snow, it also means increased exposure to UV rays.
Across the country, multiple organizations have set up, or are lobbying for, sunscreen dispensers (similar to those with hand sanitizer) to be available for the public to use. These include the Maryland-based Kelly’s Dream (advocating for dispensers on college campuses) and Just Believe (Michigan) – and the prevalence of sunscreen dispensers is increasing nationwide, according to CBS News. (In fact, a Google search for “public sunscreen dispenser” will yield plenty of hits for everything from corporations that supply dispensers to locations of dispensers, city by city.)
Sports venues are already growing in popularity as locations for sunscreen dispensers. Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco, East Boston Stadium in Massachusetts, Bell Park in Atlanta and Okeeheelee Golf Course in Palm Beach County, Florida are all mentioning the dispensers not just as a public service but in some cases, as a marketing tool. Other popular locations include water parks, pools, parks and beaches – although the options are almost unlimited.
Sports event owners who want to keep athletes (and spectators) safe this summer (or throughout the year, where climates allow) may want to reach out to local foundations for melanoma prevention to explore partnerships of their own. (The American Academy of Dermatology has statistics on the prevalence of melanoma nationwide, for those who want to add that information to their campaign). In addition, many event owners already publish suggestions for effective sunscreen use; this example from IRONMAN includes information on using a sport-specific formula, how often to reapply sunscreen and more.