If you like tennis and the color Pink, you can now indulge yourself in some superb tennis gear from a select group of top sporting brands, and help a deserving pink ribbon tennis charity into the bargain. The Pink Ribbon symbol has grown rapidly in popularity and appears on a wide variety of sporting goods, especially golf and tennis. Companies using the ribbon on their product lines promise to pay a percentage of profits or a fixed amount to one of the Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer charities for an agreed period. Though it’s true, that some companies have jumped on the bandwagon, as much in an effort to increase sales as to give to charity, most pink tennis products are supplied by some well known, well respected household names like Wilson and New Balance.
Perhaps the best known range of charitable tennis gear is the ‘Wilson Hope’ selection of pink tennis shoes, bags, tennis balls and other tennis accessories. Wilson are at the forefront of ‘responsible’ sports manufacturers with their eco-friendly methods of production. They aim to minimize any harmful effects their business has on the environment. It’s no surprise then, that they’ve embraced the chance to make a positive contribution to the many lives that are damaged every year by this pervasive illness. The ‘Hope’ refers to empowering sufferers to believe they have both the will and the way to conquer their illness. Wilson are noted in the world of tennis for supplying high quality tennis racquets, tennis bags, apparel and shoes to some of the world’s best players like Roger Federer, the Williams sisters and Justine Henin, and some of the world’s finest tennis balls to tournaments like the US Open.
Their iconic three racquet ‘Wilson Hope’ pink tennis bags and single racquet backpacks are about the most stylish that money can buy. If you also use a can of the Wilson Hope Extra Duty Pink Tennis Balls for Your Tennis Game, you’ll be making a very powerful statement about your concern for ridding the world of Breast Cancer, whilst encouraging others to take up the cause, and at the same time giving to vital income to charities keen to help anyone affected by the disease. If you’re a woman who really wants to ‘push the boat out’ for Wilson’s chosen charity, The Breast cancer Research Foundation, a pair of Wilson Tour Vision Lady tennis shoes will also benefit the charity and equip you with leading edge tennis shoe technological excellence to rival any on the market, (and they look pretty good too!).
shoes, ‘New Balance’ are no slouches in this department too. They’ve been giving money to Breast Cancer Research since 1989. They actually supply the ‘760’, the official shoe of the Susan G Koman Race For The Cure, a long established annual walking event in the US to raise funds and awareness for Pink Ribbon Cancer Research and The Susan G Komen Foundation. Susan’s brave fight against cancer ultimately led to the creation of the Pink Ribbon symbol, when, so impressed with her sister’s selfless desire to help others better cope with Breast Cancer during her own fight for life, Nancy decided to carry forward her sister’s wishes on her death. This led to The Susan G Komen Foundation and the ‘Race For The Cure’. During the 1990 Race for the Cure, a handful of participants wore pink ribbons and a few were handed out by the Komen Foundation. Next year, all the walkers were given a pink ribbon to mark their participation. The symbol spread quickly across the United States with the involvement of Self Magazine and guest writer, Evelyn Lauder’s decision to distribute a pink ribbon at all Estee Lauder’s cosmetic counters around the country. Apart from cutting edge athletic shoes, New Balance produce some sporty tops, pants and socks advertising the pink ribbon and your support for the cause. All articles in their ‘Lace Up For The Cure’ Collection will benefit the Foundation by 5% of the retail price. They guarantee at least $500,000 per year.
Other important brands helping Pink Ribbon charities include sporting shoes and apparel manufacturers Reebok, whose ‘In It To End It’ campaign should provide up to $750,000 for the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. Top fundraisers during the operation will be rewarded with custom Reebok apparel. Two other notables are ‘Brooks’, with the ‘Brooks For her’ collection, donating 6.25% of the retail price to three worthy Breast Cancer Charities: the ‘Young Survival Coalition’, the ‘Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation’ and the ‘Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’, and ‘Under Armour’. This rapidly growing American company is fast making a name for itself producing high performance sports apparel, and now has it’s own ‘Power In Pink’ collection to benefit Breast Cancer Charities.
Though all these charities work hard all year round to benefit Breast cancer Research, October is the month earmarked to draw maximum exposure to Pink Ribbon events. You’ll no doubt notice the ribbon on many products as you shop, not just on sporting goods, but if you’ve time, try to dig a little deeper into just how much of your money will actually benefit which charity, and for how long? There’s been concern recently, due to the proliferation of Pink Ribbon products, that not all Pink Ribbon campaigns are as beneficial as others. The ‘Think Pink’ initiative aims to highlight ‘Pink Abuse’, where campaigns end prematurely though the product is still being sold, where campaign costs outweigh the benefits and where some companies promote Pink products yet are involved in the manufacture of others where carcinogens are used. Don’t worry too much – even an under performing Pink Ribbon product is likely to benefit cancer charities to some degree, but if you have a few moments to spare, just check the percentage of the sale price earmarked for the charity, how long the campaign lasts, and which charity will get the funds. If this isn’t immediately clear, move to the next product, because as with most things in life, transparency goes hand in hand with honesty.