On July 9th, Overwatch concluded their Pink Mercy campaign by announcing that they had raised over $12,700,000 for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation
Every two minutes, a woman in the United States is diagnosed with breast cancer. This cancer is the most common in women across the globe due to high mortality rates attributed to lack of screening as well as treatment barriers, according to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).
The below figure was obtained from the American Cancer Society, and shows that there is an increasing trend in the diagnoses of both invasive, and in situ breast cancer. Situ breast cancer is most often found inside the breast’s milk duct, and is the earliest form of breast cancer. Invasive breast cancer is characterized by the growth of the disease beyond the ducts and into breast tissue. This accounts for approximately 80 percent of breast cancers.
The (BCRF)’s goal is to eradicate this disease completely, funding almost 11 million hours of research since 1993. This past May, the Overwatch community united to support the highest rated breast cancer organization in the United States.
Support Has Arrived
On May 8th, Overwatch announced their collaboration with the BCRF through the Pink Mercy charity campaign. The campaign featured the beautiful Pink Mercy skin, which costed $15 to equip. This cosmetic item was the first to be unavailable in loot boxes. Players also purchased the limited edition Pink Mercy T-shirt, designed by artist VICKISIGH. All proceeds of both items went directly to BCRF.
Players were also able to show their support by equipping free sprays, player icons and themed Twitch chat emotes. They earned these exclusive features by watching participating streamers for up to six cumulative hours. BCRF benefited from all donations collected during these streams.
The World Could Always Use More Heroes
Ultimately, the Pink Mercy campaign raised over $12.7 million, with over $130,000 coming from Twitch donations. The combined efforts of the Overwatch team, players, streamers, and artists promoted awareness and led to a historic donation. This sum was record breaking, being a corporate partner’s largest donation within a single year in BCRF’s history.
Stephanie Kauffman, the Chief Strategic Alliances Officer at BCRF commented on this campaign’s lasting impact in the foundation’s blog post. She stated that “Blizzard’s support of BCRF will help accelerate breakthroughs in prevention strategies, improved treatments, survivorship and quality of life for breast cancer patients worldwide.”
When the community unites to support causes vital and poignant to so many, it is clear that Overwatch has a powerful platform.
This author looks forward to seeing how this active group continues to, in the wise words of Dr. Harold Winston, never accept the world as it appears to be, and dare to see it for what it could be.