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December 2012 Issue

Corporate Partnerships Provide Monetary Support, Name Recognition to Siteman

What do the St. Louis Cardinals, Wendy’s, Saint Louis Bread Co. and Papa John’s Pizza have in common? They all share a commitment to support the communities where they do business. As such, patients at the Siteman Cancer Center are benefiting from these companies’ unique approaches to raising funds for cancer research.

One appealing aspect of corporate partnerships is the freedom most companies have in developing a promotional campaign. For instance, Papa John’s Pizza and the St. Louis Cardinals created CARDSWIN, a program that offered fans 40 percent off online orders the day after a Cardinals win. Papa John’s then donated 10 percent of the sale price to Siteman.

Another added benefit of corporate sponsorships is the opportunity for Siteman to broaden its name recognition in the community. During October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, 48 Saint Louis Bread Co. locations gave a portion of the sale price of each Pink Ribbon Bagel to Siteman.

And at every home game for two seasons, the St. Louis Cardinals and Sportservice sold limited-edition Cardinals baseball caps that featured a multi-colored cancer awareness ribbon. Ten dollars from every cap sold was given to Siteman to support innovative research through the Discovery Fund.

Siteman’s Discovery Fund allows cancer center leaders to respond quickly to promising new research–specifically projects that will have the greatest impact on patient care. This fund often bridges the gap between research ideas and federal funding, which can take more than a year to obtain. All support is leveraged, resulting in additional external funding. In fact, in January 2010, Siteman’s “return on investment” was greater than 25:1, meaning that for every $1 invested, an additional $25 of funding is obtained from other organizations.

“There are many areas for which any additional funding would make a significant difference,” says Timothy J. Eberlein, MD, Siteman director. “Discovery Fund support is critical to Siteman’s success. Without these vital resources, potential breakthroughs would go unfunded.”

Successful corporate partnerships often come as a result of a patient experience. Siteman’s partnership with Wendy’s is a perfect example. While undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer at Siteman, the wife of a Wendy’s executive organized a number of fundraisers in her Illinois hometown. Consequently, 28 Wendy’s restaurants in Iowa and Illinois launched a promotion allowing customers to purchase a $1 Frosty key tag to benefit Siteman that entitled them to a free Jr. Frosty with every subsequent purchase throughout the year. Wendy’s corporate leadership heard about this effort and expanded the initiative to include some Chicago-area locations with a “Give $1 and Save $1 on any Combo Meal” promotion. In honor of the patient, who lost her battle in December 2011, Wendy’s support is designated to fund research aimed at advancing therapies for patients with pancreatic cancer.

“Our corporate partners are committed to supporting the communities they serve, and this translates into significant philanthropy. In the last couple of years alone, these corporate partnerships have contributed more than a quarter of a million dollars to innovative research at Siteman,” says Jana Sharpley, executive director of development for Siteman. “Siteman is extremely grateful for their creative promotions, dedication to cancer research, and financial support.”