07/13/10 11:08 PM ET
Fans Stand Up To Cancer once more
By Mark Newman / MLB.com
Remember the "Priceless" spot that was filmed live by MasterCard Worldwide and Stand Up To Cancer during Game 3 of the 2009 World Series at Philadelphia? They did it again after the sixth inning of the 81st All-Star Game at Angel Stadium on Tuesday.
"Major League Baseball has been a proud supporter of Stand Up To Cancer from its very beginning, driving home its key message with our fans -- that each and every person can play a role in helping the scientists who are working so hard to end this disease," Commissioner Bud Selig said. "We're thankful to MasterCard for joining us in 'going beyond' to support this worthy cause, and encourage everyone to stand up with us and help eradicate cancer."
Before the top of the seventh, the full house at Angel Stadium was shown a Stand Up To Cancer video, then the words "STAND UP" flashed on the outfield big screen. The fans stayed on their feet and cheered until it was time for the first pitch by the Yankees' Phil Hughes, pitching for the American League.
Look for this one on TV. If you were at this Midsummer Classic, you are part of a legacy, and you helped remind people to take action.
The ad filmed last fall made history -- and in the process raised awareness about the fight against cancer. That is what this is all about. That "Priceless" public awareness spot was produced by SU2C founding member and award-winning Hollywood producer Laura Ziskin. The giant video board in left at Citizens Bank Park instructed a full house of very eager, slightly waterlogged citizens to "STAND UP" -- and Ziskin said afterward that even she was not prepared for the amazing scene that happened on that Halloween night.
Ziskin watched it in a ballpark production truck along with Larry Flanagan, chief marketing officer of MasterCard Worldwide.
"To be able to heighten awareness about the importance of supporting cutting-edge cancer research through one of the world's largest, most recognizable and award-winning advertising campaigns is, in a word, priceless," said Ziskin, whose film credits include the Spider-Man trilogy, "As Good As It Gets" and "Pretty Woman." "We are enormously grateful to both MLB and MasterCard."
After last year's commercial, Ziskin said, "It was absolutely extraordinary. We proposed this to Larry, saying that 'Standing Up To Cancer: Priceless' had been a fantasy of the SU2C group, and he said yes. Then he said, 'But I'd like to do part of it live.' My heart was like in my throat. I said, 'OK, we're up to that, we'll do it.' And Major League Baseball, as always, was extraordinary. I just got 12 e-mails from people in L.A. who saw it and thought it was awesome."
"The thing that struck me the most was, we were there watching the commercials beforehand, and I could hear the crowd getting louder and louder and louder, just getting pumped up for it," Flanagan said. "And then it went live, and all of a sudden, you're right in the moment. It's like right now, all this is happening. And that shot focusing on the children, and then pulling back with all of the folks SU2C has gotten to participate, and then pulling back to the whole stadium with the towels, the energy level going on at that point, you think about the impact it just made on millions of people, who just imprinted Stand Up To Cancer in a memory."
On that night, Game 3 of the World Series was dedicated to Stand Up To Cancer, as MLB turned its crowning event into a charity campaign platform as well.
Stand Up To Cancer has continually grown in visibility within MLB events, such as the Sheryl Crow All-Star Concert under the Arch last July in St. Louis. During that concert, Crow prompted a large crowd to raise their cell phones and text in unison as a pledge to "stand up" to cancer. During the 2009 postseason, MasterCard donated $1,000 to SU2C for every home run hit.
MasterCard has been an official sponsor of Major League Baseball since 1997 and is the preferred card of MLB and MLB Advanced Media. MasterCard has a strong history of innovative and comprehensive marketing platforms with MLB and its clubs over the years, including the "MasterCard Presents Major League Baseball All-Century Team" in 1999, the "MasterCard Presents Major League Baseball Memorable Moments" in 2002 and the "Hit It Here" in-stadium promotion at MLB All-Star Week since 1999.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.