Ellsworth Bicycles Vice President Dave Wisenteiner has managed to shine a positive light on a very personal ordeal. "While Pink marketing projects seem to be everywhere right now, this one started for me five years ago as I watched my wife's mom die over what was the worst year of our lives," he said. "She had ovarian cancer which is the deadliest of the women's cancers because it is usually detected so late. This was followed with her grandmother's death only six months later from the very same thing. In that same time period I had two very close friends somehow pull out of stage 3+ breast cancer, mostly thanks to clinical trials."
Later, Wisenteiner learned that another fellow employee was going through a similar struggle; Ellsworth's Aimee Rocheleau's father had also had a near miss with cancer. "One does not have to reach far to find out it is literally everywhere," Wisenteiner said.
Wisenteiner could have wallowed in sorrow over the tragedies, but decided to do something about it instead. Several months ago, Ellsworth began offering its entire line of ICT full suspension frames in an optional pink anodized finish and pledged a US$50 donation to breast and ovarian cancer research and clinical trials for each one sold. Wisenteiner dubbed the campaign 'project pink'.
In addition to the symbolic hue, frames are also garnished with a laser-etched ribbon (the iconic symbol of the global effort against the disease) and customers will have the option of having the name of an affected loved one (which, in many cases, may be themselves) permanently etched as well. Customers will not incur any additional charges for either the pink anodization or the custom laser etching.
"The two things I wanted to accomplish with this project were to specifically fund research and clinical trials rather than awareness, and second, I wanted the contribution to be substantial. So many companies in the US have jumped on 'cause marketing' and their contribution is almost an afterthought. We are a small company so our direct impact is small but the ripple effect is becoming huge." Wisenteiner adds.
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