SOURCE: Edge Health

Edge Health

February 15, 2011 15:53 ET

College Basketball's Greatest Coaching Legends -- Bob Knight, Digger Phelps, and John Thompson -- Go on the Offensive to Educate About Prostate Cancer

Unprecedented Campaign Drafts Sportscaster Erin Andrews and an All-Star Line Up of Sports Figures to Help Men Recognize Their Health Is "ON THE LINE"

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - February 15, 2011) -  It's a fact: One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Yet, despite these alarming statistics, many men will not discuss their risks, or testing and treatment options with their doctors -- until it's very late in the game. 

On February 15, 2011, ON THE LINE (, a groundbreaking initiative in health education will be launched, harnessing the power of sports and celebrities to challenge men to take charge of their health. Recognizing that it takes a powerful team to motivate men to take a proactive role in managing their health, ON THE LINE has assembled a collection of organizations, partners, sports legends, commentators, celebrities and their significant others to catapult prostate cancer front and center as a critical men's health issue. 

Primary media vehicle, ESPN, the acknowledged worldwide leader in sports, will play a key role in distributing the message to de-mystify the topic of prostate cancer by presenting information about the disease in the media company's signature sports vernacular -- clever, creative humor. ESPN's association with cancer through its and Jim Valvano's founding of The V Foundation for Cancer Research, which has raised more than $100 million since its inception in 1993, made the media entity a natural fit for the campaign. 

Leveraging the spectrum of ESPN's media assets, ON THE LINE will reach across several sports to drive the conversation home and motivate men to manage all aspects of their health, including teaming up with their family and physician to understand prostate cancer risk factors and options.

Leading the ON THE LINE launch at the height of college basketball season is an elite team of legends, including prostate cancer survivor Digger Phelps, fellow legendary basketball coaches Bob Knight and John Thompson, former NBC and CBS college basketball broadcaster Billy Packer and ESPN sportscaster and former NBA star Len Elmore.

"ON THE LINE speaks to men in ways they really understand and appreciate -- through sports and humor," said Digger Phelps, renowned Notre Dame basketball coach, ESPN analyst and prostate cancer survivor. "I know, first hand, the importance of getting the facts about prostate cancer and being able to weigh your options. Burying your head in the sand is dangerous. It's only by taking charge of your health and talking to your doctor and your family that you can come up with the best plan of attack -- one that can save your life." Phelps, a spokesperson for the ON THE LINE campaign, was diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent surgery for the disease in 2010.

ESPN sports reporter Erin Andrews, whose father is a prostate cancer survivor, will also be part of the all-star line-up of people who are driving men to take charge of their health.

"When my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer, I wanted to know all about the disease," said Andrews. "I only wish that there had been a campaign like ON THE LINE then to provide information and resources all in one place. Being around so many men for my job, I can tell that prostate cancer is a tough thing to talk about, but it's definitely time to bring the topic out of the shadows. Using sports figures is genius, and I expect that this campaign will score big."

ON THE LINE draws on the expertise of an independent panel of prostate cancer physicians from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the world's leading professional organization representing doctors who care for people with cancer. ASCO's expert panel provided the core clinical prostate cancer information which serves as the basis for the campaign content. ON THE LINE has also enlisted teammates Zero, Us TOO, Prostate Conditions Education Council (PCEC), and the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) to serve as local and community resources and networks. 

Through exciting and interactive resources that include a comprehensive web site, educational materials, sport and celebrity spokespersons interviews, televised commercials and information woven throughout ESPN's assets, ON THE LINE addresses prostate cancer from the perspectives of both men and women. Understanding that there are many people who influence a man's decisions, including the women who play a primary role in the healthcare decisions of a family, ON THE LINE provides complementary sections across all supporting channels that offer a "guy's take" and a "woman's take" on prostate cancer, to promote a true team approach. 

Using at times a platform of humor to deliver the difficult truths of prostate cancer is a core element of ON THE LINE. A series of ads themed around "Don't You Hate it When She's Right" will begin breaking on ESPN on Monday, February 14 calling on all too familiar familial themes that most men can relate to. Spots will feature vignettes with Bob Knight and Erin Andrews going toe to toe, and coaching legends in heated discussion with a waitress in a coffee shop -- all debating the most important issue ON THE LINE -- men's health. Log onto to learn more.

The creator of ON THE LINE, Edge Health, a health care marketing company, is dedicated to communicating key information that is understandable and useful to the everyday consumer. Through national programs such as ON THE LINE, Edge Health hopes to inform, inspire and entertain. Together with its partners, Edge Health endeavors to make the toughest of journeys that much easier, one step at a time.

ASCO is the world's leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer. With nearly 30,000 members, ASCO is committed to conquering cancer through research, education, prevention and delivery of high-quality patient care. ASCO's expert panel provided the core clinical prostate cancer information, which serves as the basis for the campaign content.

The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, The Foundation has raised more than $100 million to fund cancer research grants nationwide. It awards 100 percent of all direct cash donations and net proceeds of events directly to cancer research and related programs. Administrative and fundraising expenses are paid by their endowment. The Foundation awards grants through a competitive awards process strictly supervised by a Scientific Advisory Board. For more information on The V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit

The breadth and scope of the ON THE LINE campaign, which will extend for a two-year period, is made possible thanks in part to the contributions of campaign sponsors committed to the wellbeing of patients with cancer and their families. With longstanding histories in discovering and developing treatments for those living with cancer, founding sponsors Amgen and sanofi-aventis both understand the value of and are committed to a collaborative effort across industry in driving men to take charge of their health. 

A biotechnology pioneer with a mission to serve patients, Amgen discovers, develops, manufactures and delivers innovative medicines to help those battling cancer and other serious illnesses. Amgen is passionate about helping people with cancer and understands that while access to the best possible medical treatment is vital, beating cancer calls for more than that. People facing cancer need support from their community and access to reliable information. To that end, Amgen has a long history of championing important educational programs like ON THE LINE.

Sanofi-aventis U.S. is an affiliate of sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to help improve the lives of patients. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY). For more information, or

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