Introducing the amazing shoes that help fight breast cancer.

I will never forget a phone call I received from my wife in 2001. I picked up the phone, and without any other greetings Dawn said, ‘My Mom has breast cancer.’ Those unexpected and unwelcomed words landed with more weight than any others I have ever heard telephonically. With that phone call I joined the not-so-exclusive club of people whose family’s have been invaded by breast cancer.

A Better Call

Fast forward to the spring of 2018. I got a call from my friend Harper Cornell at Mizuno. Harper shared that she was leading the marketing efforts for an exciting Mizuno initiative called Project Zero. Mizuno was partnering with Fleet Feet Stores across the country to raise money to support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). Harper and her team were looking for a partner to work with to promote Project Zero. I jumped* at the chance to get involved. (*There was actually no physically jumping. But I definitely jumped in all the non-physical ways.)

Planning

Over the next couple of months our team at The Weaponry created logos, themes, scripts, videos, point of purchase displays and a brand style guide for the effort. We thought through budgets, logistics and calendars. We researched and explored great stories we could tell about runners who had been impacted by breast cancer. Then we brought it all to life.

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Kristyn ‘K-Lil’ Lilley and Sonia. K-Lil lead our design work, and directed interviews. Because she rocks. Sonia is an amazing advocate for other women dealing with breast cancer.

Filming

In August we traveled to Houston to work with Jennie Finch, the Olympic Gold Medal softball player, and Mizuno athlete. We spent a day at the Fleet Feet store filming a series of videos with Jennie promoting Project Zero. She was great to work with and a passionate supporter of the cause. I’m also thankful that she never balked or threw anything at me when I asked her for a long list of alternate takes.

Then we traveled to Atlanta to film four inspiring women who have battled with breast cancer, and six strong breast cancer supporters who have helped friends, mothers and wives through their fight with this menacing disease.

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We filmed in Houston, Texas. Which is where my sisters Donielle and Alison, and my nieces Norah and Celia live. So they were able to stop by while we were shooting.

Here Is The Deal

What Mizuno is doing with Project Zero is remarkable. If you buy a pair of special edition BCRF WaveKnit running shoes, Mizuno will donate $10 from your purchase directly to the BCRF, the largest nonprofit funder of Breast Cancer research in the world.

Simple and startling facts about breast cancer:

  • 1 in 8 women around the world will be impacted by breast cancer in her lifetime.
  • 45,000 women in the US and Canada are expected to die of breast cancer this year.
  • There are 3,850,000 breast cancer survivors in the US and Canada today.

The key to turning 1-in-8 women into 0-in-8 is research. That’s why the Breast Cancer Research Foundation is so important.

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Harper and Yolaine and I after wrapping. Not rapping.

Impressive Facts About The BCRF.

  • It is the largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research in the world.
  • They fund 275 scientist
  • They fund research in 15 countries on 6 continents
  • They help explore causes, new treatments, prevention and early diagnosis
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Sorita is amazing. She owns a Fleet Feet Store in Reading, PA. She not only crushed breast cancer, she crushes triathlons too.

I am extremely proud that our team was able to contribute to such an important cause. Thanks to Jeanne Mayer, Kristyn Lilley, Matt Ackley, Kevin Kayse and Tony Sharpe for all of your hard work.

Here is a look at a couple of the 11 videos we created to support the cause.

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Gretchen and her family are truly inspiring. I was just happy to be in their world.

Key Takeaway

If you could use a great new pair of stylish running shoes, please consider stopping by a Fleet Feet store during October, or going to MizunoUSARunning.com. By the way, today my Mother In Law, Cynthia Zabel, is doing great, 17 years after that initial phone call.

Go Cynthia!

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3 amazing things our team did in one exciting weekend.

A few years ago I was having a serious conversation about my career with a close friend. I was talking about a job opportunity I was contemplating that would involve me and my family moving to one of the major cities in the United States. Chad, my son Magnus’ Godfather, asked why I was considering such a move and the impact it was likely to have on our family’s quality of life. Not to mention the impact it would have on the Christmas Eve tradition our families enjoyed together.

I told Chad that I was curious to know what my career might hold if I was in a major market. Chad took a long pause. And then he said slowly, in words I could easily understand,

I don’t think your career has ever been limited by your location.

Chad was right. My career has been full of interesting opportunities and adventures that have outsized the markets that I have lived and worked in. But without Chad’s comment I may not have recognized that myself.

I was reminded of Chad’s statement last week because my advertising and idea agency, The Weaponry, had a particularly interesting weekend. Here are the 3 big things that happened.

#1   Two of our Weapons flew to the other side of the planet to film a video about an impressive business in Bangalore, India. It was a trip that helped alter my world-perspective.  I met amazing people, saw incredible sights and ate incredible food. And, now that I’ve seen the first rough cut, I can say I helped capture a really great video.

#2    A team of our Weapons were working with a former President of The United States. We sent a crew to the Plains Peanut Festival in Plains, Georgia. A major part of what our team did in Plains was work with President Jimmy Carter. Our team filmed President Carter, photographed him and his family and friends at various activities that weekend. Our team also wrote The Peanut Proclamation, on behalf of The Peanut Institute, which president Carter signed. Working with President Carter was a pretty great consolation prize for our team members who didn’t get to go to India. A trip to India was a good consolation prize for those who didn’t get to work with President Carter.

#3   At the same time as the international travel and the Presidential peanut-ing, our team was launching a new campaign for the sporting gear brand Mizuno, and their support of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation during Breast Cancer Awareness month.

The work we created included 11 videos, which featured Olympic Gold Medalist Jennie Finch. Jennie is not only the face of American softball, and a business woman, she is a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model, a contestant on the most recent season of Dancing With The Stars, and a wonderful human being. The videos also included profiles of 4 women who have been battling breast cancer, and 2 women whose mothers have battled breast cancer and won.

Key Takeaway

This was not a bad weekend for an advertising and idea agency headquartered in Milwaukee. That’s because we refuse to be limited by our geography. What I have found over and over again is that if you do great work, are great to work with, and live up to your commitments, great work will keep coming your way.  So don’t think you need to live in the largest, most crowded, most expensive, most traffic-infested cities in the world to do great things. You just have to do great things, and the opportunities will find you.