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Cequent Consumer Products Reese Towpower and Highland announced a partnership with DKMS, the world’s largest bone marrow donor center in the world, to promote bone marrow testing awareness, according to a news release.
To mark the new relationship with the DKMS organization, Reese Towpower and Highland are donating advertising space on the No. 47 Toyota Camry, their sponsored car in numerous races during the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The No. 47 is owned by JTG Daugherty Racing and is driven by 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Bobby Labonte. The team reached out to the Cequent brands to help a local 6-year-old girl a team member read about in the Charlotte Observer find a match for bone marrow.
The two Cequent brands generously gave DKMS space on the car for the first race at the preseason Shootout Feb. 12. The back panel of the No. 47 featured www.getswabbed.org and the picture of 6-year-old Jordan Jemsek, who was diagnosed with Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia in 2009 and whose only chance to survive is finding a bone marrow donor match.
The JTG Daugherty Racing team and Labonte took the goodwill news from Reese Towpower and Highland to Jordan and her family in the hospital. Jordan’s story received publicity and was featured on SPEED, FOXSports.com and MSN.com.
Fans rallied with outpouring support.
“Since the publicity we have been able to register over 2,000 new potential bone marrow donors from all around the US,” said Alina Suprunova, vice president of partner relations for DKMS. “We received hundreds of e-mails and many comments on our Facebook page from fans the feedback was amazing to see.”
Cequent Consumer Products was so moved by the response and wanted to do more to partner with DKMS.
“We were truly inspired by the response from fans of Bobby Labonte and NASCAR that heard Jordan’s story and stepped up to the plate to get their bone marrow tested.” said John Aleva, president, Cequent Consumer Products. “So we are stepping up by providing an advertising platform for DKMS that will reach thousands if not millions of people nationwide in the hopes to save the lives those waiting for a bone marrow match just like 6-year-old Jordan.”
Labonte and the JTG race team recently held a company bone marrow drive.
“Since spreading the word, thanks to Reese Towpower and Highland, a lot of people have ordered kits to get swabbed and so many got swabbed recently at our own race shop.” Labonte said. “It’s quite a story. My kids are 13 and 16 and it hits close to home for me because I lost a friend to leukemia not long ago.”
Reese Towpower will add the DKMS logo to the No. 47 car for the remainder of the races that Reese is a sponsor of May 29 Charlotte (on FOX), June 19 Michigan (on TNT) and Aug. 17 Pocono (on ESPN). Thousands if not millions of fans will see the Reese Tower /Highland car at the race or on TV.
Future promotions are being developed to promote the new partnership between Cequent Consumer brands and DKMS throughout the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Race.