Dick Butkus' I Play Clean(TM) Campaign and Old Spice Host Kick-Off Rally at Chicago's Soldier Field, Will Reach Students in 10,000 Schools Starting
CHICAGO, July 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Illegal steroid use in the athletic community is not only a problem we see on television. The issue remains at shockingly high proportions in our own schoolyards with as many as 500,000 high school students in the United States reporting to have used a performance-enhancing steroid(1). To help combat this issue, I Play Clean(TM), a grassroots educational campaign created by sports legend Dick Butkus and his son Matt Butkus, and Old Spice, the No. 1 selling male grooming brand, are today both challenging and educating students across the country to eradicate steroids from their own playing fields and provide healthy alternatives to performance-enhancing drugs. Their goal is to secure as many pledges against steroid use as possible from students, coaches and parents across the nation.
Despite aggressive crackdowns on suppliers, there is an obvious and critical need to educate teens, parents and coaches on the topic. In partnership with the I Play Clean campaign, Old Spice has commissioned a survey(2) to accurately gauge perceptions of today's high school students with regards to steroid use. The survey uncovered 84 percent of students say they have never received formal information about the dangers of steroids to their health and their chances of playing at the next level.
Understanding this, I Play Clean and Old Spice have partnered to extend the educational campaign both online at http://www.IPlayClean.org and in approximately 71 percent of high schools nationwide to give teachers, coaches, parents and students important information about the realities and dangers of steroid usage.
The survey, commissioned by Old Spice, also uncovered that among high school students surveyed, 26 percent of students said they have heard about someone -- either at their school or another high school -- who has used steroids. That equates to approximately 4.5 million students(3) across the country.
When asked about the reasons why high school students use steroids, 72 percent of teens surveyed indicated improving athletic performance as the top reason. Social issues are also a key factor, with 52 percent of respondents citing improving personal appearance and 40 percent citing peer pressure. The survey also identified that high school students perceive friends and teammates as the biggest influence, with role models such as professional athletes and coaches in second.
"We created this campaign after hearing a tragic story from the father of a Texas teen who lost his life to steroid abuse. It's time that all athletes, former athletes, parents, coaches and fans unite to spread the word to high school teens that playing clean is the smart choice," said Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus. "Our partnership with Old Spice is crucial because it helps us to achieve the most important goal of our campaign -- reaching students online, in classrooms and in locker rooms, and educating them about alternatives to high-risk steroids. Teaming up with Old Spice, we are working to create a positive campaign that mobilizes everyone to help teens make the better choice of training hard, eating well and playing with attitude."
To kick off this national campaign, I Play Clean and Old Spice will host a rally at Chicago's famed Soldier Field. The event will take place today at 10:30 a.m. CST and is expected to draw a crowd of student athletes, coaches and parents from the area. Press credentials will be required for entry. In addition, to show their support of this important cause, such professional athletes as Cincinnati Bengals Legend and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Anthony Munoz and Defensive Player of the Year and NFL Man of the Year Jason Taylor will join the rally either in person or through video message.
The launch event will be followed by an extensive program rollout
online now and in schools across the country beginning this fall, as
millions of students head back to school. Through the highly successful Old
Spice Red Zone Player of the Year program that recognizes top high school
football players, Old Spice will help I Play Clean extend its reach to
approximately 10,000 high schools across the country by:
-- Distributing I Play Clean educational curriculum kits for athletic
directors and teachers beginning with the 2008 school year
-- Supporting a Web site where people can learn more about I Play Clean,
take the I Play Clean pledge, and submit a photo celebrating their
commitment to play clean
"We are working with Dick Butkus and the I Play Clean campaign to bring awareness not only to such an important issue, but also the healthy alternatives that allow students to enhance their game while still playing clean," said James Moorhead, marketing director, Old Spice. "We believe that by utilizing our extensive network of high schools, we will be able to deliver vital information from the I Play Clean organization directly into the hands of students, coaches and parents."
By logging on to http://www.IPlayClean.org, program participants can take a pledge to stay free of steroids and upload a photo of themselves in the trademark I Play Clean stance.
About I Play Clean
I Play Clean is a grassroots educational campaign developed by the Butkus Foundation, a non-profit organization created by sports legend Dick Butkus and his son Matt Butkus. Formed in 2007, the program's goal is to eliminate the use of illegal steroids among high school age teens by educating all high school students, parents, teachers and coaches about healthy performance alternatives to dangerous steroids.
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About Old Spice
P&G's Old Spice is the quintessential men's grooming brand. With 70 years as an American icon, Old Spice is the authority on the male grooming experience and has leveraged this heritage to become the No.1 selling antiperspirant/deodorant stick and body wash brand with guys of all ages. Old Spice brings authenticity, performance and confidence to male grooming and offers a wide product portfolio for today's man, including antiperspirants, deodorants, body washes, body sprays, after shaves and colognes. For more information, go to http://www.oldspice.com.
(1) The Mitchell Report (December 2007) sites high school steroid use is estimated between three to six percent from such sources as National Institute on Drug Abuse, Monitoring the Future: Nat'l Survey Results on Drug Use, 1975- 2006, Vol. 1, at 44 (2006); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Youth Risk Behavior Survey: 1991-2003: Trends in the Prevalence of Marijuana, Cocaine and Other Illegal Drug Use (2004).
(2) IPSOS teen perception survey commissioned in June 2008 by Old Spice as part of its partnership with the I Play Clean campaign. Results are based on 2,031 online interviews with high school students from across the United States between June 24th and July 8th, 2008 and are within a 2.2 margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level.
(3) This figure is calculated at 26 percent of the 17,500,473
individuals enrolled in grades 9 to 12 in 2006, as reported by the 2006
American Community Survey, U.S. Census.
Contacts: Jennifer Jones Chad Darwin
(212) 613-4920 (work) (213) 996-3776 (work)
(310) 918-4313 (mobile) (323) 422-3815 (mobile)
|SOURCE Old Spice|
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