Big Red Goes Orange

University of Wisconsin mascot Bucky BadgerThe Thanksgiving holiday weekend will give the UW Health Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) and the Wisconsin Badgers a unique opportunity to join forces and give thanks to organ donors.


With fans dressed in red, and volunteers wrapped in orange, they'll promote organ donation and the Wisconsin Donor Registry so that many more transplant patients can receive their gift of life.


Due to generous donations made through the OPO Donor Education Fund, the OPO purchased a Wisconsin Badgers promotional package that kicks off at the November 27 Badger football game.


"It is a unique opportunity for us to get our message out to such a widespread audience," said OPO outreach coordinator Trey Schwab.


"We're able to hand out donor registry information cards to people who attend the game that day, so it literally puts the message in the hands of more than 80,000 people."


Dottie Donor Dot and her volunteers, and a team of about 30 people will surround the stadium prior to the game. Other aspects of the sponsorship include messages on the statewide radio broadcast, announcements at the game, stadium signage, and a robust social media campaign that includes the web site and Facebook pages.


During the game, a game ball will be presented to 2009 UW graduate and liver transplant recipient Ben Ziehr. His younger brother Mike, also a liver recipient, will join Ben and his family on the field.


"This sponsorship package really gives us a special platform to get the message out," said Schwab. "It provides a great outlet for us to reach a large cross-section of age groups and literally thousands of people on one day."


Similar activities will occur during the Badger basketball season, including commercials during Bo Ryan's weekly radio show.


Adds Schwab, "We're so grateful to people who make generous donations to the Donor Ed Fund. This sponsorship is just one example of how those funds are used to increase awareness and fill the Donor Registry."