By Ryan Kaczmarski
The Lake Erie Crushers baseball team in Avon has selected Mercy as its exclusive health system sponsor for the next five years.
The Crushers will collaborate with Mercy on major community building and charitable events, in addition to providing significant media and marketing exposure for the health system. The agreement will also allow Mercy to extend its healthcare mission to Crushers’ home games via free screenings and education for the community.
“Sports and health go hand-in-hand,” said Steven Edelson, managing member of the Crushers. “We are excited to welcome Mercy as our presenting sponsor and look forward to working together on our shared commitment to the community.”
Mercy and the Crushers have a history of successful collaboration. As a 2011 team sponsor, Mercy provided Crushers’ guests with 450 free health screenings and a variety of activities, including visits to its Life-Flight helicopter. Mercy plans to build on these successes in its new role as presenting sponsor.
“While we celebrate this sponsorship, this is much more than a health system sponsoring an athletic team,” said Edwin Oley, president and CEO of Mercy. “This is two organizations announcing a partnership that will extend well beyond the outfield fences of All-Pro Freight Stadium and beyond the walls of our local hospitals. We hope that together, doing what we each do best, that we can work on projects that are meaningful to the community.”
Topics that have already been discussed between the Crushers and Mercy are expanded in-game programming and providing much more than blood pressure checks, which are normal for most ballparks. They plan to also add joint fundraising for charitable and capital projects in the community and programs for local sports teams that would involve the physicians from Mercy and the athletic trainer that will be supplied to the Crushers.
In coming seasons, Mercy personnel will be present at home games to offer new and innovative activities created especially for Crushers’ guests. All programming will be designed to improve the health status of local communities by promoting the importance of primary care, wellness and prevention.
The Crushers open the 2012 Frontier League season in Avon May 18 against the Schaumburg Boomers.