The V Foundation for Cancer Research, founded by ESPN and legendary coach Jim Valvano, is launching a new campaign in celebration of the organization’s 30th anniversary and Jimmy V’s famous ESPY’s speech. The campaign was created with ad agency Connelly Partners.

Connelly Partners’ campaign concept is to elevate researchers to the level of the most celebrated celebrity talent to drive awareness and donations to the V Foundation.

In the cinematic hero spot, the cancer researcher gives an impassioned “half-time” speech in the NC State locker room (a nod to Jimmy V), reassuring the world that a cure for cancer is within our grasp. Her speech gets the nod of approval from none other than the king of coaching and half-time speeches, Coach K.

The launch is timed to sync up with March Madness to shift the public conversation from NCAA victories to victory over cancer.

CP brought on partners like Jeremiah Zagar’s production company Public Record (Hustle), Director of Photography Zach Kuperstein (Barbarian), and Producer Tory Lenosky (X-Men).

The agency cast Meeya Davis as the researcher, who’s most famously known for her voice and likeness as character “Tilly Jackson” in the successful video game, Red Dead Redemption, and has appeared in "Orange is the New Black." And of course, king of coaching and half-time speeches, Mike Krzyzewski/Coach K, who is also a longtime friend of Jimmy V and V Foundation board member.

The spot was shot at NC State where Jimmy V most notably coached, won the national championship and consequently, the stadium is named after.

Months after his signature speech at The ESPYS, Coach Valvano passed away from cancer. But his now famous line “Don’t Give Up . . . Don’t Ever Give Up!”® and his plea for all of us to laugh, cry and think every day has connected with people for the past three decades. As the organization celebrates this milestone anniversary, it is an opportunity to celebrate Valvano’s vision and spirit, while driving donations and awareness of the organization for a younger, sports adjacent audience. (In a recent study, 49% of respondents were familiar with Jim.)

The campaign will run on broadcast TV, digital, paid social and print.

Connelly Partners serves as the V Foundation’s AOR. CP first won business with the organization in July 2022 to redesign and launch its signature website. The business was won with a cross-Atlantic CP team that includes digitally-driven creative agency ZOO Digital, a Connelly Partners company. The business then quickly grew in August to include the organization’s 30th Anniversary Campaign. And now to today as lead agency partner.

This professional campaign titled 'Halftime ' was published in United States in March, 2023. It was created for the brand: The V Foundation for Cancer Research, by ad agency: Connelly Partners. This Digital, Integrated, and Print media campaign is related to the Health industry and contains 1 media asset. It was submitted 12 months ago.


Brand: The V Foundation for Cancer Research

Agency: Connelly Partners
David Onessimo, Creative Director
Stan Conway, Copywriter
Hillary Williams, Group Brand Director
Sarah Taylor, Group Brand Director
Laura Frankenfield, Sr. Brand Manager
Lauren Lukacsko, Sr. Producer
Ruthie Lee, Producer
Ally Chapman, Sr. Strategist
Wade Cyr, Jr. Strategist
Michelle Capasso, Partner, Director of Media Services
Will Maslach, Paid Social Manager
John Nadeau, Paid Search Manager
Alyssa Stevens, Director of PR and Influencer Marketing
Neal Malone, PR & Social Media Management Supervisor
Courtney Marlow, Senior PR & Social Media Manager

Production Company: Public Record
Director of Photography: Zach Kuperstein
Executive Producer: Jeremy Yaches
Producer: Tory Lenosky


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