Rethink Breast Cancer is game for the ‘Booby Bowl’

The breast cancer nonprofit turns to the world of video games to rally rapidly growing fanbases.
Nick Eh2

Rethink Breast Cancer is tapping into the popularity of professional video gaming by spending the week before the Super Bowl holding a fundraiser hosted through livestreams.

Starting on Jan. 25 and ending the day before Super Bowl LIV, several top online gamers will rally their fan bases across North America and the U.K. as part of the first-ever “Booby Bowl” to raise funds for the work Rethink does to support young people facing breast cancer.

MJ DeCoteau, executive director and founder of Rethink Breast Cancer, says the interactive live stream event came about after working with gamer, Nick Amyoony, known to his fans as “Nick Eh 30,” a top pro Fortnite playing, with whom the charity is working to kick off the event on Saturday. Funds raised will go to programs like Stretch Heal Grow, a yoga and wellness retreat for young women with breast cancer, with a goal of raising $50,000. DeCoteau adds these kinds of events could become an annual fundraiser for the organization.

Amyoony, a dropout from Dalhousie University that has since gathered over 8 million followers online, was a top live-streamer on YouTube before making the move over to Twitch. According to DeCoteau, he is passionate about the cause and was able to connect with donors in a really engaging and positive way when the duo first connected last summer for a test run of fundraising through livestreams last year. That stream reached 1.4 million people and raised over $22,000 over the course of the eight-hour stream by offering incentives for different donation levels, ranging from doing things in-game to stopping what he was doing to perform 20 push-ups.

In addition to Amyoony, the “Booby Bowl” is tapping several top female gamers to engage their audiences in the cause throughout the week, including “Missharvey,” a Quebec City-based five-time world champion in competitive Counter-Strike, as well as “Lomadiah,” “STPeach” and “Alliestrasza.”

“We liked the idea of having female gamers too,” DeCoteau says, “as a cool way for women who are into gaming to engage fans and support other women.”

DeCoteau says Rethink Breast Cancer, like all nonprofits, is always looking to serve the next generation, citing her own observations of her teenaged child and the time that generation spends in a digital-first world.

As opposed to nonprofits that are focused on funding things like medical research, Rethink Breast Cancer was founded to find ways to educate and support young women that are currently going through treatment. That has frequently involved some off-beat marketing, such as using hunky models to encourage cancer screenings and a product line that used frank language to address common but lesser-known frustrations women face during treatment.

“We are always thinking about how we stay ahead to be relevant,” DeCoteau says. Other recent efforts to do so have included a partnership with up-and-coming intimates brand Knix.

The “Booby Bowl” project is being supported by agency partners Taxi and Pomp & Circumstance.