Blue KC Sports Partnerships: 2022 Recap
Since 1938, Blue KC has been a teammate of the Kansas City community, providing health coverage services to more than one million residents throughout the area. We’re there when you need us. Which is why uniting with our city’s professional sports teams makes perfect sense. From the soccer pitch to the baseball diamond, Blue KC and our sports partners put together some championship-caliber programs in 2022. These partnerships help drive key business objectives and use the power of sport to engage our members at their moments of passion.
Sporting Kansas City
Blue KC Sporting Samaritans
Our marquee community impact program, Blue KC Sporting Samaritans, highlights students and teachers who work to make the Kansas City community a better place to live, work, and play. These individuals are recognized during pregame festivities at Sporting KC home matches and are treated – along with their family and friends – with tickets to the Blue KC Samaritan Suite.
This past season, a total of eight students and teachers were recognized, bringing the six-year total to 40 honorees. In 2022, former Sporting KC and U.S. Men’s National Team defender Matt Besler, who first participated in the program in its inaugural season (2016), became the program’s official ambassador.
Blue KC Sporting Stripes Coloring Contest
The coloring contest was an activation involving Blue KC Sporting Stripes, a youth development soccer program for 2 to 5-year-olds. Each winner submitted artwork of Sporting KC players with one lucky fan also receiving a signed soccer ball from Matt Besler. In addition, 50 complimentary Sporting KC tickets were provided to select participants and their families.
Kansas City Royals
Coaches with Character
In partnership with the “C” You In The Major Leagues Foundation and the Kansas City Royals, the Blue KC Coaches with Character program spotlights high school coaches who, through their leadership on and off the field, help grow youth sports in the Kansas City area. This past season, six coaches were honored for their contributions to the community, bringing the program’s six-year total to 30 coaches who have been recognized.
In September, the 2022 honorees met with Royals owner and CEO John Sherman along with MLB® and Royals Hall of Famer George Brett. Afterward the coaches were recognized on the field and escorted to Blue KC Gate D to view their names and stories featured on various Kauffman Stadium concourse pillars, to be displayed throughout the 2023 season.
Blue KC Hometown Heroes honors first responders who have made a lasting impact in the Kansas City community and are advancing behavioral health conversations in our community. Honorees are selected from the alumni base of The Battle Within, a behavioral health program that aims to help first responders find their healing path from PTSD.
Overall, ten first responders were recognized during the Royals 2022 season, including Sarah “Smiley” Nauser. Sarah serviced her community as a KCPD officer for eight years before being diagnosed with ALS. Now, as she fights the disease and advocates for others with ALS, Sarah radiates positivity throughout Kansas City and beyond. Learn about her courageous and inspiring story in this video.
Shut Out the Stigma
Wrapping up its second year, Shut Out the Stigma aims to eliminate the negativity around the subject of behavioral health, removing the stigma and instead bringing awareness and normalizing this important topic. Throughout the 2022 season, Blue KC donated $30 each time any Royals pitcher recorded a shutout inning. In total, 986 shutout innings were recorded, and Blue KC donated nearly $30,000 to six behavioral health organizations within the community, including KVC Niles, which provides expert and compassionate care to youth ages 6 to 17 who are experiencing depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, the impacts of trauma, and other behavioral and mental health needs. “Our team was desperately needing new sand tray therapy kits and sensory equipment for our kids, and this (donation) will go a long way,” said KVC Niles President Lindsey Stephenson. For more information, visit shutoutthestigma.com
Kansas City Current
Sideline the Stigma
New for 2022, Sideline the Stigma is a behavioral health program focused on promoting practical resources to fight the stigma surrounding mental health. The initiative kicked off with a Nov. 12 event, in partnership with Synergy Services, where youth participated in various workshops alongside KC Current defender Jenna Winebrenner. Participants learned about movement, music, and art, along with a discussion about mental health.
In addition, KC Current players Mallory Weber and Addisyn Merrick joined a panel of experts and former athletes to talk about removing the stigma around mental health challenges. For more information, visit kansascitycurrent.com/sideline-the-stigma.
Blue KC was the presenting sponsor of the Current Pride Night match on June 4, which was the second-most attended match in KC Current history (7,954 fans). To help promote the event and game, Blue KC produced a video with current Kansas City mayor Quinton Lucas and other local celebrities. Proceeds from each Pride Night ticket package were donated to Our Spot KC and KC CARE Health Center, totaling approximately $10,000.
KC Current Kit
Blue KC continues to be a kit sponsor for the Kansas City Current, with the Blue KC logo on the right sleeve of all home and away jersey kits.