Baseball all-stars step up for blood-clot awareness

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If it's summer, it must be sports marketing season for Big Pharma. Sanofi-Aventis recruited an all-star ensemble of baseball greats for its deep vein thrombosis awareness campaign.

The “DVT Blood Clots: Know The Stats, Know Your Risk” campaign, now in its second year, featured appearances last month by players who have had personal experience with DVT. They include: Padres star Tony Gwynn and the Rockies' Aaron Cook, both of whom have suffered with DTV; Orioles/Yankees great Paul Blair, who lost his 29-year-old son to the disease; pitcher Jim Fregosi, who lost a teammate; and pitcher Phil Niekro, who lost his father.

The campaign, executed by Euro RSCG Life PR, debuted at New York's Shea Stadium, where Niekro threw the first pitch on Fireworks Night. Each day at the All-Star FanFest in Pittsburgh, a different player shared his experiences and talked about risk factors and warning signs. Players also appeared at games in San Diego and Boston, and at hospitals in New York, San Diego and Pittsburgh.

The DVT Blood Clots campaign is unbranded, but Sanofi-Aventis markets Lovenox for protection against blood clots.

Meanwhile, Ortho Biotech turned to basketball great Alonzo Mourning for its kidney
disease awareness campaign. Mourning, whose 2000 diagnosis sidelined him for several years and led to a kidney transplant, will appear in cities nationwide with the “Rebound from Anemia” tour. Ortho Biotech markets Procrit for the treatment of anemia in chronic kidney disease patients who are not on dialysis.

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