BreastCancer.org opened the door for banner advertising and tapped online health network HealthCentral for the development of sponsorship programs, according to an announcement today.
Jeremy Shane, president and COO of HealthCentral, said the collaboration includes the provision of awareness banners, links to sponsored microsites outside of BreastCancer.org, and an aggregation of content from the site to be distributed elsewhere within HealthCentral's network. Shane noted that HealthCentral will work alongside BreastCancer.org's internal traffic drivers to redirect users to relevant sponsored content as well.
Sponsorship opportunities will focus on breast cancer-related treatments and products, as well as peripheral conditions associated with the disease and treatment, such as osteoporosis, anemia, nausea, sleep disorders, depression and diabetes.
BreastCancer.org is currently positioned at the very top of Google's organic search results for the phrases "breast cancer" and "breast cancer treatment." The site provides copious amounts of information—as well as interactive forums for discussion—on numerous topics related to the disease.
Regarding the forum discussions on the site, Shane said HealthCentral will seek the organization's council for appropriate advertising possibilities. "Initially, there will be no pharmaceutical ads in this space," said Shane.
A letter posted on BreastCancer.org on April 29, signed by organization executives Marisa Weiss and Hope Wohl, outlined the need for industry support in tough economic times. “Since our inception, we have depended on contributions from individuals and corporations…unfortunately, that has become more challenging for us,” the letter said. The site will now accept banners from paid sponsors, as specified by the site's sponsorship guidelines, according to the letter. There will be certain limitations on the kinds of campaigns executed on the site, said Shane, due to BreastCancer.org's status as a nonprofit organization.
Even so, HealthCentral's partnership with an organization like BreastCancer.org is appealing to marketers, in that it "conveys a seriousness...and positions a brand on the side of the patient," said Shane, adding that it also enables marketers to reach patients at "particular stages in their health trajectories."