New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone is heading an effort to get more people to step up and donate blood.

The Bronx Bombers skipper teamed up with Starpower, an influencer agency that is part of Real Chemistry, a 2024 MM+M Agency 100 honoree, to raise awareness of the power of blood donations and support the New York Blood Centers.

Boone was on hand at Real Chemistry’s offices in downtown Manhattan for an employee blood drive Monday morning. He donated blood and underscored the clinical impact of a pint of blood – which is estimated to save three lives.

His donation came two weeks after the New York Blood Centers declared a blood emergency amid a wider nationwide blood shortage heading into the summer.

After his donation, Boone sat down for an interview with MM+M, where he encouraged others to follow his lead and participate in a blood drive in their respective local areas.

He admitted that he is typically squeamish around needles but said that the pros of donating blood far outweigh the cons and was glad he could lend his considerable profile to the cause.

In addition to his work supporting the blood drive, Boone has been public with his own healthcare journey over the years.

During his college playing days at the University of Southern California, Boone was diagnosed with bicuspid aortic valve, a congenital defect that causes a swelling of the aorta.

In 2009, he underwent a successful procedure to address the heart condition. 

More than a decade later, Boone underwent another cardiovascular procedure to have a pacemaker inserted after having symptoms like a low heart rate, low energy and lightheadedness.

After only missing three games of spring training, he was back to coaching the Yankees and has said it made a difference in improving his lifestyle.

He said the upshot from his care saga is to listen to your body and be proactive in order to reduce the risk of adverse complications downstream. 

Jared Weiss and Matthew Lalin, the co-founders of Starpower, joined Boone in the interview and said that more health, wellness and pharma brands are leaning into opportunities to align themselves with celebrity influencers to foster meaningful action.

The agency found as much in a report released earlier this month that pinpointed how social media influencers could help boost cancer screenings among young people who are increasingly being diagnosed with cancer.

Lalin, who has a working relationship with Boone that goes back decades, said athletes and respected sports figures have a unique ability to move the needle and get more people to join a cause.

Getting the manager of the Yankees to participate in an internal blood drive is just the latest example of Starpower’s growing influencer capabilities within Real Chemistry, which acquired the firm in late 2020.