Wristbands garner skin cancer awareness

NEW ORLEANS: The Copeland's of New Orleans restaurant chain is creating awareness for a rare form of skin cancer with limited-edition wristbands and a partnership with NBA player Chris Paul.

NEW ORLEANS: The Copeland's of New Orleans restaurant chain is creating awareness for a rare form of skin cancer with limited-edition wristbands and a partnership with NBA player Chris Paul.

The restaurant chain launched the Al Copeland Foundation to raise awareness for Merkel cell carcinoma after founder and restaurateur Al Copeland passed away from the disease in 2008.

Copeland's and the Al Copeland Foundation are working with MWW Group, AOR since August 2008, on a multi-tiered PR campaign, targeting local and national media such as the Baton Rouge Business Report and New Orleans Living.

Online, the Foundation has a Web site and Facebook presence, and the company is also using grassroots marketing on-site at New Orleans Hornets' basketball games. Paul, a point guard for the Hornets, wore the wristband at the March 25 game against the Denver Nuggets, kicking off the campaign.

"We were looking for a way to get our message out nationally," said Al Copeland Jr., CEO of Al Copeland Investments. "The main message—and it's a very focused message for the Al Copeland Foundation—is to find a cure for Merkel cell carcinoma." The company leveraged a past relationship with Paul, an Olympian and NBA All-Star, to garner national attention.

Proceeds from the sale of the wristbands will go to the Foundation, as well as Chris Paul's Basketball Camp.

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