Giants Continue To Promote AIDS Awareness Through Until There Is A Cure Day

Sometimes even the noblest ideas in sports start out from being completely altruistic.

In 1994, the new owner of the Giants, Peter Magowan, was about to ask the San Franciscans to build a new stadium for him. In itself, that wasn’t a huge story, as professional sports owners spend around 95% of their waking hours trying to get cities to build new stadiums for them. (The remaining five percent is spent persuading gullible sports writers they’re broke.)

Realizing that building such an ornate structure on San Francisco real estate would be incredibly expensive, Magowan decided that much of his campaign would focus on community outreach. Specifically, he wanted to connect the Giants to residents across the Bay Area, not just baseball fans.

As one of the cities hardest hit by the AIDS epidemic during the 1980s and 1990s, communities in San Francisco have naturally focused on advancing HIV research and treatment. Magowan in turn realized that his team had the opportunity to use their platform to raise funds and raise awareness of these efforts.

Thus, in August 1994, the day Until There’s A Cure was born.

That day’s match was devoted to raising awareness about HIV / AIDS, with the Giants wearing prominent red ribbons on their uniforms and the AIDS quilt making an appearance on the pitch. The Giants also hosted a pre-game ceremony featuring legendary activists Cleve Jones and Mary Fisher and donated money to local HIV / AIDS organizations through the Until There’s Foundation. A Cure.

Former Giants owner Peter Magowan was one of the driving forces behind Until There’s A Cure Day.
Photo by Kimberly White / Corbis via Getty Images

While such a promotion was a monumental step forward for the time, it also reflected LGBTQ attitudes of its time. Former Giants public relations and community development manager Bob Rose explained what that meant on his company’s website:

“While the Giants wanted to provide a platform for education and hope, they also knew that many of their season ticket holders might feel uncomfortable if the Until There’s A Cure day was seen as a simple one. “gay day …”

“Therefore, our positioning … was this: Giants fans come from all walks of life, as do those affected by HIV and AIDS. “

Although they were hesitant to make the LGBTQ community the centerpiece, the Giants still rolled out a massive promotional campaign, partnering with San Francisco TV stations to air public service announcements and specials. half an hour. They even reached out to The New York Times to spread the Until There’s A Cure Day story across the country.

As a result, over 50,000 fans attended the inaugural promotion. And that was back in the days of Candlestick Park, a concrete mausoleum where fans were tortured by freezing winds blowing from the nearby bay to the point where the Giants gave commemorative pins to anyone who stayed until the extra games were over. . . A crowd of this size for a game in August was a big deal.

With that kind of participation, the Giants knew that Until There was a Cure was a huge success and they’ve held it every year since, except of course, this impossible year. Over the years, the Giants’ most prominent players have also stepped up and played a starring role in the festivities.

It started in that first promotion with All Star closest Rod Beck, who made HIV causes his charity of choice after being moved by a TV special about Ryan White, a child with AIDS. 1990. At the ceremony, future home run record holder Barry Bonds signaled the opposing Colorado Rockies to enter the field to join the Giants players and form a human ribbon against the AIDS.

Bonds also lent his image to promotional photos wearing the association’s commemorative bracelet and even took the time to greet volunteers in subsequent years. There is perhaps no better testament to the power of Until There’s A Cure Day than this: It inspired Barry Bonds to be kind for at least ten seconds.

San Francisco Giants left fielder Barry Bonds gree

Barry Bonds before the day of 1999 until there is a cure. Forget the gunshot heard around the world, this photo could be the greatest miracle in the history of the giants.
Photo credit should read MONICA M. DAVEY / AFP via Getty Images

Over the years, the promotion has also featured prominent giants of their 2010s dynasty like Brandon Crawford and Hunter Pence. And in 2017, no less a baseball deity than Willie Mays showed up in the Wear the Bracelet campaign.

Even this season, when fans weren’t allowed to attend games, the Giants made sure to promote Until There’s A Cure Day online to mark the 26th anniversary of its first game:

In addition, the Giants have hosted a virtual round table with MLB Vice President Billy Bean and executive directors of Until There’s A Cure and the Oakland LGBTQ Center on the July Day the Giants planned until there is a cure in 2020.

So it started in conjunction with a new grassroots effort, until there was a cure immediately came to symbolize hope in the fight against AIDS. Over the past 27 years, that hope has grown so powerful that the promotion just survived 2020. That should be reason enough to galvanize us all.

Learn more about Until there is a cure on the organization’s website by clicking here. You can also visit their page on Facebook.

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