NEW YORK, NY (Nov. 19, 2007) -- Autism Speaks today announced a unique initiative that brings the organization's awareness message to millions of fans watching traditional Thanksgiving Day football on FOX. As part of this special “tie-in,” NFL on FOX game and FOX NFL SUNDAY pre-game show broadcasters will wear ties, pins or scarves featuring Autism Speaks' distinctive puzzle-piece logo on Thursday, Nov. 22.
NFL on FOX lead play-by-play announcer Joe Buck and lead analyst Troy Aikman will sport Autism Speaks ties and lapel pins while calling the Green Bay Packers-Detroit Lions game from Detroit's Ford Field (12:30 PM ET), while field reporter Pam Oliver will wear a one-of-a-kind Autism Speaks scarf. Back at the FOX Network Center in Los Angeles, home of the Emmy Award-winning FOX NFL SUNDAY pre-game show (11:30 AM ET), co-hosts Terry Bradshaw and Curt Menefee, along with analysts Howie Long and Jimmy Johnson will also show their support by displaying the uniquely designed pins.
“Autism Speaks continually strives to find innovative ways to deliver our message of autism awareness to new audiences,” said Bob Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks. “We thank FOX Sports and its NFL on FOX broadcasters for this remarkable opportunity to share information about autism, a disorder that now affects 1 in every 150 children.”
“A basic philosophy at FOX Sports has always been to entertain as we inform, and that works particularly well with an issue that is important to so many American families,” said David Hill, Chairman and CEO of FOX Sports. “This effort with Autism Speaks is an important opportunity for us to contribute to furthering autism research and helping those struggling with this disorder.”
All four variations of the Autism Speaks ties were designed and crafted by Mountain & Sackett, one of the few surviving tie manufacturers in the U.S., with all production still located in New York City. The ties can be purchased at the Autism Speaks online store by visiting www.autismspeaks.org.
Autism is a complex brain disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by extreme behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 150 children in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The diagnosis of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.
ABOUT AUTISM SPEAKS
Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for autism, and to advocating for the needs of affected families. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Bob Wright is Vice Chairman, General Electric, and served as chief executive officer of NBC for more than twenty years. Autism Speaks has merged with both the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) and Cure Autism Now (CAN), bringing together the nation's three leading autism advocacy organizations. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.