COLUMBUS, Ohio (May 18, 2022) – Fans and partners from the Columbus Crew, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Nationwide and On Our Sleeves will celebrate becoming a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title holder for longest chain of sports fan scarfs during On Our Sleeves Day at the Columbus Crew home match on Saturday, May 21, drawing attention to childhood mental health. The record-setting scarf tied together a community wide commitment through the Wrap Them In Support campaign, where all proceeds benefit the mission of On Our Sleeves.
The massive effort kicked off in October 2021, when fans could purchase specially-designed Wrap Them In Support fan scarfs. For every purchase, the Columbus Crew donated a scarf towards the record-setting chain. On May 11, volunteers unrolled a tied chain of scarves made from more than 1,000 individual scarves and measuring nearly one mile in length (4,848.56 feet). Now, fans will come together during On Our Sleeves Day at Lower.com Field to celebrate this massive accomplishment and cheer on the Columbus Crew. Prior to the match, the record-setting scarf will be on display in the Stadium’s main plaza for photos, and fans can own a piece of history. With a $25 donation they will receive a scarf directly from the chain.
During the match, fans can learn more about destigmatizing childhood mental health, purchase limited edition On Our Sleeves merchandise and make additional donations to On Our Sleeves at concession stands and the in-stadium 50/50 Raffle.
“Alongside Nationwide and Nationwide Children's Hospital, we were given the unique opportunity to advocate for something critically important, which is the mission to break the stigma surrounding childhood mental health,” said Tim Bezbatchenko, President and General Manager of the Columbus Crew. “In the game of soccer, the scarf symbolizes the passion and pride of the team. We’re grateful to our passionate fans and community who mobilized to show a tremendous commitment to this noble cause.”
On Our Sleeves, which is powered by behavioral health experts at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, aims to provide every community in the United States with free resources necessary for breaking child mental health stigmas and educating families and advocates on how to promote the mental health and wellness of all children.
“Our mission is to help families start and respond to those difficult conversations surrounding childhood mental health,” said Marti Bledsoe Post, executive director of On Our Sleeves. “Despite the fact that one in five children is living with a mental illness, there’s often stigma around the topic. With the donations from this campaign, we can ensure that families everywhere have resources to boost mental health. We’re grateful to the Columbus Crew, and their fans, corporate partners like Nationwide and the community for coming together and bringing their record-setting enthusiasm to our cause.”
Though the record has now been set, it's not too late to be part of this history making event. Fans can now take part of the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS home by purchasing commemorative scarves, which were donated by the Crew, to help complete the record-setting chain. Signed On Our Sleeves match-worn gear and signed scarfs will also be auctioned off for a limited time post On Our Sleeves match. Fans can join in the cause and the fundraising as tickets for the May 21 match are available here, and $5 from each ticket benefits On Our Sleeves.
“Nationwide is incredibly proud of this partnership and of the awareness and support we’re driving to help children and families benefiting from the resources provided by On Our Sleeves,” said Ramon Jones, chief marketing officer for Nationwide. “It’s rewarding to come together in a creative way to express our commitment, and to rally our community members to join the cause.”
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About On Our Sleeves®
Children don’t wear their thoughts on their sleeves. With 1 in 5 children living with a significant mental health concern and half of all lifetime mental health concerns starting by age 14, we need to give them a voice. On Our Sleeves, powered by behavioral health experts at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, aims to provide every community in America with free resources necessary for breaking child mental health stigmas and educating families and advocates, because no child or family should struggle alone.
Since the inception of On Our Sleeves in 2018, more than 3 million people in every state across America have interacted with the movement’s free pediatric mental health educational resources at OnOurSleeves.org and educator curriculums have reached more than four of five classrooms across the United States.
About Columbus Crew
Columbus Crew is the first club in Major League Soccer. The Crew is operated by The Edwards Family and Haslam Sports Group. The Black & Gold are the 2021 Campeones Cup winners. The Club has won two MLS Cup championships in 2008 and 2020, one Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 2002, as well as MLS Supporters’ Shield titles in 2004, 2008 and 2009. The 2022 campaign is the Crew’s 27th season in MLS as well as the Club’s first full season at Lower.com Field.
Website: ColumbusCrew.com | Twitter: @ColumbusCrew | Instagram: @ColumbusCrew | TikTok: @ColumbusCrew96 | Hashtag: #Crew96 | Facebook.com/columbuscrew | App: ColumbusCrew.com/app | Stadium: Lower.com Field | Training Facility: OhioHealth Performance Center
Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities, mutual funds and ETFs; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.