While the NASCAR media corps, social media, and race fans at the Monster Mile were all abuzz about the 5-Hour Energy promotion, Yoga with Clint Bowyer, this NASCAR Behind the Scenes will focus on the story behind the story, calling attention to the important cause of breast cancer.
This year, the Yoga with Clint Bowyer event was all about an organization called Living Beyond Breast Cancer, a cause near and dear to Bowyer’s sponsor, 5-Hour Energy.
“Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) was founded a little over twenty years ago in suburban Philadelphia by a small group of women who realized that after treatment for breast cancer, there really weren’t a lot of available resources,” Kevin Gianotto, Director of Marketing, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, said. “So, they banded together to make sure that they had not only education but also support amongst one another.”
“It sort of ballooned from there as more and more women joined the organization who were at all stages of diagnosis,” Gianotto continued. “That’s the thing that really defines LBBC.”
“There are amazing breast cancer organizations out there that are specifically about research or detection or early prevention, but LBBC is all about diagnosis,” Gianotto said. “So, regardless of your age or the stage of your diagnosis, we are here with you for education and support.”
“We have a breast cancer helpline so no matter where you are in the country, it is toll free, 1-888-753-5222,” Gianotto continued. “A woman can call at any time, be hooked up with another woman who’s been diagnosed with breast cancer but also trained to help her get to the next place in her breast cancer journey.”
“We also have a website, www.lbbc.org, with a tons of information, especially for special populations such as African-American women, young women, and women who have been diagnosed with metastatic disease.”
For Living Beyond Breast Cancer, the partnership between their organization and NASCAR sponsor 5-Hour Energy is a dream come true, as well as being transformational for the nonprofit in terms of awareness and fundraising.
“LBBC and 5-Hour Energy entered into a partnership early in the spring where a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of a new flavor, red raspberry, would be donated to LBBC,” Gianotto said. “We got to know them and there were great synergies between the organizations.”
“Several months ago, they called and asked if it would be alright if they put our name in their Saturday NASCAR race,” Gianotto continued. “As a marketing person, that was like the Holy Grail, from my lips to God’s ears.”
“I literally was sitting at my desk and I had to put my head between my legs for a couple seconds,” Gianotto said. “A partnership like this is transformative for an organization like ours.”
“The opportunity to reach so many new women who may be out there and may not know where to turn or what resources or who may not have a support system around them, that’s what makes this opportunity so amazing.”
Gianotto had nothing but praise for 5-Hour Energy and the feeling was definitely mutual for the NASCAR sponsor, who just recently announced that their partnership with Clint Bowyer would remain intact.
“I need to give thanks to 5-Hour Energy because we could never have dreamed of being able to share the power of the message that we are able to convey that there are resources and support out there for all of these women who need us,” Gianotto said.
“Living Beyond Breast Cancer is really a tremendous organization,” Melissa Skabich, Director of Communications, 5-Hour Energy, said. “They do such great work.”
“So, it’s really a no brainer for us to partner with them,” Skabich continued. “This is our first event that we’re putting on with them which was a great success.”
“Clint Bowyer enjoyed doing yoga and he was a good sport,” Skabich said. “We had a great turnout and we wanted to just raise awareness which we did successfully.”
“Also, our new raspberry flavored 5-Hour Energy is tied to LBBC as for every bottle sold, five cents goes to the organization,” Skabich continued. “So, we’re raising awareness and funds for them which is great.”
“NASCAR fans are passionate so it was a great fit as we are a fun brand and NASCAR is a fun sport.”
Jessica Coyne, the Yoga Instructor for the event, was equally effusive about her involvement, especially as a NASCAR fan herself.
“I do know who Clint Bowyer is as I am a NASCAR fan and we live just down the road here in Dover so we are quite used to having NASCAR around,” Coyne said. “This is a very good opportunity and I’m very excited.”
“I am a local yoga instructor and I was called by the Living Beyond Breast Cancer organization who asked me to be a part of this.”
“I think the cause is fantastic,” the founder of www.higherpoweryogadelaware.com said. “My family has been touched by breast cancer so it’s very near and dear to my heart.”
“People that have breast cancer are very fortunate to have groups like this available to them and all the resources that they need during this challenging time,” Coyne continued. “So, I’m very honored to do this.”
Coyne believes that yoga is also critical to the health and well-being of those women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, which is just another reason for her passion for the event. And she even brought her family along for good measure as well.
“Studies have shown that the clarity of mind and relaxation really helps to boost your immune system and it really helps anyone battling any type of serious illness,” Coyne said. “My daughter does kid’s yoga with me and my husband, not so much, but we’re working on it.”
“Eventually we will have him doing all the poses.”
Coyne knew that Bowyer might be a handful as she attempted to instruct him on the various moves. But the diminutive yoga instructor held her own throughout the Yoga with Clint event.
“I didn’t have Clint do too many difficult poses,” Coyne said. “We’re just took it a bit easy as it was an early morning.”
“He gave me a bit of hard time, but I just gave it right back,” Coyne continued. “He is quite a card, but I mellowed him right out.”
Bowyer did at least mellow out, for just a bit anyway, as he worked with Coyne and crowd to achieve the various poses, including balancing skills, stretching and breathing.
“I have no idea how the hell I got into this but we got through it,” Bowyer said. “When I saw yoga was on my schedule, that was really a first.”
“Obviously I want to say thank you to 5-Hour Energy for this,” Bowyer continued. “But it is official, my man card is done.”