FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The San Francisco Shock turn a simple photo into a viral movement to raise money and awareness for adolescent mental health.
UPDATE: As the #babybaychallenge rolls on, we want to thank everyone for the tremendous support. On behalf of all participants, the San Francisco Shock will donate $1 per post, up to $10,000, to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. If you or your organization is interested in matching our donation please contact [email protected].
SAN FRANCISCO (February , 2018) – It began when one of the Shock’s star players Andrej “BabyBay” Francisty posted a simple black and white picture of himself laying down with one arm up to launch his personal Instagram Account. NRG Esports’ Vice President of Content, Cory Vincent, saw the photo and posted his version of it with the hashtag #babybaychallenge. Soon, others followed with similar posts and the Shock executive team quickly realized that this fun challenge could shine a light on a serious cause.
In December of 2017, the Shock took to Twitter with a poll asking fans what social cause was most important to them. The poll results were clear and aligned with a cause that was at the top of the list for the team; mental health awareness with a specific focus on the issues that face adolescents today.
“We know that millions of kids play videos games and that it’s a great source of fun for them. We also know that so many kids today struggle with depression, anxiety and other mental health related issues” said Andy Miller, Founder and CEO of NRG esports, parent organization of the San Francisco Shock. “Ever since the poll, we have been looking for the best partner and plan to make an impact in this space. Once we realized that the #babybaychallenge could do this, we kicked into high gear and reached out to the San Francisco Chapter for the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI).”
Soon thereafter the #babybaychallenge really began to take off. All fans have to do is take a side-by-side photo emulating the original Babybay image, tag @SFShock, use the hashtag #babybaychallenge, and challenge at least one other person to do the same. The Shock will be donating for every image used in conjunction with the tag and are encouraging others to donate as well.
The #babybaychallenge has attracted the attention of esports personalities, casters, players, teams and even Overwatch League Commissioner, Nate Nanzer. The challenge has garnered mainstream attention as well, with celebrities including Shaquille O’Neal getting in on the action.
As for BabyBay, he has supported the initiative from the start and is responding as frequently as possible to recognize and thank anyone who participates. And as the challenge grows, so too does the awareness towards adolescent mental health.
“I’m proud of our team and our organization for turning this into a social movement and letting kids know they are not alone” said Miller. So many of the posts, have been young people sharing their own struggles with anxiety, depression and more. So to us, helping to bring awareness to this issue is as important as the money being donated.”
A video has now been made detailing the #babybaychallenge and how anyone can get involved.
To Donate to NAMI SF Go to: https://www.namisf.org/our-mission
For more information on the San Francisco Shock, follow the team on Twitter @SFShock.
About San Francisco Shock
San Francisco Shock, one of the 12 esports franchises competing in the Overwatch League's inaugural season, is owned by NRG esports, a San Francisco-based esports organization competing in eight professional video game leagues known for its deeply engaged fan base. NRG was founded in 2015 by Andy Miller and Mark Mastrov, co-owners of the Sacramento Kings. NRG investors include Shaquille O’Neal, Alex Rodriguez, and Jennifer Lopez, alongside Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.
OVERWATCH, OVERWATCH LEAGUE, BLIZZARD, and BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT are trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
About NAMI San Francisco
The National Alliance on Mental Illness in San Francisco (NAMI SF) is the community's voice on mental illness. We are a part of grass-roots, nonprofit, national NAMI organization, and also an affiliate of NAMI California. NAMI San Francisco was founded in 1983 by family members of people living with a mental illness.