Melanoma Fund highlights the risks of summer sports

Silhouettes_FootballThe sun might be out at last but Brits are being urged to beware the dangers of neglecting sun protection while participating in outdoor sport during the summer with the launch of a new campaign by the Melanoma Fund.

Despite being nearly 100% curable (at stage one), melanoma remains one of the deadliest cancers, causing over 2,300 deaths annually in the UK alone. With a busy summer of sports ahead, the Melanoma Fund has initiated a new out-of-home (OOH) and social media campaign to emphasise the critical need for skin checks and sun protection while engaging in outdoor activities.

The campaign, devised by Neverland, features striking images of moles transforming into melanomas. Each mole is artistically shaped to resemble a footballer, swimmer, and cyclist, symbolising the sports represented by Melanoma Fund’s Sunguard ambassadors Rosie Muggeride, Christian Lawal, and Daniel Whittaker. Each is strategically placed on the body in areas where melanoma is typically found in each skin type.

Award-winning photographer James Day captured the visuals, collaborating closely with specialist skin cancer surgeon Mr Siva Kumar to ensure the work was as authentic as possible. Hollywood make-up artist Melanie Lenihan created and applied the prosthetics to the athletes, all of whom have a personal connection to melanoma.

Melanoma Fund chief executive Michelle Baker said: “We understand the cause-based landscape of melanoma is cluttered with the same messaging and visuals, so we needed to do something different. The headline and visual combination invites people to take a second look, transforming what may be dismissed as just a mole into a recognisable sports figure.

“This campaign highlights the real dangers of sun exposure, particularly for those in the UK who often overlook the importance of wearing sunscreen while engaging in their chosen sports. Our aim is that this powerful message cuts through to revise perceptions around sun protection and skin checking.”

Neverland joint executive creative director Andy Clough added: “Both my dad and I have survived skin cancer, so I felt compelled to continue the great work Neverland and the Melanoma Fund have done raising awareness of the disease. With a summer of sport ahead, more people will be inspired to go outdoors. Getting them to simply check and protect their skin could potentially save them from skin cancer.”

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