Bayer launches new aspirin campaign linking the stress of sports fandom to heart health

The stress of watching your favorite team or athlete in a tough situation is a threat to your heart health, and German pharma Bayer, now the official sponsor of Fans’ Hearts, is launching a new campaign to raise awareness of the relationship between the stress of sports fandom and cardiovascular health.

Bayer said in a press release that it is “showing up for fans who put their whole hearts into their fandom” and is encouraging fans (and non-fans) to “prioritize their heart health by assessing their risk factors for cardiovascular disease.”

As part of the campaign, launching during American Heart Month, Bayer has teamed up with digital health company Huma for the new Bayer Aspirin Heart Risk Assessment online tool. The tool can help identify someone’s risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease over the next decade and can be shared with their doctor.

There is also a new video that shows how stress can affect fans when watching sports games, with an increasingly agitated heart beating in the background moving to a crescendo. The video ends with a link to the Check Your Heart Risk website, which has the Huma tool within it, and the heartbeat returns to normal.

Bayer Aspirin has also partnered with well-known play-by-play sports commentators, including NHL Hall of Famer and Emmy-Award winner Michael “Doc” Emrick; NBA, NFL and college football announcer Kevin Harlan; and former ESPN commentator and LA Dodgers play-by-play caller Charley Steiner to ”reimagine the most nail biting and intense sports calls,” it adds in the release.  

Heart disease is the single largest cause of death in the U.S. for men and women, and Bayer is looking to make sure that people know stress, like the heart-pounding moments fans may experience while watching their favorite teams play, can play a role in their cardiovascular risk.  

The pharma notes that heart attack risk can more than double when your home team plays. Bayer has for more than a century sold aspirin, which can be used for overall heart health, stroke reduction and pain relief.

“It doesn’t matter what sport, league, or team you cheer for every fan has experienced heart-pounding moments when watching their team play,” said Kelly Fanning, general manager and vice president of pain and cardio at Bayer Consumer Health U.S., in the release.

“By kicking off American Heart Month with our new role as Official Sponsor of Fans’ Hearts, we’re tapping into a relatable moment and encouraging fans to assess their cardiovascular risk factors and take action so they can Keep Their Hearts in the Game.”

Despite being 125 years old and long able to be produced cheaply as a generic, Bayer has long sold Aspirin under its brand name and run many marketing plugs for it. This includes more recently teaming up with Broadway stars Leslie Odom Jr. and Nicolette Robinson to boost heart health awareness with a link to Aspirin.

Back in 2017, Bayer and its ad agency Energy BBDO also came up with the idea of recruiting a large group of people to pledge to carry Aspirin. They decided on people with the last name Smith because it's the most common surname in America, belonging to more than 2.4 million people.

Then they chose Fort Smith, Arkansas, as their target location, not only for the name connection, but also because it has one of the highest heart attack rates in the country.