Co-Authored by two of the co-founders, Paul and Jennifer.
As a co-founder of FUN 4 GOOD (the non-profit that produces The Boob Ride), I handle branding as a consultant all the time. Many people ask me about the pros/cons of such a colorful name as “The Boob Ride”.
We started out with a personal passion to raise funds for breast cancer treatment/research with a fun bike ride. It was intimate, not a business effort that was a very grass root event. All the riders supported the cause, but they sure wanted to have fun. A frivolity ensued that was infectious and kept drawing more riders. The authenticity of having fun for a good cause evolved to a point that we had to name it.
We originally started off as “Biking for Boobs” in 2010, but there were some issues associated with this brand (full story The Transformation is Complete). We tried to change the name to a more palatable PC brand such as the “Orange County Breast Cancer Awareness Ride”. That sure was a mouthful and would not translate to new opportunities to grow to other regions. Our devoted cyclists called the ride, “The Boob Ride”.
Let that be a branding lesson – your brand is in your customers’ mouths. Our supporters have so much fun. Our brand is about producing fun events for good causes. The Boob Ride is a winner with 3 events in two states and we may add two more in 2017.
Our events are designed to get people off their couches and involved in the cause, and usually these people have declined to participate in the many politically correct fundraising events for the disease. We appeal to a specific, untapped demographic of people who are looking for a bit of fun and to do a lot of good.
Light Hearted Fun
Now, from one of our other co-founders, Jennifer.
Another reason for the light-hearted, slightly irreverent title is also personal. When my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, she went through two lumpectomies, a mastectomy, and a dorsal flap reconstruction surgery. By the time they went in to do the mastectomy, she had a second, unrelated cancer in the same breast. It was devastating, and nearly wrecked us all. The only way my mom and my family could deal was such a horrific, disfiguring, all consuming disease like this — and still keep our sanity — was through humor.
So, we took the thing that scared us to the core and made fun of it. She was able to joke about the thing that nearly killed her and take some power away from the disease. This was the way she was able to deal with the pain and the procedures, and still keep her sense of self, despite all that breast cancer had taken from her. For instance, my mom has a 10 inch scar across her back from the dorsal flap procedure, a reconstructed breast, and she is missing much of the muscle and tissue from under her arm where the surgeons took the lymph nodes and other compromised tissue. This means, that when she looks in the mirror on a daily basis, she is reminded of all that breast cancer stole from her. She is also reminded that she is a survivor, and she took whatever means necessary to keep herself alive – despite the cost. This includes using her sense of humor to get her the hardest parts.
Since my mom is the inspiration for the ride, it is designed for other survivors who find comfort and healing in this manner. It affords them the ability to take their own power back and get out and exercise – all the while raising money for a cause they and their families are invested in. I understand that the name may be offensive to some, but it is based on my mom and my family’s ability to cope. It is no way intended to take away from the seriousness or the devastation the disease.
As far as the other “Boob” events that we support, attend, and participate in, these events are designed to raise money for a cause we are devoted to. One of my friends is an official distributor for the “Save the Ta-Tas”, which is a national organization that is organized in a similar way. (They have raised a 100 million dollars since their founding in 2004 by a woman who was also touched by the disease). However, between The Boob Ride’s three rides in 2016 and my friend’s golf tournament, we have raised nearly $100k this year to help breast cancer patients and their families.
In the end, our focus is solely on the participants who find us funny, therapeutic, and a lot of fun.