WHO: Answer ALS Foundation, KBS, NFL, Microsoft
WHY WE CARE: A decade ago, during the New Orleans Saints’ first home game after Hurricane Katrina, Saints defensive back Steve Gleason blocked a punt against the Atlanta Falcons, and that play became a symbol of recovery and hope for the city. In 2011, Gleason was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and in 2013 founded an organization called Answer ALS, asking scientists from all over the world to meet with patients and caregivers to come up with a strategy to end ALS.
Now the two are coming together with the “Game Changing Auction,” a fundraising campaign for Answer ALS, who partnered with the NFL, Microsoft and agency KBS, to mark the anniversary of the punt by selling memorabilia signed by Gleason, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Drew Brees, and Dwight Clark.
For Gleasons’ signature, since he’s lost all motor skills as a result of his illness, the foundation and KBS partnered with Microsoft to use the same tech Gleason uses to speak and move his wheelchair, with Microsoft’s Surface Pro Eye-Track Technology, to create a robotic arm controlled by eye sight.