An Evening of Real Heroes

Athletes and ad guys got together two weeks ago as BBDO New York was honored for its efforts benefiting the ALS Association of New York. The organization gave the ad agency its Jacob K. Javits Lifetime Achievement Award for its work on behalf of ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Andy Knipe, a senior creative director who works on Pepsi and HBO at BBDO, suffers from ALS, and BBDO got involved with the organization four years ago. The ninth annual Lou Gehrig Sports Award Benefit at the Marriott Marquis raised nearly $1 million. BBDO North America chief creative officer Ted Sann accepted the award on behalf of the agency and dedicated it to Knipe. “In the world of business, it’s hard to get past the hype and find real heroes,” Sann said in his speech. “We’re lucky at BBDO we have a real hero, someone we can all look up to: Andy Knipe.”

BBDO has created videos and print ads, secured ad space and solicited donations on behalf of the ALS Association. Knipe produced a video that was shown at the dinner of all the honorees, which included Tiki Barber of the New York Giants, sports journalist Bob Costas, retired baseball pitcher David Cone and Tampa Bay Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella.