Former NFL running back Jerome Bettis is starring in a new commercial campaign for Dick’s Sporting Goods that encourages young athletes to get baseline concussion tests that will help assess the severity of subsequent brain injuries. In a program it calls PACE — Protecting Athletes through Concussion Education — Dick’s will help pay for the neurocognitive testing of more than a million students. The sporting goods retailer pledges $1 to PACE for every pair of shoes sold through Sept. 12.
In discussing the new campaign, Bettis told The New York Times, “I had a couple serious concussions, but even more importantly, I had minor concussions that I wasn’t aware of because I just thought I got my bell rung and shook it off. But had I known then what I know now I would have handled it differently and I would have told the trainers, because the last thing I want is 20 years down the road to not have my brain function correctly.”