By Taruka Srivastava | Freelance journalist

June 15, 2022 | 2 min read

French football club RC Lens has used blood group signs on their players’ jerseys to raise awareness about the importance of donating blood.

Earlier this year France’s Etablissement Francais du Sang, which tracks blood donations, published some alarming statistics – after years of decreasing blood donations, they were 30,000 blood bags short of the 100,000 needed for the country’s reserve. Year after year, blood donation in France has been decreasing and, according to recent reports, over 500 more donations a day are needed in a country that needs 10,000 daily to treat patients.

RC Lens’ motto is Sang et Or (Blood and Gold), and with the help of Players for Society, the UNFP’s outreach program that helps football players committed to the common good, the team had their players wear special jerseys with blood group signs. For example, SAID on Wesley Saïd’s jersey was written as SA+ID in the match against Nantes on April 30. On the front of the shirt, the club’s motto ‘Sang et Or’ was modified to ‘Notre Sang est Or’ (Our Blood is Gold).

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The idea, conceptualized by Sid Lee Paris, also had the red on the coat of arms of players changed to gold, creating an eye-catching jersey. A tifo was also specially produced for the match. The coat of arms made its way online as players and the club shared the new logo across social media to spread awareness and invite fans to the blood drive.

Although the match ended up in a draw, the fans booked up the reservations to give blood at their stadium, with hundreds of blood bags collected – a 26% increase compared to previous blood drives hosted in the city.

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