The pressure is on Major League Baseball pitchers this season from an unlikely source: dandruff shampoo Head and Shoulders has declared 2013 the "Season of the Whiff."
Starting on Opening Day, for every whiff, or strikeout, in baseball in the 2013 regular season, Head and Shoulders will donate $1 to the MLB Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, or RBI, program, an initiative designed to give young people from urban and underserved communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball, encourage academic success, and teach life lessons and values.
Head and Shoulders is asking fans to get involved by tweeting whiffs throughout the season with the hashtag #whiff and their favorite team's Twitter handle to build up donations to their teams' local RBI leagues.
The brand has also teamed up with Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher C.J. Wilson to challenge men to "take a whiff of what a double dose of confidence smells like" with the launch of Head and Shoulders with Old Spice, which also happens to be the official shampoo of the MLB.
In January, Head and Shoulders announced Wilson was the newest athlete to join the brand's so-called Mane Man ambassador team, which also includes Troy Polamalu and Brett Keisel of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Olympian Michael Phelps.
Head and Shoulders says Wilson was selected because of his talent on the mound, his popular Twitter account, and his great-looking hair.
Wilson's handle, @str8edgeracer, has 164,000 followers.
So far this week, @RedSox_Fund, the official team charity of the Boston Red Sox, and Milwaukee Brewers' mascot @Bernie_Brewer have tweeted promotional messages about the campaign.
Other teams getting support from Twitter users include the Texas Rangers, the Cincinnati Reds, and the Angels.
On Opening Day, Head and Shoulders for Men tweeted a series of promotional messages about the match-ups, like, "Excited for the Boston vs New York game? Don't forget to send each #WHIFF our way!"
Head and Shoulders has separate Facebook and Twitter profiles for men and women.
Head and Shoulders for Men has 179,000 likes. @HSforMen has 1,500 followers. (That compares to Head and Shoulders for Women with 166,000 Facebook fans and @HSforWomen with 700 followers.)
A promotional video for Head and Shoulders with Old Spice that features Wilson and teammate Josh Hamilton has 12,000 views since it was posted March 28:
A Head and Shoulders rep was not available for comment by deadline.
Head and Shoulders is a Procter and Gamble brand.
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
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