Competition between gridiron rivals generates thousands of Red Cross blood donations

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (Oct. 24, 2017) – For more than 35 years, students and fans of the University of Michigan and Ohio State University have taken their battle off the football field to help save lives through their annual Blood Battle. This year is no exception.

From Oct. 30 through Nov. 22, the archrivals will partner with the American Red Cross to see which university’s supporters can bring in the most blood donations. For a complete list of blood drives associated with Blood Battle click here.

Be a Hero at the Big House, the largest blood drive on the Ann Arbor campus, falls midway through the Blood Battle Sunday, Nov. 12, 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., high above the field in the Jack Roth Stadium Club.

Blood Battle has been held the first weeks of November leading up to the day the schools face off on the football field every year since 1981, generating thousands of donations for patients in need of blood.

“Michigan won the Blood Battle by just eight pints of blood last year,” said Todd Kulman, communications manager for the Red Cross. “We encourage everyone who bleeds maize and blue to come out and donate to keep the traveling trophy in Michigan.”

“The competition really motivates fans to donate blood at a key time,” Kulman said. “It provides a much needed boost for the blood supply as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches.”

In addition to supporting your favorite team, everyone who comes to donate at a University of Michigan blood drive will receive a free commemorative Blood Battle T-shirt, while supplies last, a coupon for a BOGO burrito from Chipotle in Ann Arbor, a BOGO coupon from Pieology Pizzeria, a discount coupon from Bruegger’s Bagels and will be entered into a raffle for a chance to win a variety of gift cards from local businesses.

Results of this year’s Blood Battle will be announced at Michigan during the Saturday, Nov. 25 game in Ann Arbor.

“Of course, the real winners of Blood Battle are always the patients who rely on potentially lifesaving blood transfusions to help them through injury and illness,” Kulman said.

 To schedule an appointment to donate during the Blood Battle, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit and use the sponsor code: GoBlue.