Red Cross, HBO partner for 'Game of Thrones'-themed blood drive

Donations dropped during winter months

Copyright 2019 CNN

(CNN) - Winter is here. And due to the season's especially severe cold weather, the American Red Cross has missed out on thousands of blood donations.

So it's teaming with HBO for a "Game of Thrones"-themed campaign to help fill the gap.

The partnership, branded #BleedForTheThrone, includes blood drives across 43 states from March 7-12 and nine US colleges and universities from March 12 to April 11. (HBO is owned by parent company WarnerMedia, which also owns CNN).

Last month's polar vortex brought severe weather nationwide, including the coldest air in a generation, and prompted the Red Cross to cancel 370 blood drives across the US and to leave at least 11,500 blood donations uncollected. As the temperatures plummeted, the Red Cross said it had an "emergency need" for blood.

Blood donations are perishable and can only be replaced by additional volunteer donors. In a statement, the Red Cross said, "any disruptions to donations -- from severe weather to widespread flu -- can lead to an emergency need and cause delays in essential medical care."

The Red Cross recommends signing up to donate by scheduling an appointment on its website.

The #BleedForTheThrone campaign features a hype video showing snippets of violent scenes from "Game of Thrones" -- including the deaths of several key characters and yes, the Red Wedding -- followed by text that says, "They all bled for the throne. Will you?"

Anyone who donates at any Red Cross blood drive before March 17 will automatically be entered for a chance to win one of five trips to the season 8 world premiere of the blockbuster HBO series. Donors also can get special "Game of Thrones" T-shirts.

The eighth and final season of "Game of Thrones" premieres April 14 on HBO.

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