As British football fans focus on the recovery of Fabrice Muamba after a collapse on the football pitch, supportive T-shirts abound. Meantime, in New Jersey, America, a new T-shirt raises awareness of brain injury – its causes, its treatment and the need to raise funds for people with such injuries. The limited edition shirt is on sale for a month only.

Footballers are lifting their team shirts to show messages of support for Fabrice Muamba and his family, and the awareness of the risks of cardiac arrest and the value of knowing CPR and being able to do it on somebody whose heart has stopped.

Such awareness raising activities can be a valuable support to community activities – also being promoted this week is a walk for a hospice, linked to Davina McCall’s personal trainer whose relatives benefited from the hospice’s existence and TOWIE star Amy Childs wearing a Sport Relief T-shirt.

Of course not every business can find a celebrity to endorse them, but just about every business can find a good cause that needs public awareness and offer to sponsor a T-shirt or polo shirt that will help raise the profile of the cause. It can be extremely cheap, and by linking a subtle brand element such as a logo, to the awareness raising T-shirt, companies can create a long term association between themselves and a popular and worthy cause which benefits both parties.

Linking such T-shirts to an event can be even more positive: a marathon team, a group undertaking a world record, a flash mob or just giving out information leaflets about the cause in the street all bring a new recognition of the cause, and of the company that is supporting it through branded clothing.