NFL Taps Good360 to Donate Seahawks Championship Memorabilia
While the New England Patriots' Super Bowl Championship merchandise is flying off the shelves in New England and across the country following Sunday's big win, the same gear made for the Seattle Seahawks—in case they were victorious—will not go to waste.
Sealed boxes of T-shirts, caps and sweatshirts naming the Seahawks Super Bowl champs will be shipped to a warehouse, according to the Guardian. The items will be sorted and then shipped overseas to those in need and those who could care less that the incorrect victor is printed on the items.
One of the donated items will include a Seahawks back-to-back champions T-shirt, as a Seattle TV reporter tweeted out after the loss.
— Kristen Drew (@KDrewKOMO) February 2, 2015
In 1996, the NFL stopped destroying the losing team's merchandise, and since then, has leaned on Washington-based World Vision to distribute the goods. This year, the NFL has switched gears and will rely on Good360 to distribute the defeated teams apparel.
“The NFL likes the concept of an umbrella organization that has the ability to meet many different charitable organizations,” Cindy Hallberlin, CEO of Good360, a Virginia-based organization that distributes donated goods to a network of more than 32,000 pre-qualified charities, schools and libraries on behalf of America’s top brands, said. “World Vision is part of our network, but we’re able to reach more organizations.”
The Seahawks gear does not have a destination yet, but will go where needed most when ready for shipping.
“Where clothes might go [if we had them] today could be completely different tomorrow because the needs are constantly changing,” Hallberlin said.
Last year World Vision shipped the Denver Broncos memorabilia to Africa, but past shipments—an estimated 100,000 T-shirts and caps annually—have gone to Armenia, Bosnia, El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Romania, Uganda, Zambia in previous years, according to The Toronto Star.
“We selected Good360 because of the reach they have with hundreds of different charitable organizations, including World Vision, across the globe,” Anna Isaacson, the NFL’s vice-president of social responsibility, said to The Star in an email. “That breadth appealed to us, and we’re looking forward to working with them.”
Jeff Fields, who works with World Vision in Pittsburgh, told The Star that the recipients do not care about what is written on the shirts at all.
“The majority of people have no clue what American football is, and they have no clue who the Patriots or the Seahawks are,” he said. “Most of them have no electricity.”
In 2007, Fields helped to distribute Chicago Bears Super Bowl items to children in Zambia. The children felt like a team for the first time wearing the matching shirts as they kicked a soccer ball around a dusty field with sticks set up as goal posts.
“That’s the closest thing they ever had for a uniform,” he said.
The year before he was present in Uganda where his company was giving out the Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl champion T-shirts to schoolchildren. They put them away instead of putting them on. Fields thought they didn't like them, but the principal explained their actions after school.
“She said, ‘Oh, no, exactly the opposite. They’re so excited because they’ve never gotten anything brand new before, so they want to treasure them and not get them dirty.’”
Related story: Seattle's Would-be Super Bowl Merchandise