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Super Bowl apparel goes global:
National Football League, Reebok, and retail partners to donate clothing to World Vision
January 25, 2008
Game loss is win for children and families in need
—It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s where the shirts go after the game! No matter which team triumphs in Super Bowl XLII, the winners will be children in Nicaragua, Romania, and several other countries. Through a partnership between the NFL and World Vision, millions of dollars worth of the incorrectly titled, losing team’s licensed Reebok apparel will bring joy to families in extreme poverty.
Since 1994, World Vision has accepted hundreds of official shirts and caps immediately following football’s biggest event. Instead of being destroyed, the losing team’s shirts and caps are shipped from the Super Bowl host city to World Vision’s Gifts-in-Kind Distribution Center in Pittsburgh, PA. There, they are sorted and added to shipments of other goods requested by World Vision field staff in various countries. Once through customs in the destination country, World Vision workers distribute the apparel to children and families in need, many of whom have never owned new clothing in their lives.
“The NFL and its partners entrust these goods to World Vision because our distribution system and long-term presence in impoverished communities make us a reliable bridge to those in greatest need,” said Richard Stearns, World Vision president. “We offer a tax-deductible, eco-friendly business solution that brings joy to children and families. And due to the number of countries in which we work and how we can spread out the donations, these quantities are not enough to disrupt or undermine local economies.”
“World Vision helps us to ensure that no NFL apparel goes to waste,” said David Krichavsky, NFL Director of Community Relations. “We are pleased to find a good home for clothing by getting it to those who need it most.”
Additionally, World Vision receives and distributes playoff contender apparel that is unsalable in the United States and is donated by retailers and manufacturers. These donations include shirts, hats, sweatshirts and other clothing of teams that advance but are eliminated in the playoffs. In 2007, the combined value of goods donated by Reebok, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and the Sports Authority was approximately $2.5 million.
After last year’s Super Bowl game, a significant portion of the Chicago Bears apparel was distributed in Zambia in southern Africa. Other countries receiving Bears shirts included Chad, Chile, Bolivia, Democratic Republic of Congo, El Salvador, Romania, and Zimbabwe.
World Vision also receives counterfeit NFL team apparel through its work with United States Customs. The program began in 1991 at the Storehouse of World Vision through a donation of confiscated goods from Los Angeles Customs. World Vision disburses confiscated goods and official, licensed apparel only in pre-approved, developing nations.
About World Vision Gifts-in-Kind
Gifts-in-Kind (GIK) are a company's first-quality, excess inventory donated to assist those in need, and World Vision provides these goods to millions of people in need each year. World Vision works in 100 countries, half of which have duty free status to import donations. In the past five years, World Vision
has placed $1.1 billion of donated goods from major corporations, such as clothing, shoes, medical supplies, books, school supplies, personal care, sporting goods, and building materials.