The Kansas City Chiefs’ gear that would have been released had they won Super Bowl 55 is not wasted thanks to the nonprofit Good360 and their partnership with the NFL.
Good360, based in Alexandria, Virginia, has worked with companies like Nike and Disney, and has worked with the NFL for seven years. The nonprofit participates in championship rounds and Super Bowl merchandise and donates them to people overseas. They also work with Major League Baseball to donate equipment from the World Series.
“This was a great way to help those in need,” said Liana Bailey, NFL communications manager. “We have always felt that getting it into the hands of people who can use it rather than throwing it away is more beneficial.”
Aside from the equipment that players and coaches receive after the game, the NFL produces thousands of items to be sold on the Super Bowl website as well as online. Shirts, hats and sweatshirts from the conference championships and the Super Bowl are among the items donated – and this year masks will be included in packages to protect against the coronavirus, said Shari Rudolph, chief development officer and chief marketing officer of Good360.
Rudolph said the organization doesn’t like to reveal how much goods are donated so that people from the US don’t try to look for them, but “we get thousands of items every year.”
The NFL notifies Good360 of the products that can be donated a week after the Super Bowl, and then contacts its nonprofit partners to find out which products are most needed in specific areas.
Both organizations have made a list of countries where equipment can be donated. According to Rudolph, this includes places like Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Non-profit organizations that receive the equipment must provide Good360 with documentation of equipment distribution.
“This is really important to us, that we make sure that we coordinate the products as needed and not just blindly send them to a region where they may not be needed,” said Rudolph.
The products are then sent to a facility in the United States. Due to the cost of shipping overseas, Good360 waits for shipping containers to be completely filled before shipping. Rudolph said this could take a few weeks, sometimes longer. Ultimately, it can take a few months for products to be issued. Rudolph added that the pandemic shouldn’t increase the time it takes for goods to be shipped.
Bailey said there were no known cases of people trying to source the losing team’s goods. Rudolph said people joked about getting their hands on her, but it wasn’t a joke for the organization.
“We want to make sure that we not only protect the NFL brand, but also the brand of the teams that play,” said Rudolph. “We are doing everything in our power to ensure that these goods are distributed far away from the US.”
While the Chiefs fans may not be sure their team lost, Rudolph said they can find a silver lining in making sure the gear goes to people who need it.
“You will really help change the lives of the people who have been saved,” said Rudolph.