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The Kansas City Chiefs gear that would have been released had they won Super Bowl 55 will not go to waste, thanks to non-profit Good360 and their partnership with the NFL.
Based in Alexandria, Virginia, Good360 has partnered with companies like Nike and Disney, and for the past seven years, the NFL. The non-profit organization takes championship round and Super Bowl merchandise and donates them to people overseas. They also partner with Major League Baseball to donate gear from the World Series.
“This was a great way to support those in need,” NFL communications manager Liana Bailey said. “We have always felt it was more beneficial to get it into the hands of people who could use it, rather than discarding it.”
Aside from the gear the players and coaches get after the game, the NFL produces thousands of items to be sold at the site of the Super Bowl, as well as online. Shirts, hats and sweatshirts from the conference championships and the Super Bowl are among some of the gear that gets donated — and this year, masks for protection from the coronavirus will be included in packages, said Good360 Chief Development Officer and Chief Marketing Officer Shari Rudolph.
Rudolph said the organization doesn’t like to reveal how much merchandise is donated so people from the United States don’t try to look for them, but “each year, we get thousands of items.”
The NFL notifies Good360 a week after the Super Bowl about the products that are available to be donated, then reaches out to their nonprofit partners to see which products are needed the most in certain areas.
Both organizations come up with a list of countries where gear can be donated, which Rudolph said includes places such as Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Non-profit organizations that receive the gear have to submit documents to Good360 on how the gear will be distributed.
“That’s really important for us, that we make sure that we align where the products are going based on need, and not just not just sending them blindly into a region where they may not be needed,” Rudolph said.
The products are then sent to a facility in the U.S. With the expense that comes from shipping overseas, Good360 waits until shipping containers can be completely filled before sending them out, which Rudolph said can take a couple of weeks, sometimes longer. Ultimately, it can be a few months before products are given out. Rudolph added that the pandemic should not extend the amount of time it takes to ship merchandise out.
Bailey said there aren’t any known instances of people trying to obtain the losing team’s merchandise. Rudolph said people have joked about getting their hands on it, but it isn’t a joke to the organization.
“We want to make sure that we’re protecting not only the NFL brand, but also the brand of the teams that are playing,” Rudolph said. “We do everything in our power to make sure that those goods are distributed far away from the United States.”
Though Chiefs fans might be down that their team lost, Rudolph said they can find a silver lining in that the gear will go to people who need it.
“They will truly help transform the lives of people who were saved,” Rudolph said.