Betcha Always Wondered!

  • May 7, 2022

When deadlines really matter, we in the promotional products business can do some remarkable things. We have supplier partners lined up to imprint and ship custom branded products for next day delivery. But for championship sporting events, even that isn’t good enough. Within minutes of the conclusion of a game, we’ve become used to seeing the winners wearing champion hats and shirts! When the Los Angeles Rams won Super Bowl LVI against the Cincinnati Bengals in February, the NFL Shop and the Los Angeles Rams Official Store already had thousands of printed tees, hoodies, caps, jerseys, face masks and other items set for sale. Of course, that happens only because they were produced in advance of the game and kept hidden until the very end.

But guess what was also kept hidden—the gear imprinted with the branding of the losing team! It never sees the light of day. What an embarrassment that would be! Instead, these items are repurposed for charitable causes. This situation arises with high-profile contests like the Super Bowl, but also with NFC and AFC championships, World Series games, and more.

With thousands of products unsellable, there’s only one best use for the items, and that’s to donate them to those in need. Good360, an Alexandria, Virginia-based nonprofi t, assists with just this purpose, and has been responsible for shipping out the losing team’s gear since 2015. After the games, Good360 connects with partners across the U.S. to determine how much product is left over, and then ships these products domestically to other nonprofit partners. The shipment is then combined with other donations and sent overseas to areas in great need. The donations are always outside the U.S. This year, Cincinnati Bengals products were sent to countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and South America and directly distributed to those in need of any type of clothing.

To ensure items serve their intended purpose, Good360 follows a series of protocols to ensure that items are distributed as donations and are not bought and sold on the novelty market. It’s too soon to tell how much apparel will be distributed from this year’s losing team, but over the years, it’s been substantial. After the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers back in Super Bowl 50, for example, 30,000 units, including t-shirts, towels and hats, were donated through Good360.

And now you know!

Super Bowl helmets

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“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.”

~ Michael John Bobak

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