The NFL is launching a campaign that gives more than 500 active players the opportunity to play for social-change causes they believe in during Week 13 of the NFL season.
#MyCauseMyCleats will feature customized cleats to shed light on a diverse lineup of causes and organizations working toward change -- as approved by the league.
This initiative, unlike other creative concepts that have landed fines in the hands of many athletes, is a product of 18 months of joint work between the NFL and players across the league.
The digital push includes an online storytelling platform that highlights each player and their cause through individualized “player cards,” in partnership with The Players' Tribune. Each card explains the personal experience the athlete withstood that urged and inspired their involvement.
“One of the great NFL traditions is how our players passionately support important causes in their communities and around the globe every year,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in the league’s press release.
“They are incredibly creative by nature so we are not surprised how they are seizing the opportunity this week with inspiring expressions of their charitable commitments on their cleats, online and through social media.”
Following the Week 13 matchups, players will have the ability to auction off their cleats at NFL Auction where 100% of funds raised will be donated to respective charities.
#MyCauseMyCleats is one, or should we say more than 500, steps forward for leveraging athletes and social change -- and the organizations the campaign is benefitting are relishing the spotlight.
The response is a clear testament to the desire NFL players have to support causes close to them, their backgrounds and their families. From both a monetary and an awareness standpoint, the impact is arguably unmatched.
Good move, NFL -- and to the rest of the leagues: you're up next.