As every football fan knows, the Super Bowl produces the winner of the Vince Lombardi Trophy each year. It also produces official NFL apparel that is truly one-of-kind—championship t-shirts, hats and hoodies emblazoned with the logo of the losing team.
Just minutes after the final clock ticks down, you’ll see the winners donning their Super Bowl championship apparel on the field. To make this feat possible, the NFL actually prepares to have winners’ attire on hand for both teams. Of course, only one will get the glory of wearing it.
So what happens to the championship t-shirts and other apparel for the losing team? Well, for one, the NFL has strict controls to ensure that the general public will never see it. But the attire isn’t destroyed. It’s not recycled either.
Thanks to the NFL’s longstanding collaboration with Good360, the losing team’s apparel is actually donated to communities in need outside of the U.S. It may go to people living in Europe, Africa, or Asia. But you definitely won’t see it on anyone in America.
The losers’ gear is closely guarded as it makes its way from the stadium to a central location in preparation for distribution. Good360 will work closely with international NGOs to ensure that the apparel goes directly into the hands of the right communities—and not some place where someone might be able to profit from it. We also take pains to avoid sending the apparel to a location where a flood of donated clothing could disrupt the local economy.
This is the ninth year that Good360 will be working with the NFL to donate the losing team’s championship gear. We also partner with Major League Baseball to do the same at the end of the World Series.
While the quantity of unusable apparel is only a few thousand items each year, these global sporting events offer a high-profile opportunity to focus attention on sustainability and the benefits of product philanthropy.
And for the fortunate few who do end up with this unique attire, it’s a much appreciated donation of clothes that they didn’t need to buy. They may not know what the logos on the t-shirts and hats mean, but they do know high-quality apparel when they see it.
For the losing Super Bowl team, it’s a bittersweet consolation prize knowing that their loss is helping to support people in need and preventing waste.