OVERLAND PARK, Kansas (WDAF) – Fans of the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers are likely still reeling from watching their teams lose on Sunday. However, there is an unexpected silver lining for people who may not even have seen the games.
Sports stores sealed boxes filled with hats, hoodies and beanies celebrating potential AFC and NFC championships for the Chiefs and 49ers, respectively. We know that is not how it happened.
The NFL prints championship swag for all participating teams before games so it’s ready to go when time runs out. But only the swag of the winning teams can be distributed.
“I knew they were already in print,” Chiefs fan Brendon Dalton said. “And I never really knew what happened to them after that.”
That’s where Good 360 comes in. For the eighth year, the national nonprofit is working with the NFL to collect “unusable material.”
“The NFL has a pre-approved list of countries they’re OK with articles to,” said Shari Rudolph of Good 360. “And then we work with our nonprofit network to find a spot on that list. pre-approved who actually needs those particular items.”
Then it ships overseas, putting high-quality products in the hands of people with a verified need.
“They can be used by people in need in different parts of the world,” Rudolph explained. “Generally, these items will likely end up in a country in Africa, the Middle East, or maybe South America.”
This applies to otherwise “worthless” merchandise from the AFC and NFC championships, and it will happen again after the Super Bowl.
Rudolph said they receive a few thousand pieces of clothing for each event.
“There’s also a focus on the planet,” Rudolph said. “We make sure these items don’t end up in a landfill or go to waste.”
As hard as losing, Chiefs and 49ers fans can know that red and gold merchandise will help people around the world.
“Watch out and we’ll get it next season,” Dalton said.