SOURCE: United Way of America

February 01, 2008 14:33 ET

United Way Launches Cell Phone Text-to-Give With Tom Brady at Super Bowl XLII to Boost Youth Fitness

Super Bowl Ad Encourages People to Text FIT to 864833 to Make a $5.00 Donation and Have the Charge Added to Their Wireless Phone Bill

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwire - February 1, 2008) - United Way announced today that Tom Brady of the New England Patriots will appear in a 10-second animated spot to advertise an innovative way for people to support United Way's youth fitness programs. The ad, which will be unveiled during the Super Bowl, encourages people to help kids get fit by texting "FIT" to "864833" ("United"). The text message will generate a five dollar donation charged directly to the caller's cell phone bill.

While global brands will use the most expensive ad time in the world to promote their products, United Way, through its partnership with the NFL, will launch a first-of-its-kind mobile donation campaign allowing millions of viewers to donate instantly by sending a text message from their mobile phones.

Nonprofits in many other countries have been collecting mobile donations via text message for several years and now their American counterparts have the chance to benefit from the power and reach of this vital new fundraising channel. In the past, wireless carriers have conducted mobile donation campaigns in response to major disasters like Katrina; however, this is the first time the channel will be used for day-to-day fundraising efforts.

James Eberhard, chairman of Mobile Accord, states, "We have seen text donations raise big money around the world and are very excited to bring these programs into the U.S. to help organizations accomplish their fundraising goals. Thanks to the support of the wireless community, starting on Super Bowl Sunday, NFL fans for the first time will be able to text the word 'FIT' to '864833' and help United Way make a difference in the fight against childhood obesity without missing a play."

Through an unprecedented partnership of United Way, NFL, Mobile Accord, and the Mobile Giving Foundation, with the support of VeriSign, a minimum of $4.50 for every $5.00 donation sent via text message will go directly to support United Way youth fitness efforts across the country.

The mobile channel offers people an easy and efficient way to give by using wireless technology without prohibitive fees. Jim Manis, chairman and CEO of the Mobile Giving Foundation, adds, "The Mobile Giving Foundation is excited to enable the mobile channel for charitable giving. We are proud to support United Way's youth fitness efforts by helping them to reach a new demographic in the least expensive way possible. The wireless industry, non profit organizations and the giving public all benefit while working for the common good."

In the U.S., statistics on youth fitness are staggering. One out of three children is overweight or obese, and they represent the first generation that is unlikely to outlive their parents. David Krichavsky, NFL Director of Community Relations, explains, "We believe that good health is a team activity, and you do not have to be an NFL player to help kids get fit."

Funds raised will support local United Ways in NFL markets that promote youth fitness through the Hometown Huddle program. Hometown Huddle events bring NFL players together with community volunteers to tackle priority issues in local communities.

Tracey Holmes, director of NFL Partnerships in Brand Leadership at United Way of America, states, "On this Super Bowl weekend, while millions of Americans are watching some of the top athletes in the world, it is important that we don't forget the importance of fitness, especially for children. We are grateful to the NFL and our technology partners for joining us in advancing the common good through community programs in youth fitness." Michael Schreiber, CEO of United eWay, adds, "Using innovative technology and groundbreaking partnerships, we can all help our youth to succeed and to improve their health."

While the ad will first be shown during Super Bowl XLII and continue to run through summer, starting today, people can send the text message "FIT" to "864833" to donate $5.00 for youth fitness.

About United Way

United Way is a national network of nearly 1,300 local organizations that work to advance the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on the three key building blocks of education, financial stability and health. United Way of America is the national organization dedicated to leading the United Way movement. Local United Ways create long lasting community change by addressing the underlying causes of the most significant local issues. Common focus areas include helping children and youth succeed, promoting financial stability, and improving access to health care. For more information about United Way of America, please visit: www.unitedway.org.

About Mobile Accord

Mobile Accord is an innovative Mobile Application Service Provider/Cause-Marketing Agency dedicated to helping non-profits and corporate cause-marketers understand and benefit from the power of mobile technology. We help our clients use SMS text messaging and mobile content to expand programs such as donor/constituent outreach, fundraising, volunteer recruitment, and many other community assistance efforts. Mobile Accord is the first company to bring full service end-to-end mobile solutions including text donations to nonprofits in the United States.

About Mobile Giving Foundation

The Mobile Giving Foundation is a new 501 C 3 organization that works with wireless carriers and qualified non profit organizations to enable the mobile channel for charitable giving, and help apply wireless resources to specific causes.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Margaux Bergen
    United Way of America
    W 703.683.7807
    C 202.746.7303
    Email Contact

    Media Contact:
    Sal Fabens
    United Way of America
    W 703 836 7112 ext. 401
    C 703 9463638
    Email Contact