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
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
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
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