OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (WDAF) – Fans of the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers are probably still reeling from watching their teams lose on Sunday. However, there’s an unexpected silver lining for people who may not have even seen the games.
Sports stores have sealed boxes filled with hats, hoodies and beanies celebrating potential AFC and NFC Championships for the Chiefs and 49ers, respectively. We know that’s not the way it played out.
The NFL prints championship swag for all of the participating teams ahead of the games so it’s ready to go once time runs out. But only the swag of the winning teams can be distributed.
“I knew they were already printed,” Chiefs fan Brendon Dalton said. “And I just never really knew what happened to them afterwards.”
That’s where Good 360 comes in. For the eighth year, the national nonprofit is working with the NFL to gather the “unusable gear.”
“The NFL has a pre-approved list of countries that they’re OK with items going to,” Good 360’s Shari Rudolph said. “And then we work with our nonprofit network to find a place on that pre-approved list that actually has a need for these particular items.”
Then, it’s shipped overseas, putting high-quality goods in the hands of people who have a verified need.
“They can be used by people in need in different parts of the world,” Rudolph explained. “Generally, these items will probably end up in maybe a country in Africa, the Middle East or perhaps South America.”
This applies to the 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 apparel for each event.
“There’s a planet focus, too,” Rudolph said. “We’re ensuring those items won’t end up in a landfill or otherwise going to waste.”
As tough as it is to lose, Chiefs and 49ers fans can know red and gold goods will help people around the world.
“Heads up and we’ll get it next season,” Dalton said.