Gear Proclaiming 49ers as Super Bowl Champs to Be Donated to Impoverished Countries
(NEW YORK) -- Looks like all that gear touting the San Francisco 49ers as the victors of Super Bowl XLVII can still be put to good use after all. The merchandise, mostly t-shirts and sweatshirts, made in advance of Sunday's game will be donated to Worldvision, a humanitarian organization that provides aid to nations in poverty, according to ESPN.
On Sunday, the 49ers lost to the Baltimore Ravens at the Superdome in New Orleans, but tens of thousands of items showing the 49ers as the Super Bowl winners had already been printed and purchased by retailers. Now Worldvision says countries like Zambia, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Armenia and Romania will benefit from the goods.
"The people really light up when they see that they have a chance to wear a new T-shirt," Worldvision corporate relations director Jeff Fields said, according to ESPN.
Worldvision has partnered with the NFL since the mid-90s, when the idea of printing gear ahead of time gained traction in licensing, ESPN reports. Since the NFL prohibits retailers from selling the gear showing the wrong winning team, charity became the favorable option. ESPN says over the years retailers have taken more risk, ordering more merchandise ahead of the big game. This year, the NFL, Kohl's, Dick's Sporting goods, Sports Authority and other outlets have already committed to making a Worldvision donation.
As for whether the recipients might care about sporting gear proclaiming the wrong champion, Fields says it won't likely be an issue.
"We're going to some really remote parts of the world," he said. "They don't have the Internet, they don't know about the 49ers or about American football."
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