This past weekend, the NFL finished its second iteration of My Cause My Cleats. For a league that had been dubbed the “No Fun League,” the loosening of its rules for My Cause My Cleats in 2016 was seen as a big deal. Not only did the league loosen its cleat rules for a game, but the league empowered players to raise money and awareness for causes important to each person. It was a rousing success, as fans connected with players on an individual level and the media was able to highlight and bring awareness to causes that have touched its players. For a league long known as protecting the shield, for one week, the players were able to show off their individuality.
Throughout the entire week, fans were given an inside view of what each player was raising awareness for. Teams created unboxing videos of their participating players to distribute the content to fans. Players were vocal about their support during press conferences and to the media. The program has quickly become an important staple within the league’s community calendar. As simple as it sounds, the league has helped elevate the initiative by creating a specific website (inserted link) where fans can not only read quotes and see the cleats, but they can learn more about these causes.
These stories are supported via social and digital channels and then the cleats are auctioned off to raise money for each individual charity. The next step in the movement is to expand the program from one week to one month. Since the league has monthly initiatives, the NFL should designate one month such as December as a month for the players to lead the way. If you couple this with the league’s landmark partnership to give $89 million to social justice issues, this would be a logical next step to allow players to show off their personality and make My Cause My Cleats a permanent fixture within the NFL.