On the field, the Philadelphia Eagles are dealing with COVID delays and preparing to do hardcore battle with the Washington Football Team.
However, away from the field, in the team’s back room and front office, its brand creative team – the local group responsible for creating the Eagles’ graphics on its website and social media accounts – has been busy throughout the year with kinder, gentler, more charitable and less physical activities.
Since the beginning of the year, the brand creative team has quietly tended to Philadelphia non-profits by volunteering its time, work and resources to aid local charities in navigating the challenges (and costs) presented by the pandemic.
From the onset of the virus to the Delta variant up through Omicron, the Eagles’ creatives – headed up by Creative Director Sean Flanagan – have utilized a website (Philafound.org) where non-profits can go to post projects with which they need help, but don’t have the funds to start or complete.
Talking with Flanagan, the man who unified and broadened the Eagles branding and “cracked the all-encompassing look and feel of the Eagles graphic presence, be it in stadium, social media, advertising or brand films,” has pushed for a continuity of message and marketing since his start with the team three years ago.
Once Flanagan and his design team achieved that goal, the director set out to utilize the Eagles’ graphics and branding for the greater good: helping local non-profits achieve their aims. Last December, the Eagles’ community relations team – responsible for community outreach and players visits – circulated a newsletter regarding how the Eagles’ staff could give back.
There were toy, food and clothing drives, as well as a link to the Philadelphia Foundation’s Skills Hub (https://www.philafound.org/key-skills-hub-volunteer-portal/), and its greater mission to build, manage and distribute philanthropic resources effectively through the Delaware Valley. The Philadelphia Foundation lists the jobs they need done, and the skills necessary to complete the mission, and the Eagles creative team began its aid.
Flanagan likens the process of searching through the site to an online job board, where people with certain skills find our what an employer needs.
“A light bulb went off that day: we can make some waves as these organizations need the type of help that we could provide very well, very fast and very nimbly” says Flanagan. “We could make an impact, especially considering that – though an NFL season is 365 days a year, there are lulls that we could fill in super proactive ways. And anyone can help – you could donate writing skills and make your own contribution toward helping these charities meet their goals.”
After settings an internal goal of directing 10% of workload to helping nonprofits with their marketing, advertising and branding needs, the Eagles creative team began working to encourage others professional outfits and its bosses to aid in their charitable cause.
“We wanted to help our backyard, first and foremost, but the outreach can be much greater and wider,” says Flanagan, considering the national and international implications behind their aid – work that has, in 2021, affected the charitable outreach of Philly-based nonprofit organizations such as the Garces Foundation, Variety Children’s Charity, Phoenixville Area Time Bank, VA Housing and other local charities.
“It’s all from the goodness of your heart, making those connections,” says Flanagan. “We being the Eagles, and knowing we have clout, when we put our shingle out there to help people, other people listen. But we can always do more, and we’ll open up the aperture and up our game in 2022.”
That sounds decent, good and great. Just don’t forget to tell the team on the field to kick some Washington Football a** on Tuesday.