FedEx, the NFL and Eli Manning teamed up to host a press conference and panel discussion at the Super Bowl 50 Media Center Presented by Microsoft on Tuesday. The press conference, moderated by USA Today editor David Meeks, unveiled a new global FedEx program called FedEx Cares. Since 2002, FedEx has donated almost $2 million to important community initiatives as part of the FedEx Air & Ground NFL program.
FedEx Senior Vice President of Integrated Marketing Communications Patrick Fitzgerald made the announcement that FedEx Cares is donating $50 million for immediate use for disaster preparedness and relief efforts in honor of Super Bowl 50. The $50 million contribution is part of a larger $200 million commitment to over 200 communities globally by 2020.
“FedEx and our team members have a long history of supporting the communities where we live and work,” said Fitzgerald. “This new strategy builds on that heritage and takes it to the next level by focusing on ways we can use our operational strength and business expertise to address social challenges.”
Manning, a well-known philanthropist and nominee for this year’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award, discussed being a part of this program is important to him.
“I think it’s a wonderful cause and wonderful program,” said Manning. “The things that FedEx can do by getting supplies to areas when they see a disaster is on the way and, obviously, what they can do afterwards. It’s just really a great program and I’m honored to be a part of it.”
FedEx Cares will focus on the following “five pillars of strategic investment to strengthen communities:
- Delivering for Good: Using our global network to deliver resources where they are needed most in times of disaster and for special shipments.
- Sustainable Transportation: Developing solutions that connect the world responsibly and resourcefully.
- Employment Pathways: Leveraging their global reach to provide pathways to success for young adults in underserved populations.
- Road Safety: Applying their expertise in road safety with its global reach to protect pedestrians and make roads safer.
- Global Entrepreneurship: Advancing women and minority-owned small businesses and continuing to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs, helping them access new markets and grow.
Joining Fitzgerald, Manning and Meeks in the panel discussion were:
- Thomas Tighe – President and CEO, Direct Relief (a nonprofit providing medical aid to people around the world)
- Anna Isaacson – Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility, NFL
- Cliff Holtz – President of Humanitarian Services, American Red Cross
- Kristina Griffin – Director of Corporate Alliances, USO
Here are a few highlights from the discussion:
One thing that I have learned as we’ve gone through various natural disasters is the importance of water and our ability to get water in. Whether it be from an earthquake, hurricane or other type of disaster, water is desperately needed. – Patrick Fitzgerald
I was in New Orleans a couple of days after Hurricane Katrina hit. Just hearing the stories firsthand from the people whose lives were affected by the hurricane about the horror stories they went through. And also how appreciative they were for the American Red Cross for having shelters and the help they were getting trying to get in touch with their family members who might have been displaced. -Eli Manning
We really feel that responsibility to give back — at the core — and serve our fans who make the game what it is. - Ana Isaacson
In Nepal, we were getting request for aid — there were thousands dead, traumatic injuries — the supply lines were down. FedEx doesn’t fly there, they hadn’t landed a plane there in 18 years. FedEx said, “we’re in let’s go.” FedEx arrived with over 350 tons of supply. It was this great uplifting moment. -Thomas Tighe
The American Red Cross responded to 176 major disasters last year in the United States, alone. -Cliff Holtz
FedEx has truly helped us deliver goodness to our service men and women all over the world. Around Veteran’s Day, we hold a program called “Holidays for Heroes” where we stuff 10,000 care packages in one day to go to our troops in Afghanistan during the holidays. FedEx helps with logistics and their employees volunteer to come in all day and help stuff the packages. -Kristina Griffin.