Did you know New England Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, kick-started the Bill Belichick Foundation in December to mentor and provide financial support for athletic leaders of tomorrow? Did you know that Jon Kitna, Dallas Cowboys’ backup QB for week 17, donated his entire paycheck (reportedly $53,000) to a local high school? How about Larry Fitzgerald donating $1,000 for each reception he caught and $10,000 for each touchdown he scored to breast cancer research during last October? If you did not know about these events, you are not alone.
More unusual than a coach or player gaining attention for his or her community and philanthropic efforts is a sports agent receiving recognition for his or her community involvement. Rather, agents are glamorized for being tough negotiators, landing top recruits, and creating exceptional endorsement deals for their clients. However, an agent’s role transcends just the work that takes place at the bargaining table.
The truth is an agent plays an important role in an athlete’s life. An agent is a mentor during a player’s athletic career and a person that an athlete trusts and relies on for important professional advice. An agent, unlike an athlete, has wide-ranging experience with a player’s respective professional sport and understands the immense impact a player can make leveraging his or her professional status through community service projects. Some agents maintain the belief that giving back to the community is a vital aspect to their clients’ professional career. For instance, in 2012, Drew Rosenhaus established the Rosenhaus Sports Representation’s Youth Fitness Clinic in South Florida “to instill the importance of physical activity and health consciousness to the youth of South Florida.” Some of Rosenhaus’s clients, like Plaxico Burress, helped support the inaugural event. This highlights the fact that a sports agent’s role has transformed into more than a “show me the money” profession.
One successful community service outreach event that sports agents, professional athletes, and celebrities have embraced is the Celebrity Sweat® Flag Football Challenge. This event is a 10 vs. 10 flag football game, matching celebrities from the sports and entertainment industries against each other. The Celebrity Sweat® Flag Football Challenge annually takes place in the NFL Super Bowl’s host city. The 13th annual Celebrity Sweat® Flag Football Challenge will be held in Teaneck, New Jersey on February 1, 2014. This will be the brand’s 13th annual sponsored event, which is an admirable achievement based on Celebrity Sweat’s core mission, to motivate and inspire people to engage in fitness activities. More specifically, the brand seeks to motivate and inspire kids, teaming up annually with local children’s charities. At last year’s event, Terry Crews (actor) stated that to get kid’s more active and involved with fitness, “you have to be active yourself . . . [because] kids follow what they see.” And, that is exactly what the athletes that play in the Celebrity Sweat® Flag Football Challenge try to emulate.
Celebrity Sweat’s commitment to community service is best represented by the fact 100% of the event’s proceeds go to local charities. Over the past 12 years, the Celebrity Sweat® Flag Football Challenge has supported Breast Cancer Awareness, Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts, the United Way of New Orleans, and FDNY/911 PD Fund to name a few. This year the event will support New Jersey based charitable organizations and the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization focused on honoring and empowering our military veterans.
The reason why the Celebrity Sweat® Flag Football Challenge has been so successful is simple really — the brand’s core values lie in the service it provides to the community, and when it sprinkles in some dazzling football plays, people take notice. Lisa Levine of Sports Profiles, representative for the Celebrity Sweat® brand, explains that the Celebrity Sweat® Flag Football Challenge uniquely positions itself as a premier brand and event because of its strong relationships with sports agencies and celebrities that believe in the brand’s mission. Levine pointed out that agents and athletes do not take part in the Celebrity Sweat® Flag Football Challenge due to any financial incentive, but rather because “players want to give back” and of course, the game is a great time for both the players and the audience. Devin Hester, return specialist for the Chicago Bears, reiterated Levine’s sentiment stating that he was honored to be “giving back to the community” during the 2012 event. The Celebrity Sweat® Flag Football Challenge is in collaboration with sports agencies Rosenhaus Sports Representation, Octagon, and Sportstars to recruit top talent to compete in the flag football game.
This year’s game features a marquee matchup between a hip hop singer and a former NFL quarterback. Over the past few years Nelly and Doug Flutie have created a rivalry as opposing signal callers and this game is their “grudge match.” Also, this year’s event has some exciting changes, such as the addition of captains, and the quarterbacks will be “mic’ed up.” Moreover, this year’s event will feature Evander Holyfield, as Nelly’s coach and rapper, 2 Chainz, as Flutie’s coach. Next weekend’s Celebrity Sweat® Flag Football Challenge will be another sensational event because it uniquely brings together some of the most talented celebrities on one field for one mission: to create awareness about the significance fitness plays in everyday life, while raising money for important charitable causes.
This year’s squad will include NFL players: Louis Murphy, Jr. (Giants), DeAngelo Hall (Redskins), Ahmad Bradshaw (Colts), Chimidi Chekwa (Raiders), Leger Douzable (Jets), Johnathan Cyprien (Jaguars), Drayton Florence (Panthers), Stephen Tulloch (Lions), Sam Young (Bills), Kenny Stills (Saints), Cam Jordan (Saints), Mychal Kendricks (Eagles), Marvin Jones (Bengals), Bryan Brayman (Texans), and Eddie Pleasant (Texans). Other celebrities include: Billy Blanks (Tae Bo Creator), Brandon Mychal Smith (Disney Actor/Musician), Alec Penix (Certified Hollywood Trainer), Big John McCarthy (MMA), Tyson Beckford (Model), Dan Caldwell (Founder of TapouT), 2 Chainz (Rapper), Evander Holyfield (Former Boxer), Nelly (Hip Hop Singer), and of course, Doug Flutie (Former NFL QB).
For more information:
What: 2014 Celebrity Sweat® Flag Football Challenge
When: Saturday, February 1, 2014
Where: Soccer Coliseum, Teaneck, New Jersey