This weekend, nearly eight-hundred NFL players will take the field in custom-designed cleats, but it’s not just to look cool or intimidate the competition. The one-of-a-kind kicks are part of the NFL’s annual My Cause, My Cleats Campaign, which raises millions of dollars for a wide range of charities, all selected, or started by, the players themselves. Some choose charities that hit close to home, others are just trying to help in their communities, or the neighborhoods they grew up in.
Once the players have found a cause to support, they work directly with artists and designers to create the signature looks. After they’ve been on display during the games, all the completely unique shoes will be auctioned off, with every penny raised going directly to the charitable organizations. Raising money is great, but often, simply giving greater visibility to a charity can be life-changing for everyone involved, so be on the lookout this Sunday for those little splashes of color!
New England Patriots safety Duron Harmon’s cleats will support Autism Speaks, a fund that helps people with Autism with tools and training to live fuller, healthier lives. It’s a cause that’s close to his heart, as he shares a special bond with his nine-year-old nephew, who was diagnosed on the autism spectrum at age three.
The Bears have looked great so far this year, and quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will style it out this Sunday in custom kicks representing Thumbs Up Mission, a fund that helps support patients and families that are undergoing treatment for pediatric cancers.
Another player supporting a cause close to our hearts is Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, who’ll be lacing them up on Sunday to raise money for his own Ertz Family Foundation, which supports educational and athletic opportunities for underprivileged communities.
But that’s just a start. Every athlete participating has a story to share and a cause to believe in. To learn more, or to bid on these one of a kind kicks to do some good, check out the NFL’s “My Cause, My Cleats” page.