• Loading stock data...
Sunday, March 3, 2024

Why the Eagles Care and You Should Too

An organization’s success begins and ends with people in the community.

The Philadelphia Eagles have a variety of programs that give back to the Greater Philadelphia community (Photo via MVP360 Pinterest)


The key to an organization’s success lies within creating a strong community.

Community relations professionals actively work to create relationships between an organization and its surrounding community, setting the foundation for success, but often playing the role of the unsung hero.

It is the people that make the place, and the Philadelphia Eagles have made sure to embrace the people to create a better place by building up nonprofits and community members across the Greater Philadelphia area.

Giving mutually to the people who invest in your organization creates strong relationships for all parties involved. Relationships are the most valuable form of currency that an organization can hold, as it allows for the investment in aspects that physical currency cannot buy, such as creating an emotional bond or a meaningful relationship with consumers.

The Philadelphia Eagles’ Community Relations initiatives allow for the organization to be socially responsible.

Julie Hirshey, Director of Community Relations for the Philadelphia Eagles, explains that the Eagles want to give back to their supporters.

“We are the organization we are because of our fans. The fans give us everything, so it is really at the core of who we are to give back to them and the rest of the community.”

Eagles helping children at a local Philadelphia school through the Eagles Charitable Foundation (Photo via Eagles’ website)

A strong community is the key to success.

“Being able to turn a nonprofit into the strongest they can be makes for a strong community because they are at the very foundation of development,” explains Hirshey.

The Eagles perform tangible acts such as donating furniture to nonprofits or intangible acts such as employee development sessions put on by the Eagles’ staff for the nonprofit’s staff.

“We really aim to take a holistic approach to develop the capacity of the nonprofit,” says Hirshey.

Allowing organizations to build not only tangible assets, but also intangible skills, allow them to propel themselves into the best organizations they can be. The more successful nonprofits are in the community, the more service they will be able to provide.

The Philadelphia Eagles have created six main categories the organization focuses current community relations initiatives on. The six include going green, community playground building, youth football, huddling for autism, fan engagement and Eagles Care.

Social responsibility allows the Eagles’ fan base to see the organization’s commitment to their city. With the Go Green initiative, the Eagles have invested in environmentally sustainable practices to ensure a healthier city for their fan base.

Breakdown of the Eagles’ Go Green program impact (Photo via Eagles’ website)

“Sustainability and making sure that our community is healthy, long-term, is core to who we are as an organization,” states Hirshey.

The Eagles make sure to have sustainable practices across the board. Whether it is purchasing practices or putting on an event, they set their standards high.

In recent years, they have installed the largest solar panel system in NFL, which is enough to self-sustain power in the stadium for every game and then some.

Eagles Care is another moving initiative the CR team has put into effect.

Starting in 2013, the program focuses on a select few individual non-profit partners in the community each year, and then creates an alumni base of previous years’ partners as well. This year, the Eagles Care partners are Dignity Housing, Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory and Ryan’s Case for Smiles: Helping Kids Feel Better to Heal Better.

The focus for the partners in 2017 were affordable housing for low-income families, youth empowerment through hands-on activities and quality care for children undergoing medical treatment.

For the Eagles, it’s all about using their high-profile platform to help organizations build on an individual basis. Once each partner grows from the program, they are then able to build one another up.

Hirshey explains, “Over the years, our Eagles Care partners have fallen into a natural pattern of creating this web of networks amongst one another. For example, Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger was looking for ways to get out information about their Summer Meals program, and they found a natural partner in Cradles to Crayons, another Eagles Care Partner that provides basic needs to those in under-deserved communities through packages of essentials like clothing, shoes and underwear. Information on their Summer Meals program can easily be placed into the package, creating a symbiotic partnership which exists to this day.”

Even though the Eagles continue the partnerships after the initial year is complete, by creating these connections among nonprofits, the experience grows beyond the Eagles, creating an everlasting bond by touching the lives of all involved, including the Eagles staff.

“Part of why we started Eagles Care was because we really wanted people to understand that helping others is a fundamental core value of our organization. If we partner with nonprofits for a year and are able to express our core values to them, we made a bet that they would ‘get’ us and so far that bet has paid off,” explains Hirshey.

The Eagles have a vision to create one big family within the Philadelphia community. The mutual relationship existing between the organization and community members allows for inspiration and positivity on both ends. Loyalty is centered around investment and can only be built through time and commitment, which the Eagles have been working towards.

“We do not publicize too much because that is not why we are in this. Doing good for people and your community speaks much louder than any sort of publicity can because it is truly genuine.”

The Eagles also have a 501 c (3) public charity, the Eagles Charitable Foundation. The foundation serves underserved kids in the Philadelphia region through vision care and autism research and services. Each year the Eagles provide thousands of under and uninsured children with vision care and free glasses.

Additionally, the Eagles have revitalized 21 schools through their annual Playground Build, a day where the entire Eagles organization — staff and players included — take a day to transform a school with a new playground, murals and landscaping.

Eagles’ players bond with children in the community while painting murals to beautify community as part of the Playground Build initiative (Photo via Eagles’ website)

The Eagles hope to set a standard that can empower other organizations across the country. For others looking to build a strong community the way the Eagles have, Hirshey advises, “Do your homework. There are a lot of tremendous nonprofits out there. Find something you’re passionate about supporting, look at the landscape of your community and see what is out there to work with and build upon that rather than creating something new from scratch.”

If there is something the Eagles can teach any one of us, it is to focus on building up others. Though it may not seem like much to start, it can create a force that drives social change. A force that fosters relationships in the most unlikely places. A force that is much bigger than you, much bigger than football, and a force that is big enough to maybe one day change the world.


This piece has been presented to you by SMU’s Master of Science in Sport Management.


Front Office Sports is a leading multi-platform publication and industry resource that covers the intersection of business and sports.

Want to learn more, or have a story featured about you or your organization? Contact us today.

https://upscri.be/f32ae1/

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Aug 15, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; Chain crew members walk on the field prior to the game between the Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.

Football Is Finally Getting With the Times, Technologically Speaking

Helmet communications in college and first-down technology in NFL could be coming.

NFL Combine Is Buzzing With Talk of Nearly $1B in Extra Cap Space

The 2024 NFL salary cap is $255.4M per team, a $30M-per-team jump over last season.
RFK

RFK Stadium Bill Advances to Senate After Lopsided House Vote

The bill’s passage in the House, with a vote margin of 348–55, indicates strong bipartisan consensus and support for D.C.’s plans.

NFLPA Report Cards: Dolphins Best, Commanders Worst

The NFLPA released its second annual team report cards.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Jenny Cavnar is Breaking Barriers During Oakland’s Strange Season

0:00
0:00

Featured Today

The Caitlin Clark Economy: Much More Than an Army of Traveling Young Girls

The economy surrounding No. 22 goes far beyond her biggest fans.
March 2, 2024

Sheer Madness: What You Need to Know About MLB’s New Uniform Saga

MLB’s reworked uniforms have become a major source of spring training controversy.
Oct 5, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, points to the lettering outside of the museum Tuesday.
February 28, 2024

How Do You Keep Negro Leagues Baseball History Alive? Put It in a Video Game

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum attracting increased donations, visits from ‘MLB The Show.’
February 26, 2024

The Victor Wembanyama Rookie Card Market Hasn’t Matched His Hype

A cooling market and Fanatics autograph deal leaves big-money collectors waiting.

Careers

Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Spotify
Multiple - USA Careers
Nike
Multiple - USA Careers
EA
Multiple - USA Careers
Sponsored

Temple Takes Your Sports Career to the Next Level

If you want to break through to the C-Suite , Temple University’s Executive Master of Science in Sport Business can help you up your game and accelerate your career. 
Sponsored

Networking With Purpose

Investing in the Ohio University PMSA unlocks access to one of the largest sports business alumni networks in the world.
Sponsored

University of San Francisco Is Your Ticket to the Game

Rated the No. 1 Sports Management program in California, USF has been a leader in educating industry professionals for more than 30 years.
Sponsored

How LivePass is Redefining Ticketing for the Next Generation of Fans

The next wave of ticketing technology.
Sponsored

UMass, McCormack Department of Sport Management Introduce Groundbreaking Women in Business Course

UMass’s Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management has announced the addition of a Women in Business course launching Spring 2021.
Sponsored

Sacred Heart University Gives Athletes and Students Hands-On Learning Opportunities

Professor Matthew F. Moran is training the industry’s next generation of exercise scientists at Sacred Heart University.
Sponsored

Ohio University PMSA Prepares Sports Professionals For New Normal

Two alumni of the Ohio University Professional Master of Sports Administration explain how they feel prepared for the future of sports.
Sponsored

Temple’s Sports Business Master’s Program Gives a Sports Media Pro Unique Perspective

Temple’s School of Sport, Tourism & Hospitality Management gave Sean Hanrahan the tools to elevate his career even after 30 years in the business.