11:43 AM

Travis Kelce Wins Nationwide’s Charity Challenge

Kansas City Chiefs tight end and Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Nominee will receive $25,000 from Nationwide to benefit Eighty-Seven & Running Foundation

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has said that “lending a hand is always the right thing to do.” His ardent fans appear to share that sentiment as more than one million tweets were posted in support of Kelce’s Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award nomination. Thanks to the tremendous showing by his fans in Kansas City and beyond, Travis Kelce was announced as the winner of the sixth annual Nationwide Charity Challenge and a $25,000 contribution will be made to Eighty-Seven & Running, courtesy of Nationwide.

Established by Kelce in 2015, Eighty-Seven and Running is a charitable foundation that empowers disadvantaged youth to achieve success by providing resources and support to their communities and broadening their exposure to areas like STEM, entrepreneurship, and the arts.

"This win is 100% a testament to Chiefs Kingdom. To reach over one million votes is the kind of passion and support that makes me want to run through a wall on game day,” said Kelce. “It’s an honor to play for them and support the city off the field in any way I can. It’s one of the greatest achievements of my career to be included among this deserving group of my NFL brothers who all use their platform to pay it forward."

Nationwide is the presenting sponsor of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award which is given to the player who demonstrates excellence on the field and in his community. Nationwide launched this year’s Charity Challenge on Dec. 14, 2020 to further elevate and promote the work that each of the 32 nominees are doing to improve the lives of others. The month-long social media promotion gave NFL fans the opportunity to show support for their favorite nominee and offer players a chance to secure a $25,000 contribution from Nationwide to their charity of choice.

Fans were invited to vote for their favorite nominee by using that player’s unique hashtag on Twitter. The player who received the most votes by Jan. 17, 2021 received the $25,000 contribution.

Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Isaac Rochell finished second with nearly 600,000 uses of his hashtag while Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons finished third with nearly 300,000 hashtag uses. Nationwide will contribute $10,000 and $5,000, respectively, to the charities of Rochell and Simmons.

A new component of this year’s Charity Challenge was a weekly Twitter contest where fans who replied to Nationwide with their favorite nominee had a chance to win a $100 NFL Shop gift card for themselves and $2,500 for their favorite nominee’s charity. Isaac Rochell’s fans won three of the four weekly contests earning the Charger an additional $7,500 for his cause.

During the #WPMOYChallenge promotion, fans used the 32 different team nominees’ hashtags more than 2.1 million times.

“Each year, the Nationwide Charity Challenge uses friendly competition to draw extra attention to the inspiring work these players do in their communities,” said Ramon Jones, Nationwide’s Chief Marketing Officer. “This year’s addition of the weekly #ItTakesAllofUs contest gave fans added incentive to support their favorite nominees, and help those players earn more money for their charities. Congratulations to Travis Kelce for winning this year’s Charity Challenge, as well as Isaac Rochell and Demario Davis for their weekly wins. And a big thank you to all of the nominees and fans who participated.”

The 2020 NFL season marks the seventh year of Nationwide’s sponsorship of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. Since 2014, Nationwide has contributed more than $1.3 million to the charitable foundations represented by the various nominees.

The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide will be announced during the NFL Honors broadcast on Saturday, February 6, the eve of Super Bowl LV, at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.

For more information on the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide, please visit www.nfl.com/manoftheyear.