The (Be)Philly Foundation at the beloved Eagles center helps young people in Philadelphia achieve academic success.
“Hungry dogs run faster.” The inspirational quote that fueled the Eagles’ 2018 Super Bowl championship and Jason Kelce’s epic parade speech now has its own shirt. It’s all part of Kelce’s new Underdog clothing line. As he describes it, the collection includes “items that I hope will inspire you, motivate you, or at least put a smile on your face. Items that I hope you will wear with pride. Articles that I hope will make a difference.
Why Underdog? To quote Kelce’s mission statement:
Underdog is a mentality. Underdog embodies the true spirit of Philadelphia. Beaten but never beaten, disadvantaged but never defeated. Counted out, struck out, but still believing we have the chance to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. … This city has that spirit. This city feeds on its enemies. This city knows its worth. That’s why we’re all Underdogs.
The gender-neutral line includes t-shirts, hats and bags, all designed, printed and packaged in Philadelphia. Creative partners include Avenue West, whose Underdog logo Hannah Westerman designed. (It features a German Shepherd, a callback to Chris Long’s iconic mask.) REC Philly designer Bruno Guerreiro also designed player-specific shirts.
Kelce launched the collection on Sunday, November 6 with a fashion show at Bok Bar.
Snacktime provided the entertainment, and Kelce spoke more about his passion for the city and its spirit.
“We are not going to listen to the outside noise. We won’t let anyone tell us who we are, how good we are or how good we are box be. We are going to go out there and prove it every day,” he told the crowd.
100% of the proceeds from the Underdog clothing collection will go to Kelce’s (Be)Philly foundation, which is also new. The nonprofit will help fund and promote evidence-based programs that Kelce has identified as having “a proven track record in improving academic and economic outcomes for Philadelphia public school students.” He decided to partner with organizations that are already doing the work because “I’m not an expert. I may be an expert on center and football, but I’m no expert on the nuanced difficulties facing our young people in this city.
To that end, the first two beneficiaries of (Be)Philly are Coded By Kids and PFSS, the new Philadelphia Futures and Stepping Stone Scholars. The goal is to provide $100,000 in funding to each organization and focus primarily on K-12 students in the Philadelphia School District. “We’re not trying to change the city of Philadelphia at all,” Kelce said. “I think the city of Philadelphia has incredible strength, has pride, has incredibly strong people. But we want to help the city succeed. We want to help our young people succeed.
Underdog clothing is available online at underdogphl.com. To support and learn more about the work of (Be)Philly, visit bephilly.org.