Jason Kelce Launches Underdog Clothing Line to Benefit New Nonprofit
The beloved Eagles center’s (Be)Philly foundation helps Philadelphia youth 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 apparel line. As he describes it, the collection includes “items that I hope will inspire you, motivate you, or at least make you smile. Items that I hope you wear with pride. Items that, I hope, will make a difference.”
Why Underdog? To quote Kelce’s mission statement:
Underdog is a mentality. Underdog embodies the true Philadelphia spirit. Beat up but never beaten, disadvantaged but never defeated. Counted out, written off, but always believing we have the chance to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. … This city owns this spirit. This city thrives on its haters. This city knows its worth. Which is why we are 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 Hannah Westerman designed the Underdog logo. (It features a German shepherd, a callback to Chris Long’s iconic mask.) REC Philly designer Bruno Guerreiro also designed some player-specific shirts.
Kelce debuted the collection on Sunday, November 6th with a fashion show at Bok Bar.
Snacktime provided the entertainment, and Kelce spoke more on his passion for the city and its spirit.
“We’re not gonna listen to outside noise. We’re not gonna let anybody tell us who we are, how good we are, or how good we can be. We’re gonna go out there and prove it every single day,” he told the crowd.
One hundred percent of the proceeds from the Underdog apparel 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 of improving the academic and economic outcomes of students in the Philadelphia public schools.” He decided to partner with organizations already doing the work because “I’m not an expert. I may be an expert at center and at playing football, but I am not an expert in the nuanced difficulties that face our young people in this city.”
To that end, (Be)Philly’s first two beneficiaries are Coded By Kids and PFSS, the newly combined 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 within the School District of Philadelphia. “We’re not trying to change the city of Philadelphia at all,” Kelce said. “I think the city of Philadelphia has an incredible amount of strength, has pride, has incredibly strong people. But we want to help the city achieve. We want to help our young people achieve.”