Same Mission, New Look, Bigger Impact
How a rebrand of a former NFL player’s foundation sets the stage for a lasting impact on the lives of children facing hunger insecurity.
About the Blocking Hunger Foundation
The Blocking Hunger Foundation, formerly known as Travis Frederick’s Blocking Out Hunger Foundation, was founded in 2017 after former Dallas Cowboy Center Travis Frederick saw a need in his new community and wanted to make a difference after being drafted to the Cowboys in 2013. The Blocking Hunger Foundation supports inner-city and low-income children through the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex who struggle with hunger. Children struggling to eat are more likely to have problems in school and other social situations. The Blocking Hunger Foundation focuses on addressing childhood hunger to ensure that each child has the opportunity to grow into a thriving adult. Despite being one of the wealthiest counties in the United States, Dallas County is the sixth hungriest county in the country.
The nonprofit space is crowded. Many wonderful organizations are making a difference across communities and the world. For the Blocking Hunger Foundation, the brand and organization struggled to set themselves apart from other foundations and organizations in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Travis, his teammates and the children they served knew about the foundation, but externally, many in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex did not understand what the foundation did and who they helped. As the founder and executive director, Travis was interested in changing how his nonprofit operated. He wanted to keep the mission and programs the same but move away from the traditional big event fundraising structure with high overhead costs and yielded little revenue for the foundation. Knight Eady knew that to reposition the foundation and grow awareness and donations, the foundation would need a rebrand to ensure all stakeholders and publics knew about the foundation.
A Winning Game Plan
Upon evaluating the foundation’s current brand, Knight Eady determined the name needed to change. Travis recently announced his retirement and wanted to ensure the foundation still operated even if he was not playing football. Additionally, the marks and logos for the foundation were crowded and did not clearly communicate the foundation’s mission and goals. The Knight Eady creative team quickly got busy thinking of ways to clearly articulate the foundation’s mission visually with the brand, logo and marks.
Together, the team landed on renaming the foundation from Travis Frederick’s Blocking Out Hunger Foundation to the Blocking Hunger Foundation. The new name captured the connection to football and Travis’ position on the offensive line while communicating the foundation’s focus was addressing hunger. Visually, the new logo connected to football, with the O in Blocking becoming a football. The bite mark out of the football was intentionally added to create a playfulness with the mark, tying back to the foundation’s mission of providing meals for children.
Once the new marks and brand were developed, Knight Eady began working on a new website for the foundation. The previous website included old branding and did not clearly articulate the DFW community’s hunger problem, how the Blocking Hunger Foundation was addressing the issue, and how one could get involved. The new website would feature the new brand and address the who, what, where, when and how immediately. Addressing these questions clearly and concisely is critical for nonprofits, as donors need to immediately know what their donation would be used for and how to give.
Knight Eady’s final piece of a successful rebrand was a strategic plan that included public relations, social media, email marketing and creative services. Knight Eady planned to launch the new brand, website and donation platform with a fundraising campaign that matched the new branding. We set a fundraising goal of raising $22,500 in 72 days and named this fundraising campaign, “Moving the Chains to Block Hunger.” Travis wore the number 72 while on the Dallas Cowboys, which tied the campaign back to his football career.
Knight Eady distributed several press releases and media pitches to the local Dallas-Fort Worth media outlets to cover the campaign’s launch and rebrand. With the relevant announcement of the campaign and interviews given by Travis, the Blocking Hunger Foundation earned stories with local newspapers, radio and TV stations in addition to ESPN, Sports Illustrated and more.
Part of the strategic launch included a well-thought-out social media content calendar. To showcase the new creative, Knight Eady’s creative team created a short animated video that highlighted the foundation. The video was shared on the foundation’s and Travis’s social media platforms. While the foundation had a decent social media following, it was crucial to utilize Travis’s name and likeness throughout the campaign. In addition to compelling content that provided updates on progress towards the goal, strong calls to action and awareness based content, the Knight Eady creative team put together several social media graphics that clearly articulated key messages in a visual manner. These graphics helped drive engagement, impressions and, ultimately, donations.
The campaign ran in the middle of the COVID-19 global pandemic, so our Knight Eady team needed to get creative to engage donors at a time when no one gathered in person. We leveraged social media and virtual events with a virtual cooking show on Facebook. Donors and social media followers could tune in to learn how to make a dish with a professional chef. Anyone who made a donation during the cooking show received a free digital version of the chef’s cookbook. The virtual fundraising opportunity provided donations and social media engagements for the foundation. We also leveraged the foundation’ social media following through the tag your team challenge. Followers were encouraged to tag their team. Once someone was tagged on social media, they were to donate to the Blocking Hunger Foundation and tag their own team, creating a chain reaction and user generated content. Lastly, Knight Eady strategized a social media giveaway that drove followers to engage and donate to the foundation. The success of this campaign came greatly from the organic, engaging and user generated content that put the Blocking Hunger Foundation and the Moving the Chains to Block Hunger at the top of everyone’s timelines.
Finally, we kept donors up to date throughout the campaign through strategic email marketing. From launching, to reaching the halfway point, to reaching our goal, the foundation’s stakeholders were updated and informed. Through targeted emails, donors received intentional email communications with a strong call to action to give and share the Moving the Chains to Block Hunger campaign with their network that led to button clicks and donations.
Getting the Win
On July 24, and three days ahead of the last day of the campaign, the goal was met. In total, the campaign generated $29,767 to go towards the foundation’s mission and providing meals to the children the foundation serves. In addition to reaching the fundraising goal, Knight Eady successfully rebranded the foundation and generated awareness and engagement around the launch through the fundraising campaign, public relations, social media, creative and email marketing efforts.
Had the Blocking Hunger Foundation not rebranded and pivoted, the foundation would have fallen into the crowd of nonprofits struggling to stand out. Through this partnership, the Blocking Hunger Foundation is now a recognizable brand that clearly tells the story and mission for the foundation, can withstand the test of time and leverages new fundraising opportunities outside of the traditional fundraising events.