Panthers 'Purrbacca' Shirts Raise $62,100


Published:

One day last month, Carolina Panthers center Ryan Kalil had an idea. Because he's arguably the most creative guy in the locker room, that wasn't anything new. But neither he nor anyone he shared his plan with had any clue it would take off like it did.

"It's pretty incredible," tight end Greg Olsen said Wednesday. "It's a cool graphic that one of Kalil's buddies came up with and sent to him and Kalil sent to me."

A self-proclaimed "Star Wars" nerd, Kalil had already pre-rented a local movie theater for opening night of "The Force Awakens." But that wasn't nearly nerdy enough.

When he saw what Charlotte-based illustrator Joey Ellis designed – a mashup of the Panthers' logo and "Star Wars" character Chewbacca – Kalil thought it'd look good on a t-shirt. But not just one shirt.

The idea was to make up a whole bunch, sell them, and give the proceeds to The Heartest Yard, a charity started by Olsen and his wife that helps families of babies affected by congenital heart disease. 

"I had no idea," Olsen said, when asked how many shirts they'd sell. 

Boosted by social media posts featuring Panthers stars and a fun name for the logo, 3,000 "Purrbacca" shirts were sold within the first 24 hours. When the four-day sale was over, that number doubled. 

"It was kind of a perfect storm of interest between the team and Star Wars," Olsen said. "It was remarkable."

On Wednesday, Olsen announced on Twitter just how remarkable it was:

 

 

"It just shows the power of social media and the power of when your team's doing well ... and a relatively popular movie," Olsen said with a smile. "Obviously, we're very fortunate. We feel very thankful for everybody who bought them.

"That money goes straight to the hospital to help out kids for our program. It's one of our best fundraisers. That's pretty incredible."

 

Bill Voth

Check out Black and Blue Review here. Twitter: @billvoth or @blackbluereview.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

This Weekend's Agenda: 24+ Events (June 13-19)

Arts, food, beer, and social events

5 Things To Know: N.C. Red in Plaza Midwood

How to properly experience Rhode Island shore food in Charlotte this summer

Along the Way, The Podcast: Episode 1

Chasing Gizmo: What I learned when the dog got loose

A Tour of NASCAR Driver Angela Ruch's Uptown Penthouse

The Xfinity driver and her husband, Mike, have a new reality show, a new baby, and a newly-renovated suite overlooking uptown
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More >> Partner Content

Sign Up for our E-Newsletters

Stay in-the-know on restaurant openings, things to do, and all things Charlotte with our handy newsletters. SIGN UP HERE

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags