Student loan debt has reached astronomical levels in the U.S., with over 40 million Americans carrying an estimated $1.48 trillion in education debt. Therefore, it's no shock that younger generations have little to no money leftover for charitable giving. And while many are consumed with just getting by, there are still innumerable causes that need support and funding from new sources.
The Keldof Team knew there had to be a way to empower young adults to look up from their cell phones long enough to invest in their community. The trick would be creating an initiative with the right balance of education and kitsch that could engage an overly-stimulated generation while simultaneously optimizing their tech-savvy skillset to make an impactful difference without donating anything more than time.
As one of the first marketing agencies to pair top influencers and cause-conscious brands with high-profile non-profits, Keldof knew this recipe would be the perfect way to engage a new fanbase. The critical piece of the puzzle for this initiative, however, would be to create simple action items that could make an immediate impact WITHOUT spending a dime!
Conceived, produced and owned exclusively by Keldof, PaddleJam would be a social impact-driven initiative celebrating one of the world’s most beloved, yet underrated sports... Ping Pong — a star-studded table tennis tournament uniting high-profile talent with their favorite causes for an epic battle like no other.
Empowered by their favorite celebrities through social media channels and multiple media outlets, audiences from around the globe would be educated on crucial issues affecting our world in the months leading up to the PaddleJam tournament. These celebrity ambassadors would then introduce their fans to solutions through the non-profits they’d be playing for in the PaddleJam, promoting unique opportunities to impact positive change, no matter their financial situation.
When Tournament Day arrived, each participating team would then launch simultaneous social-impact campaigns across one of eight major cause categories: ranging from Health, Education, Human Rights and Animal Rights to the Environment, Community, Poverty and the Arts.
For over a decade, PaddleJam® has united leading brands and stars from Channing Tatum, George Lopez, Lauren Conrad & Zachary Levi to cast members from shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Empire, Seinfeld, American Housewife, American Horror Story, Lucifer, The Big Bang Theory, Blacklist & The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel — with world-renowned non-profit partners, including Habitat For Humanity, Oceana, The Humane Society & St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
From the innumerable actions items performed through the years, some of its most popular include:
• Becoming a mentor with the Youth Mentoring Connection
• Volunteering to build new homes with Habitat for Humanity
• Pledging to adopt future pets through The Humane Society of the United States
• Petitioning for a clean energy future through Oceana
• Signing up to be an organ donor through the George Lopez Foundation
Media coverage from this inspirational instant-classic has garnered millions of hits ranging from The Hollywood Reporter & US Weekly to E! & Access Hollywood, raising awareness for the countless ways to make a positive impact on the world... no matter your financial situation.
Keldof runs every aspect of this recurring initiative: from securing non-profits and corresponding action items as well as funding from brand partners to overseeing all creative from merchandise and marketing materials to national advertorials and Celebrity PSAs...
"While donations to non-profits are always welcome — and crucial — I wanted to create a project that celebrates the multitude of opportunities available, across a wide spectrum of cause categories, to make a positive impact on the world... no matter your financial situation,” said PaddleJam creator Kevin Seldon.