A driver’s race car is a valuable platform to raise awareness around a sponsor, or endeavor.
Sam Mayer has taken that to a new level in 2020. The Franklin, Wisconsin, driver has used his 2020 ARCA Menards Series season as a primary example of the power of sports to elevate missions of philanthropy.
Ten groups were highlighted on Mayer’s cars from June through September as he drove to the Sioux Chief Showdown championship and to the cusp of a second straight East title.
Thanks to the partnerships facilitated by Capture Sports Marketing, Mayer is the first driver to have professional NBA/NFL athletes and coaches’ foundations represented on his cars in the ARCA Menards Series. The 17-year-old represented these foundations, not sponsors, to raise awareness of the work they’re doing to help others.
“It was really special to have athletes’ foundations on the cars,” said Mayer. “I appreciate all the work they’re doing to help others, especially right now. I appreciate the support that I have, and am thankful that this was a way that I could give back.
“The custom paint schemes were really cool. I hope by having them on the cars, I could help increase awareness of the foundations. The best thing I was able to do was to take some of them to victory lane to get them more exposure!”
Indeed, Mayer won six of the 10 races in which he sported a paint scheme representing a foundation, and he never finished worse than fourth.
“I’m so thankful that Sam wanted to do this program and grateful that the athletes not only allowed their foundations to be featured, but were genuinely excited and became invested in how he performed on the track,” said Chellee Siewert, president of Capture Sports Marketing. “This program has shown Sam that when you have a platform you can use it to make an impact. My hope is that as he continues to see success that he can use this firsthand knowledge to give back.”
Below are the 10 paint schemes Mayer ran in 2020 to support fellow professional athletes’ and coaches’ foundations.
Pocono (June 26): The Carson Wentz AO1 Foundation
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz founded the AO1 Foundation, which is non-profit foundation dedicated to uplifting individuals and communities around the world.
“I love how the car turned out, and I’m really excited to watch Sam,” Wentz said before the Pocono race in June. “I love his faith and willingness to be bold about it at such a young age.
“It’s also amazing what he’s been able to accomplish this quickly in his NASCAR career and I know big things are ahead for him. Grateful for his support for the foundation and wishing him the best!”
Indy (July 3): Malcolm Brogdon’s Brogdon Family Foundation
Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon announced the creation of the Brogdon Family Foundation in July.
The Brogdon Family Foundation exists to positively impact the lives of children families, and communities globally through strategic investments in clean water infrastructure, education and advocacy for the civil and human rights of all.
The foundation works toward the vision of a more just world through two major initiatives, Hoops4Humanity and the JHA Education Project.
Kentucky (July 11): California Strong
California Strong is an organization founded by top-tier athletes Ryan Braun, Jared Goff, Mike Moustakas and Christian Yelich, as well as Mike Attanasio, Director of Business Strategy for the Milwaukee Brewers.
California Strong’s commitment is to provide immediate financial assistance to individuals affected by major California disasters and other tragic events.
More than $2.1 million dollars have been distributed to households throughout the state, and more than 1,125 families have received grants.
Toledo Doubleheader (July 31/August 1): Russell Wilson’s Why Not You Foundation
The Why Not You Foundation was launched in 2014 by Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to empower change in the world, one individual and one child at a time.
The foundation is dedicated to creating real and lasting change in the world by motivating, empowering and preparing today’s youth to be tomorrow’s leaders.
The foundation has raised more than $8 million for pediatric cancer research over the last seven years.
Daytona Road Course (August 14): Jim Kelly’s Kelly for Kids
Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly established the Kelly for Kids Foundation with a commitment to serving disadvantaged and disabled youth in Western New York.
Since its inception, the Kelly for Kids foundation has distributed almost $5 million to local children’s charities.
Those that have received donations include Cradle Beach Camp, Kids Escaping Drugs, Ilio DiPaolo Scholarship Fund and, of course, Jim’s Son’s foundation, Hunter’s Hope.
Dover (August 21): Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation
The Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation, established after the Hall of Fame football coach died of colon cancer in 1970, is dedicated to preventing cancer, providing the best care to those fighting it and finding a cure.
Since 1971, the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation has raised more than $21 million in the fight against cancer and has funded pediatric research and childhood cancer treatments, programs for women cancer survivors and developing therapies for leukemia.
I-44 Speedway (September 5): Pat Connaughton With Us
Milwaukee Bucks guard Pat Connaughton started With Us in 2016 with the goal of bringing sports and the youth together again.
The mission of the With Us Foundation is to create access to athletics for kids, affording them the opportunity to learn translatable life skills and values through the healthy and enjoyable vehicle of sports.
The foundation believes participation in athletics gives kids a way to develop skills that translate in all aspects of life.
Toledo (September 12): Lynn Family Foundation
The Lynn Family Foundation, established by Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn, is dedicated to helping individuals recognize and achieve their potential in their personal and professional lives through mentorship, scholarships and experiences.
The foundation contributes regularly to Hugs Café in McKinney, Texas, which provides meaningful employment to adults with special needs.
It also supports Young Warriors, which offers mentorship to fatherless boys in Los Angeles.
Bristol (September 17): Bart and Cherry Starr Children’s Fund
In 2017, Bart and Cherry Starr introduced the Starr Children’s Fund in collaboration with the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation.
The Starr Children’s Fund is dedicated to raising funds to support pediatric cancer research and treatments. Their vision is to see children cancer free so that everyone’s future benefits.
Starr Children’s Fund board member Paul Soltwedel had a personal relationship with Bart Starr, the legendary Green Bay Packers quarterback who died in May 2019.
Seeing the Starr name on the track at Bristol, Soltwedel texted Siewert of Capture Sports Marketing: “Got to be honest… it’s quite moving to see the Starr brand moving around all over the place. Frankly… words are a bit tough on this one because it doesn’t do much justice. Just know I am eternally appreciative to you. But I also want to throttle the damn thing!
“Put me in coach…”
Memphis (September 26): Kevin Love Fund
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love established the Kevin Love Fund to inspire people to live their healthiest lives while providing the tools to achieve physical and emotional well being.
After publicly sharing his own battle with anxiety and depression, Love became committed to normalizing the conversation around mental health, opening up the public discussion and empowering people to pursue mental wellness with the same vigor as they do physical health.
The Kevin Love Fund has also aligned with the meditation and mindfulness app Headspace as a strategic partner to support their vision of improving the health and happiness of the world. The two have already provided student athletes at UCLA with year-long subscriptions to the app to incorporate into their training regimens.