The Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot got himself in a bit trouble when he celebrated a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday by jumping into a life-size version of the Salvation Army’s iconic red kettle located behind the end zone.
“I mean it’s just sitting there right in the end zone, you know. It’s the perfect celebration,” said Elliot after the game. “They’re one of our biggest partners, so I had to show them a little bit of love.”
The unusual celebration prompted the game officials to flag the number 21 rookie for unsportsmanlike conduct, drawing a 15-yard penalty and a potential fine
Despite the penalty, however, the creative kettle dive proved to be a huge success with football fans, while also resulting in a whopping 61 percent spike in donations to the Salvation Army that Sunday through Monday morning, according to the charity.
Even though there were talks in the NFL of also fining Elliot for his celebration, the organization announced Monday that it would not further penalize the franchise’s record-setting rushing leader.
Following the Cowboys’ 26 to 20 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Elliot announced in a tweet that he would be donating $21,000 to the Salvation Army and urged his fans to do the same.
— Ezekiel Elliott (@EzekielElliott) December 20, 2016
Creative touchdown celebrations are nothing new in the world of football, and as PR professionals, we often like to highlight creative ways in which brands and public figures are used to capture the public’s attention. But it is especially pleasing to see instances when one’s creativity also inspires others to do good.