The internet exploded this week when NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. posted a picture of his favorite sandwich – banana and Hellmann’s mayonnaise on bread. The post trended social media for 24 hours and cycled through numerous national news outlets, including ABC’s “Good Morning America”, NBC’s “TODAY”, and CNN’s “Morning Express with Robin Meade.”
Pleasantly surprised by the reaction, Earnhardt Jr. responded today with the launch of a two-week fundraising drive and awareness campaign to combat child hunger.
“I was shocked – in a completely good way – at how much attention this picture received Tuesday night,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “I got a kick out of watching the videos of people trying the sandwich for the first time. Even if they didn’t like it, I appreciated that they gave it a shot.
“The whole thing got me thinking that whether you like the sandwich or not, perhaps we could make something universally positive from this.”
An inspired Earnhardt Jr. launched a donation website called DaleJrSandwich.com where people can donate money that will benefit Blessings in a Backpack – a national, non-profit organization which packs food for school children who are at risk of going hungry on the weekends. The site will remain live until April 23 – the day Earnhardt Jr. will compete in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Richmond International Raceway driving the No. 88 Hellmann’s Chevrolet.
Whatever the total is after April 23, Earnhardt Jr. has pledged to match it up to $50,000 before donating it in full to Blessings in a Backpack.
“Blessings in a Backpack is an organization that The Dale Jr. Foundation has a great partnership with,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “Just a few months ago we went to a local school in Kannapolis (N.C.) to hand out backpacks of food for kids, so I’ve seen firsthand the impact. I hope we can take the fun conversations we’ve had about the sandwich and turn it into an impactful fundraiser to help feed kids.
“And, no, I don’t expect the Blessings in a Backpack folks to pack banana-and-mayonnaise sandwiches in those bags,” he added. “Unless, of course, they want to.”
The official word of the campaign launch came today on an episode of JRM 360, the weekly video series created and produced by Earnhardt Jr.’s company, JR Motorsports. The episode acknowledged the buzz generated from Earnhardt Jr.’s Twitter post and illustrated how employees use the sandwich in myriad ways.
“We have fun with JRM 360,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “With all the attention the sandwich got on Tuesday, we knew we were going to have to poke fun at it somehow.”
Earnhardt Jr. ends the video on a serious note, saying how he was flattered by the overwhelming response he received and was inspired to do something about it.
Social media users are encouraged to promote the campaign by using hashtag #DaleJrSandwich.
JR Motorsports PR
JR Motorsports PR