College football for a cause

January 08, 2013

Photo Credit: Paul Golangco
Photo Credit: Paul Golangco

What were you doing on January 1, 2013?

For 48,313 college football fans, New Year's Day was the start of a new tradition – the inaugural and innovative Heart of Dallas Bowl presented by PlainsCapital Bank. It's the first event of its kind to donate all proceeds to a charity.

The historic Cotton Bowl stadium welcomed a record-breaking crowd of nearly 50,000; Oklahoma State beat Purdue 58-14; and, most important, $100,000 was raised for the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance (MDHA), providing 225 people with permanent housing.

Our client Heart of Dallas is a recently launched nonprofit dedicated to sports and entertainment events benefitting Dallas charities. It exists to spur bold social change and inspire the next generation of Dallas influencers and philanthropists.

As Heart of Dallas' first big event, the bowl game sprang to life from the vision of Conference USA commissioner and Heart of Dallas founder Britton Banowsky, along with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany.

Photo Credit: Paul Golangco
Photo Credit: Paul Golangco

In addition to a strategic paid and earned media plan, an aggressive social media campaign helped spread the word about the game quickly. In less than two months, Heart of Dallas' Facebook page fostered nearly 50,000 unique interactions and attracted more than 25,500 "likes," making it the third-most "liked" bowl game on Facebook.

Thanks to strong community support, Heart of Dallas was able to raise $100,000 through the bowl game, providing 225 people with permanent housing through MDHA.

The Heart of Dallas will continue raising awareness for compelling causes by hosting a variety of must-attend events. The 2013 lineup for Heart of Dallas includes:

  • Dr Pepper Dallas Cup
  • A fall concert series downtown
  • The Heart of Dallas Classic, in conjunction with opening weekend of the State Fair of Texas®. Army and Louisiana Tech will face off on September 28 at Cotton Bowl Stadium, and the armed forces will be honored at the State Fair.

For more information, visit or like Heart of Dallas on Facebook.

Photo Credit: Paul Golangco
Photo Credit: Paul Golangco