The Superkick Foundation is proud to announce that we have donated the funds that you all helped us raise through our #SuperkickHate campaign a couple of months ago to the Equality Florida Institute on Monday, August 8th. The successful campaign moved over 21 shirts in 14 days, and combined with additional donations, raised a grand total of $407.07.
CEO Matt Harrigan is very proud of what everyone was able to accomplish.
"It was such a grotesque and senseless incident that targeted people who simply wanted to go out, drink, and dance. But in the end, what our supporters did was say that 'hey, we're pro-wrestling fans or pro wrestlers, and we don't stand for this'. The Young Bucks and Donovan Dijak all bought Superkick Hate shirts. And, you know, being the first wrestling entity to be proactive and help as opposed to just changing our Twitter avatar or like, merely casting it aside, that meant a lot that we were the underground force that was able to rally a bunch of great people in an industry who hasn't historically always been kind to the LGBTQ community. I never thought we'd be able to follow Superkick the Holidays with a strong campaign--there was always doubt. But yeah, we all did it. We were a positive beacon fighting hate, and we made our point loud and clear."
The campaign almost didn't happen. In fact, Harrigan wanted to take more drastic measures.
"We were sitting together in Hard Rock [Cafe] and Matt's reading the death total and his facial expression would change with every second." CCO Amanda Stockla states. "Then he looked up at me and was like 'I'm flying to Orlando.'"
"I wanted to go down there and give blood and come back. I was looking at plane times, cheap rates, the whole nine. I didn't care what I had in the bank--what happened was on a whole new level of messed up and I really couldn't just sit there. I was so jittery, I felt obliged to help." Harrigan says. "But ultimately, thats why I have Amanda as the CCO, second in command. She's legit my greatest advisor, because nobody can talk me off of a ledge except for her. I'm a Bronx guy, so what I want to do is what I want, and nobody can change my mind, but she does pretty frequently."
Harrigan's fast dreams came to a end, but it didn't stop him from being persistent. He texted the board, made up those two plus COO David Britt and CFO Mike Ballback, and asked them to donate blood. After Harrigan realized that literally too many people were giving blood, he asked the board if they would support a t-shirt campaign.
"I hated asking the board." Harrigan admits. "It has nothing to do with that I answer to a board because we're all good friends with the same vision, for the most part. But I hated asking the board because I was really set on just doing promotion and PR and outreach and all the paperwork before Superkick the Holidays 2 in October, and I didn't want to spring up a new fundraiser. But it was worth it--the intention was good, and we made a difference to someone struggling."
Individuals bought shirts donated an additional fee. Booster.com, the site that the Foundation worked with, noticed the success of the campaign and offered the design in a tank top, hoodie, and women's shirts. The campaign moved an unprecedented amount of shirts in a mere 14 days.
"It was a good fundraiser, for sure. It proved to me, personally, that we weren't a one trick pony with how successful Superkick the Holidays was. It proved that we can in fact run a good campaign, and that people can trust us. We tweeted out an image of the receipt to prove that everyone's money went where we promised. In the documentary [The Party], there's a number of scenes where we show the receipts, and if we're not 501(c)3 by October 1, we'll show the receipt for that. We don't finagle with people's cash. But we made a difference to a world that pro wrestling fans are embracing more and more. I also kind of saw it as a fitting tribute to Chris Kanyon, who really got dogged by WWE and absolutely led to his decline. So, I guess this was for you, Kanyon, and the 49 lost."
The Superkick Foundation is proud of this campaign and will have a collection of images of those who donned the Superkick Hate tee-shirt.