PRESS RELEASE: Sports Philanthropy Draft Challenge

April 21, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  Contact: Roy Kessel 312-498-4653


The Sports Philanthropy Network and Rivals Media are excited to announce the launch of the Sports Philanthropy Draft Challenge. 

“With a lack of regular sporting events due to the COVID-19 crisis, we are excited to offer this opportunity to the many football fans around the country,” said John Cioe, CEO of Rivals Media.  “We are excited to partner with the Sports Philanthropy Network to help them raise funds to support organizations that have been heavily impacted by the coronavirus.”

“The Sports Philanthropy Draft Challenge is the perfect opportunity for us to engage our national network of sports organizations, athlete foundations and other sports enthusiasts,” said Roy Kessel, Founder of the Sports Philanthropy Network. “Rivals has developed a terrific platform to help nonprofit organizations raise money to support their work in the community.  We are proud to launch this initiative to raise funds for the organizations impacted by the current crisis.  We know that the draft will attract a lot of attention as the first live event in many weeks.”

The Sports Philanthropy Draft Challenge can be found at the URL:

The Challenge asks participants to make selections and answer questions about the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday, April 23, 2020.   There is no fee to enter and each participant will be able to enter four separate contests relating to each set of eight picks in the first round.  The contests will consist of the following sets of picks:

Contest 1:        Picks 1 to 8

Contest 2:        Picks 9 to 16

Contest 3:        Picks 17 to 24

Contest 4:        Picks 25 to 32

“The Sports Philanthropy Draft Challenge will add excitement to the draft and we know that in this time of crisis, many fans are looking for ways to help support organizations performing important work in thei community,” said Cioe.  “We have seen the high-level of engagement that the draft creates and we know that the Sports Philanthropy Draft Challenge will garner national attention for many important causes.”

“We are excited to be presented with this opportunity to help so many organizations,” said Kessel.  “Over the last 20 years in the sports industry, I have seen the power that sports have to make a positive impact in the community Sports philanthropy drives social change, impacts underserved communities, breaks down barriers and fights for social justice. We know that by raising money to help fund programs, we can increase collaboration among the leadership and staff of many amazing organizations. Raising these funds will allow us to provide organizations with the financial resources they need to grow and thrive so that they can continue building stronger, healthier and more inclusive communities.”

About the Sports Philanthropy Network:  The Sports Philanthropy Network is a national organization focused on providing educational resources, tools and connections for sports related non-profit organizations.  Among these tools are media coverage, an event calendar highlighting upcoming sports philanthropy events, professional development training and resources, podcasts, webinars and a blog that covers sports philanthropy topics. The Sports Philanthropy Network is operating through a fiscal sponsorship with Players Philanthropy Fund (Federal Tax ID: 27-66011178), a Maryland charitable trust with federal tax-exempt status as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Contributions to the Sports Philanthropy Network are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. For more information, visit:

About Rivals Media:             Founded by John Cioe, Rivals Media is a media production company that creates original live sports, entertainment and esports programming.  Rivals Media uses its own and outside programming with its proprietary fan engagement platform to create live digital gamified experiences for athletes, celebrities, artists, teams and leagues to raise awareness and money for causes and partner charities.  Fans are encouraged to donate through the platform and are incentivized by being eligible to win prizes.  Rivals Media gamifies live sports and entertainment events with fun challenges like picking the order of songs at a U2 concert, hits and runs at an Major League Baseball game, picking the coin flip and score at a football game, closest to the pin at a PGA Tour event or the winners of an award show like The OSCARS! Rivals MEDIA partners with events and charities to market to their existing fans and donor base for micro donations (typically less than $10 per challenge). Rivals creates custom video campaigns utilized across social media and email campaigns for each event. For more information, visit:

Roy Kessel

Roy Kessel

Roy Kessel is the Founder of the Sports Philanthropy Network. Roy has worked in the sports business world for over 20 years including serving as an instructor in Northwestern University's graduate Sports Management Program. Having served as a sports lawyer representing athletes, entrepreneurs and start-up businesses, Roy has extensive experience helping organizations improve their strategy, marketing, communications and leadership development.
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