The South Carolina football program's participation in the Wounded Warrior Project helped the organization net over $140,000, Gamecocks' Athletics Director Eric Hyman announced Thursday.
"This was one of the best, if not the best, program we have supported in my time at South Carolina," Hyman said. "It was one of the largest single-day fund raiser the Wounded Warrior Project has ever had. Not only did we provide the Wounded Warriors with some much-needed dollars, but also generated a tremendous amount of positive publicity for the organization."
Under Armour black and desert camouflage uniforms featuring the Wounded Warrior Project logo were developed to honor the sacrifices made by those who have served and those that continue to serve in our nation's Armed Forces. The custom-made jerseys were worn by South Carolina and Maryland against Florida and Virginia Tech, respectively, on November 14, 2009.
The gameday jerseys, which included the warrior character traits of Duty, Honor, Courage, Commitment, Integrity, Country and Service in place of the players' last names, proved popular as a total of 227 jerseys were auctioned off between the two schools to raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project.
The online auction of the gameday jerseys worn by South Carolina football players netted approximately $80,000, with the highest bid going for Eric Norwood's number 40 at $3,715. In addition, a dozen footballs signed by head coaches Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer were auctioned off, and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of custom fan gear pushed South Carolina's contribution to the Wounded Warriors to over $92,000. Combined with the contributions from Under Armour and Gear For Sports, over $275,000 was invested into the promotion of the two games.
"We are extremely thankful to Under Armour and both universities for their support of this special initiative," said Steven Nardizzi, executive director of the Wounded Warrior Project. "The success of the auction and overwhelming interest in these specially created uniforms speaks volumes about the unique ways we can give back to the men and women who have served and sacrificed so much."
Wounded Warrior Project is an apolitical nonprofit organization whose mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors. WWP serves to raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women, to help severely injured service members aid and assist each other and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.