Eli Manning: Teamwork, a good game plan are critical in disaster response

By Catherine Cheney 05 February 2016

NFL quarterback Eli Manning discusses a new global giving platform called FedEx Cares. via Devex YouTube channel

There may not be a readily apparent connection between disaster response and the National Football League. But according to New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, whose brother will take to the field on Super Bowl Sunday, both require a good game plan.

For Manning, disaster response requires the kind of teamwork needed to win a game. That means working with good players, or partners, he told Devex this week at the launch of FedEx Cares, the company’s new global giving program.

“FedEx has planes, they have packages, they know how to get places, but they might not know what to package. They might not know what supplies are needed,” said Manning, who lent a hand in the recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and Hurricane Sandy in New York. “You want to get the experts on all fields to come together and to get a great game plan and go execute it.”

The American Red Cross recognizes how important that expertise is in disaster response.

“When a disaster hits, we have 24 maybe 48 hours to set up an entire operation. For them to lend us their expertise on logistics, that is so valuable,” said Cliff Holtz, president of humanitarian services at the American Red Cross.

The new FedEx initiative will invest in five key areas: global entrepreneurship, road safety, employment pathways, sustainable transportation, and “delivering for good.” And in celebration of the 2016 Super Bowl, $50 million of the $200 million FedEx has committed to donate by 2020 will be an investment in delivery for disaster response resources.

Through partnerships like those with Direct Relief and the Red Cross, the company hopes to not only donate money, but also offer support in shipping, logistics and supply chains, said Patrick Fitzgerald, a marketing executive at FedEx.

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About the author

Catherine cheney devex
Catherine Cheneycatherinecheney

Catherine Cheney covers the West Coast global development community for Devex. Since graduating from Yale University, where she earned bachelor's and master's degrees in political science, Catherine has worked as a reporter and editor for a range of publications including World Politics Review, POLITICO, and NationSwell, a media company and membership network she helped to build. She is also an ambassador for the Solutions Journalism Network and the Franklin Project at the Aspen Institute.

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