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

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

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    Catherine Cheney

    Catherine Cheney is a Senior Reporter for Devex. She covers the West Coast of the U.S., focusing on the role of technology and innovation in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. And she frequently represents Devex as a speaker and moderator. Prior to joining Devex, Catherine earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Yale University, worked as a web producer for POLITICO and reporter for World Politics Review, and helped to launch NationSwell. Catherine has reported from all over the world, and freelanced for outlets including the Atlantic and the Washington Post. She is also the West Coast ambassador for the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit that trains and connects journalists to cover responses to problems.