(Super Bowl 50 will be held in Levi’s Stadium, San Francisco)

Organizers for Super Bowl 50 are not only hoping for a tremendous showdown between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos. They also have their sights on marrying philanthropy to the highly popular annual competition in an unprecedented way.

Daniel Lurie – the founder and CEO of Tipping Point Community – was selected to serve as the chairman for the host committee in San Francisco. The leading Bay Area philanthropist has received accolades for his work fighting poverty; his organization screens and funds a number of highly vaunted nonprofits on a yearly basis.

Lurie’s position as chairman of the host committee has him working as the de facto ambassador for the city as it plans the upcoming Super Bowl.

Lurie:

I was a little surprised when I was asked. I thought we should go and find some business CEO, but after thinking about it I really realized the opportunity we had to change the way we think about how we bid on these events… and how we put community first.

The popular philanthropist plans on working with a number of all-star players including Marshawn Lynch, Justin Tuck, and Ronnie Lott in order to make the NFL’s flagship philanthropic effort – the 50 Fund – a success. Lurie hopes to surpass the NFL’s fundraising goal of $13 million. The fund raises money for youth development, providing low-income communities with sports and educational opportunities, as well as environmental measures that connect communities with the natural world.

Recently, however, there have been protests in San Francisco. The increase in media attention has opened up the nation to a number of issues facing the Bay Area, including sky-rocketing rent and seemingly intractable homelessness.

“We’ve had a [homelessness] problem here in the Bay Area for decades,” Lurie said in response to the criticism leveled at the city for accepting the Super Bowl. “This is not a Super Bowl issue, it’s a Bay Area issue… I love this city, and I love the region. I love the growth that we’re seeing, but I also know not everyone is involved in our economy and how great things are going.”

Whatever the criticism, a successful philanthropist running the most success ever 50 Fund may be the positive press that the NFL needs after a year of scandals ranging from domestic violence to concussion-induced brain damage in players.

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