NEW ORLEANS (WAFB) - A businessman behind the effort for Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans to buy a “We Dat” billboard in New Orleans says all of the funds raised have now been donated to charity after local advertising companies denied them the ability to buy the provocative billboard.
Samer Ali told WAFB on March 1 that a New Orleans advertising company backed out of a contract for the outdoor ad that was signed and paid for two weeks ago.
Ali, who is the host of a podcast about Buccaneers football called “Loose Cannons,” created a GoFundMe with his friends and fellow Bucs fans, Christian Perez and Adam Horn, on Feb. 8.
“The Loose Cannons think New Orleans needs a reminder of what happened when the games REALLY mattered... So, why not a billboard in the middle of New Orleans?” the organizers of the fundraiser wrote on the GoFundMe page on Feb. 8.
The GoFundMe raised more than $4,400 for the billboard in less than a month.
Ali tells WAFB he and his fellow organizers signed a contract with a billboard advertising company two weeks ago and wired the money to pay for the pro-Buccaneer ad one week ago.
He says organizers intended to place the “We Dat” billboard “very close” to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The businessman declined to identify the company that failed to honor the contract but says that the company is working on refunding the money to the billboard’s organizers.
Ali also says the cost of the billboard was less expensive than organizers had originally budgeted for and intended to donate the remainder of the money raised from the GoFundMe to the Arians Family Foundation.
The Arians Family Foundation, founded by Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians and his wife Christine, supports and develops programs “that strive to prevent and ameliorate the abuse and neglect of children,” according to its website.
“They do amazing work for children around the country and Tampa,” Ali explains.
He says he and his fellow “Loose Cannons” podcast hosts are “very good friends” with the Arians family.
Organizers of the “We Dat” billboard and those who contributed to the GoFundMe decided to all of the money raised from the GoFundMe to the charity.
Ali told WAFB on March 4 after GoFundMe took its cut, organizers were left with $4,100 so he and his fellow podcast hosts donated their own money to make it an even $5,000 donation to the Arians Family Foundation.
For more information about the Arians Family Foundation and how to donate, click here.
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