Are you a superfan? Do you want to do something great for your state? Well, then it's about time you checked out whether or not you can get a sports team-themed vanity plate! Illinois just released one for the Chicago Bears, and it's obviously a win-win for both fans of DA BEARS and the state of Illinois, which could really use the extra cash for education. (Some of my best friends are teachers there; they deserve more money! Just sayin'.)
And that's how it works. With the Bears plates, $25 from each plate goes to the Professional Sports Teams Education Fund and will be earmarked for the Common School Fund, which supports public schools throughout Illinois.
When hearing about this, I couldn't help but wonder if there are other states who have been doing the same thing, because it is pretty brilliant. Here, teams around the country with license plates that are not only fun for showcasing your pride while wheeling around town, but are also linked to a good cause.
Arizona Diamondbacks: This MLB team gives $17 for each plate to the Professional Sport Franchise Foundation for youth education/development, and for housing and healthcare for low-income persons.
Florida Marlins: Florida residents get a wide variety of plates, and this is one of them. If you want to show your love for the Marlins, 10 percent goes to the Florida Marlins Community Foundation, which benefits South Florida's youth. Since the debut of the license tag, the program has generated more than $91,000 for the Youth Foundation! Not bad!
Florida Panthers: You can support the Sunshine State's hockey team by buying this plate. Ten percent of proceeds go to the Florida Panthers Foundation, which focuses on children's health, fitness, education, and cultural needs. Sales of this plate have already raised $163,000!
Texas Rangers: From the $30 specialty plate fee, $22 goes to the Arlington Sports Facility Development Authority for maintenance and improvement of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. (Well, it's not for kids, but I guess it'll do.)
Miami Heat: Ten percent of proceeds from this basketball team's vanity plate go to the Miami HEAT Charitable Fund, which supports programs for the betterment of at-risk families in South Florida, such as a domestic violence shelter for women and children, the Jackson Memorial Foundation’s Guardian Angels and Holtz Children’s Hospital, and the Miami Coalition for a Safe and Drug-Free Community. They've already raised $369,000 since they premiered this plate!
Boston Red Sox: One of the priciest team plates, but clearly one of the most beloved, the Red Sox plate is a hot commodity! So much so that the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles says they're running out of the plates! The special plate fee is $40, but $28 goes to the Jimmy Fund/Red Sox Foundation, a children's charity that serves New England.
Chicago Cubs: My favorite baseball team has a lot of loyal fans in Illinois. That's why the state was smart to do a vanity plate in Wrigley Field's team's honor. Like the Bears plate, proceeds go to the Professional Sports Teams Education Fund.
Cinncinati Reds: $25 from this plate goes towards the Reds Community Fund, the official non-profit organization of the Cincinnati Reds that is dedicated to improving the lives of youth.
Cleveland Indians: This baseball franchise's name may not be the most PC, but they are supporting the local community by using $25 from each plate to attract amateur regional, national, and international sporting events to the municipal corporation, county, or township in which it is located.
Looks like some teams are a bit stingier than others, but you gotta give 'em credit for trying! I've always been a little skeptical about those crazy salaries pro-athletes make, so it's nice to see a way in which pro-sports teams are giving back to the communities that root for them.
Do you have or would you get a sports vanity plate for your favorite team?