FranksWine Supports Jason Kelce’s Foundation After NFL Dispute

Following a playful online dispute with the NFL over an image of a shirtless Jason Kelce, FranksWine partners with Labatt Brewing Company to support Kelce's charity foundation, (Be)Philly.

It all started on Tuesday, January 23, when Frank Pagliaro, owner of FranksWine in Wilmington, posted a photo on Instagram. The photo featured an image of Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce (yes, that image of Jason Kelceβ€”shirtless in the dead of winter, in the stands in front of the suite window, holding a can of Labatt Blue Light.)

When Pagliaro saw the image all over his social media feeds, he knew exactly what to do. The team got to work zooming in on photos to discern what beer was in Kelce’s hand. Then, as any intuitive business owner would, Pagliaro ordered cases upon cases of Labatt Blue Light, printed a blown-up poster of the Kelce photo and set up a display inside his shop on North Union Street. Then, he let his followers know.

Alongside a photo of Pagliaro proudly posing with his Labatt display, an Instagram caption states: “@frankswine has the official @nfl HairyChest BeerBelly Beer in stock!” Pagliaro went on to tag Travis Kelce, Jason Kelce, Taylor Swift and the Kansas City Chiefs official Instagram.

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“I kind of knew it would get to them,” Pagliaro explains. “I tagged everyone.”

What he didn’t count on, though, was the cease and desist letter he would receive the next day. Along with the use of Jason Kelce’s image, the NFL took issue with Pagliaro’s claim that Labatt Blue Light was “The Official HairyChest BeerBelly Beer of the NFL.”

In typical Frank Pagliaro fashion, the owner took to Instagram to clear the air with a fun and playful video, reading the cease and desist letter aloud to his followers next to the displayβ€”also shirtless, in honor of Jason Kelce. In the video, Pagliaro points out inaccuracies in the letter, but ultimately agrees that he is willing remove the imagery by the date provided. He closes out the video with a few requests in return for his understanding: Super Bowl tickets for himself and his wife, a feature on the Kelce brothers’ podcast and “a meet and greet with Tay Tay,” referring to Taylor Swift, who was also in attendance when Kelce leapt from the suite with his can of beer.

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An Unexpected Call and New Partnership

After the unpleasant letter and playful response, Pagliaro thought the situation would be resolved. The next day, though, he received a call from someone claiming to represent Jason Kelce. Pagliaro initially didn’t believe the caller.

“I thought it was a friend trying to call and mess with me,” he explains.

The caller told Pagliaro to FaceTime her, at which point she panned the camera to show Jason Kelce on the couch next to her. After a polite request from Kelce’s team, Pagliaro announced that Labatt Blue Light is not, in fact, the “Official HairyChest BeerBelly Beer of the NFL,” but is the “Official HairyChest BeerBelly Beer of FranksWine.” He also removed the poster of Jason Kelce, resolving the conflict once and for all.

But the story doesn’t end there. To replace the imagery of Kelce, Pagliaro asked his graphic designer to rework the FranksWine mascot, a loveable bullfrog named Jeremiah. An image of Jeremiah in a red and white hat with a full beard, hairy chest, beer belly and a can of Labatt Blue Light will soon be available on t-shirts as part of a partnership with the brewing companyβ€”which has been on board with the campaign from the moment the marketing team saw the first post.

Furthermore, for every 15-pack of Labatt Blue Light and every HairyChest BeerBelly shirtless Jeremiah t-shirt sold, FranksWine has committed to donating $2 to Jason Kelce’s charity foundation, (Be)Philly.

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The charity work and brand partnership are a testament to the power of social media marketing and importance of small business in local communities. With cooperation from Kelce, Pagliaro made the best of a bad situationβ€”and had fun doing it. The store’s followers appreciated the entertaining daily posts as the saga played out, and Kelce’s team was grateful for the cooperation, even mentioning a potential trip to the store with Kelce in the future.

Next time you’re in Wilmington, stop by FranksWine. Say hello to Pagliaro, snap a photo with shirtless Jeremiah and grab a case of Labatt Blue Light to support a great cause!

FranksWine | 1206 North Union Street, Wilmington | 1-800-AT-FRANKS

Related: Wilmington’s Elene Delle Donne Launched Her Own Wine Brand

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