Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott broke a franchise record for rushing touchdowns last night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but it was eclipsed by his touchdown celebration jumping into a large Salvation Army pot. After the celebration, according to ESPN, the Salvation Army saw a 61-percent increase in donations for a similar period of time.
The Salvation Army saw $182,000 in donations in 12.5 hours after the jump. It may seem difficult to put a price on the publicity of the celebration, but president of sponsorship evaluation firm Apex Marketing Group, Eric Smallwood, estimated it is worth roughly $4 million in advertising exposure.
According to ESPN, as of last week, donations to the Salvation Army were down 16 percent compared to last year, Lt. Col Ron Busroe said. Six percent of the red holiday campaign donations come from online.
Zeke likes to play hide-and-seek in places other than Salvation Army bells. Here are a few places we found him.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett wasn’t thrilled with Zeke’s celebration and told him to be careful when celebrations lead to penalties.
It was called excessive celebration and the Cowboys received a 15-yard penalty and many thought he would likely be fined by the league. Elliott said if he was fined he would match the fine and donate to the Salvation Army.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones liked the touchdown celebration and challenged the NFL after the game. An excessive celebration fine is $12,154, but NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy tweeted Monday morning Elliott would not be fined.
Elliott, who had planned to match a fine with a donation, tweeted he would still donate.
Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. tweeted that he doesn’t think the league treats all players equally. OBJ has been fined several times for excessive celebration by the NFL.
It’s a matter of opinion, but OBJ’s celebrations tend to be more dramatic and certainly more frequent.
Elliot set the franchise record for rushing touchdowns by a rookie when he rushed for a two-yard touchdown in the second quarter. He has rushed for 13 touchdowns this season. Herschel Walker and Tony Dorsett are tied for second place with 12 touchdowns in a rookie season.
He finished the game with 159 rushing yards on 23 carries.