Tue, 04 Aug 2020

Cam the Man: Newton off the field

New England Patriots
09 Jul 2020, 20:34 GMT+10

Cam Newton is a Heisman winner, an NFL MVP and now a New England Patriot. Before Newton puts on his new jersey for the first time, we're introducing Patriots fans to the man who hardly needs an introduction.

He's much more than an athlete with a bold fashion sense, so here is what Patriots fans can expect from Newton off the field.

After most touchdowns, there is a signature Newton celebration, whether it's a dab or the Superman, but in quieter moments, Newton makes the day of young fans. Instead of keeping the football, Newton hands it off to kids in the stands.

When asked by the Charlotte Observer why he does this, Newton said it started his rookie year as a compromise with his former offensive coordinator Mike Shula. Shula didn't always love Newton celebrating, so when Newton asked what else he could do, his coach suggested what eventually became known as his "Sunday giveaways."

It didn't take long for Newton to get hooked.

"I grabbed the ball and made eye contact with a kid in the front row. And it was as if we knew each other forever. I handed him the football and it was the most priceless moment I could put my finger on up to that moment," Newton told the Observer. "Giving a child or a kid a football...is something you will cherish for your whole professional career. I've seen kids cry."

Newton's generosity extends far beyond his game-day gifts. For eight years, Newton and his foundation hosted "Cam's Thanksgiving Jam," where he served up meals for more than 1,000 children in need in Charlotte.

He also hosts an annual holiday event, Santa Cam's Surprise Sleigh, where Newton surprises local schools and after-school programs with backpacks, clothing, gifts cards and donations. In 2019, he made $130,000 worth of donations to the schools, students and faculty across the city over the course of several days.

In typical years, Newton hosts a tournament for high school teams. The 2019 Cam Newton Foundation 7 v 7 Tournament Series featured 85 high schools participating in regional tournaments over the course of the month. The top three winners of each tournament received donations for new football gear.

The Cam Newton Foundation was created in 2012, and since then, the foundation has donated more than $5 million to schools, non-profits in both Atlanta and Charlotte and other programs, according to Panthers.com.

Because of this work, Newton was the Panthers 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award nominee. Newton ultimately won the Charity Challenge.

While the font Newton uses on his social media posts is well known, it's not his only media footprint. In 2016, Newton teamed up with an entertainment firm to launch his own production company, Iconic Saga Productions. This year, the company premiered "Iron Sharpens Iron," a show on Quibi where athletes from different sports "swap training strategies." Newton is an executive producer on the show and even appeared on an episode, trading places with the Atlanta Hawks Trae Young.

Produced pieces also find a home on his YouTube channel, which has 356,000 subscribers. Newton shares personal vlogs, college highlights and behind the scenes getting ready for the Met Gala.

This is just a small slice of what Patriots fans can expect with Newton in their corner. From the fashion to the work in the community, Patriots fans can expect it all from Newton.

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