Fans of the CW hit Arrow are devoted to the show because of its intricate action, great story archs, complex characters and much, much more. Fans of its leading man however are devoted to him for very different reasons. Those who just know Stephen Amell as the man under the hood need to take a closer look. The relationship that he has built with his fan-base is unrivaled, and for very good reason – he is just as devoted to them as they are to him. Just follow him on Facebook and in one week you’ll see the level of interaction and engagement that he proactively fosters. Responding to fan questions, hosting Meme Monday and Fan Art Friday events, live streaming Q&A sessions and frequent contests are just a few of the reasons why he truly is The Captain of his fandom. Even more importantly, Stephen Amell is a philanthropist who uses his stardom for the good of others. Emily’s House recently experienced this first hand when Mr. Amell spun his appearance on WWE’s SummerSlam into a fundraising campaign for the Toronto-based hospice for children and families specializing in end of life care. He pulled in some serious money for an amazing cause and he’s not stopping there.
Our campaign for Emily’s House in Toronto raised $228,867.60 (USD) in just under 6 days.
— Stephen Amell (@amellywood) August 27, 2015
Now, he’s taking a second shot at cancer with a t-shirt fundraising campaign. We had the chance to sit down with the winner of the t-shirt logo design contest, Jeff Tasca. Jeff is an accomplished visual artist who happened to catch The Captains eye with his design skills and he’s here to discuss what its like to work on such a meaningful campaign with one of his favorite actors.
First things first Jeff. Tell us about the F*ck Cancer fundraising campaign.
TASCA: It’s actually the 2nd annual t-shirt campaign and after the success of the first one last year, Stephen Amell wanted to do it again. To anyone that doesn’t know, the campaign helps raise money for the charity F*ck Cancer which is an organization that promotes early detection and support for those affected by cancer. They also host parties in both the U.S. and Canada to support and raise money for the charity and it’s a charity that Stephen holds in very high regard.
TASCA: Well, I had previously created a logo of the Toronto Green Arrows. Somehow, Stephen actually saw it and was a big fan of it. He had wanted to use it in the next campaign but the powers that be put the brakes on that idea due to trademark issues. He did mention however that we would do something again together at some point. Then, this campaign came about and he asked me to check out the contest he was running. I was so blown away. He had a Facebook post to get some of his design ideas out there and get feedback on logo ideas from his fans. After talking with him, I worked up an idea and submitted it.
And he chose your design out of hundreds, if not thousands of submissions?
TASCA: He did!
Alright, time to dish. What’s it like working with The Captain?!
TASCA: It’s Awesome! It’s so amazing how he interacts with his fans and gets them involved in things. I was so honoured to be asked to help support this campaign as cancer has affected people close to me. He is such a nice guy and working with him has made me an even bigger fan of his.
TASCA: Well, I can’t say that I didn’t feel a bit of pressure when Stephen recognized my work – It is the Captain after all! With anything I design, I try to get as much info as I can in terms of what someone is looking for, and then build from that. I put down a few ideas and then run with the one that seems to be coming together the easiest/best. I knew Stephen was looking for something that resembled a round sports logo and it had to incorporate a cancer ribbon, the f*ck cancer logo and his face/head/profile. I wanted to have something in the logo that gave a nod to Arrow but I knew I couldn’t be too blatant about it considering the trouble we had with the Toronto Green Arrows logo. I decided to stay away from the colour green and was able to work in an arrow wrapping around. My wife also felt that the image of Amell giving the thumbs up with the baseball cap on would be a good image to use in the logo. I agreed and we went with it. I did some adjustments, adding the previous design from the first F*ck Cancer campaign onto his hat and tying it all together with the ribbon. After he saw it I just had to do a few minor tweaks that he suggested. Once we finalized it I did a ‘family friendly’ version of it as well. I actually work on sports apparel for a living so doing something with a sports logo feel to it was right up my alley. We’re both really happy with the way it turned out.
Before we wrap up, what are the goals of this years F*ck Cancer campaign and how can people support such a great cause?
TASCA: Last year’s campaign sold 66,419 shirts and raised over a million dollars for F*ck Cancer. Knowing how competitive Stephen Amell is, I would say the goal is to surpass last year’s goal by as much as possible. To support the campaign you can buy a shirt, hoodie or tank top at represent.com/stephen or represent.com/familyfriendly. Or you can go to letsfcancer.com if you’d like to learn more about the charity or just donate. Also keep an eye on Stephen’s Facebook page, as he’s always posting updates and info.
You heard him Geekos. Join Jeff and Stephen Amell himself in this most worthy cause via the links above. Let’s fight cancer together, for those we love and those we’ve lost. Many thanks.
Are you a Toronto Blue Jays fan? Hopefully an Arrow fan too? Check out our Arrow/Blue Jays mash-up below. They will not fail this city!