Mercedes-Benz USA and Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett shared some love — and shoes — this week.

The automaker and its brand ambassador handed out brand new shoes to students at Atlanta’s Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy as part of MBUSA’s Holiday Love Celebration giveback. The company teamed up with Shoes That Fit, a nonprofit organization that gives children new athletic shoes, for the all-day event in the school’s gym.

“Bringing joy to these students during the holidays is a privilege, and I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with Mercedes-Benz and organizations like Shoes That Fit to make a difference in these kids’ lives,” said Jarrett, a two-time Pro Bowl selection. “Atlanta is not just where I play, it’s my home, and I can’t wait to see the amazing things they accomplish for this community.”

Jarrett helped MBUSA employee volunteers deliver shoes and bring holiday cheer to students at the MBUSA partner school, where the Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders and the team’s costumed mascot Freddie the Falcon also made an appearance.

The winter wonderland-themed celebration featured a photo booth display, holiday cookies, a live DJ, a snow machine and more.

“Celebrating the holidays with brand new shoes gives our students the confidence to continue being their best selves,” Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy principal Tiffany Brown said. “We extend our utmost gratitude to Mercedes-Benz and Shoes That Fit for making this possible and for spreading holiday cheer throughout our school.”

MBUSA will also deliver new shoes to every attending student at Atlanta’s Leonora P. Miles Intermediate Elementary and Windy Hill Elementary School in Jacksonville, Fla.

The giveback program is part of MBUSA’s national corporate social responsibility mission, Driving Your Future, aimed at empowering the next generation.

“In the spirit of giving, Mercedes-Benz is proud to continue our work with Shoes That Fit to ensure every child walks confidently into a brighter future,” MBUSA president and CEO Dimitris Psillakis said. “We believe in empowering young minds to nurture their success, and we’re thrilled to be able to fulfill that commitment this holiday season.”

Since its founding in 1992, Shoes That Fit has provided more than 2 million pairs of shoes and other necessities to children across the U.S. The organization said as a result of its efforts, 62% of schools have reported an improvement of students’ behavior and 87% reported an improvement of students’ self-esteem.

MBUSA said it will match donations to Shoes That Fit through its partnership website.

Carvana extends partnership with USL soccer team

Carvana announced a multi-year extension of its partnership with Phoenix Rising FC, the reigning champion of the Division II United Soccer League’s USL Championship.

“Carvana’s continued support since 2018 has helped propel this franchise to the top of the USL Championship with three Western Conference titles, a regular-season championship and now a USL Championship in six years,” Phoenix Rising FC president Bobby Dulle said. “Off the field, this partnership has allowed our organizations to create valuable community initiatives that we will look to expand on in the next three years.

“We are proud to represent the Carvana brand on the jerseys of our first team and we look forward to adding their logo to the jerseys of aspiring players in our youth club.”

Since the partnership was established in 2018, Carvana has served as the Phoenix, Ariz.-based club’s front-of-kit sponsor, with the Carvana name on the front of its uniforms.

In addition to winning the 2023 league title, the team also inaugurated a new stadium in Phoenix during that span.

In 2024, Carvana is expanding its kit sponsorship to include Rising FC’s youth programs, which provide development opportunities, competitions and a college advisory program for young athletes in the Phoenix and Prescott, Ariz., areas.

“Carvana takes great pride in extending our partnership with Phoenix Rising FC,” Carvana chief brand officer Ryan Keeton said. “Our shared values of excellence, accessibility and community impact have formed the foundation of this enduring collaboration.

“By expanding our uniform sponsorship to include Rising FC’s youth teams, we aim to amplify our commitment to nurturing talent and fostering a love for the sport among young athletes in Arizona.”