June 18, 2009 // Franchising.com // Louisville, KY – As summer fashion season starts to sizzle, KFC is encouraging everyone – from budding fashion designers to college students – to literally design the shirts off their backs to benefit KFC Colonel's Scholars®, a charitable initiative providing students nationwide with much needed college scholarships. And, to heat things up, KFC is allowing America to vote for the top designs.
"College education is always in style so net proceeds from every Chari-T shirt sold will help deserving students pay for higher education," said Javier Benito, executive vice president of marketing and food innovation for KFC. "Via this initiative, we wanted to provide America's up-and-coming designers with a national spotlight to aid a great cause – our KFC Colonel's Scholars program."
Beginning today, KFC fans coast to coast can log on to www.KFC.com to submit their designs for this year's Chari-T's. On July 13, KFC will select the 12 top "Chari-T" looks and allow America to vote on which three designs will be sold on KFC.com and in the designers' hometowns. Shirts will sell until September 14, during which net proceeds will benefit KFC Colonel's Scholars. Additionally, all three top designers will receive Kentucky Grilled Chicken for a year in the form of KFC® gift checks, and the designer with the most votes will win a trip to New York in February, when it becomes the fashion capital of the world for a week, and $1,000 to continue a fashion career.
KFC's surprising foray into the fashion world began two years ago with trendy retro T-shirts featuring famed KFC founder Colonel Harland Sanders. Last year, KFC capitalized on the election and challenged America to choose a side – left wing or right wing – with their politically themed T-shirts.
Net proceeds from all shirts sold, in years past as well as this year, benefit KFC Colonel's Scholars. Now in its fourth year, the KFC Colonel's Scholars' mission is to empower students to improve their lives with scholarship resources. Each year, a group of 50 or more students are eligible to receive up to $20,000 over four years to pursue a bachelor's degree at an accredited public university within their home state. In 2009, 75 students received scholarships from KFC Colonel's Scholars. The program has awarded more than $5 million in scholarships since its inception.
KFC Corporation, based in Louisville, Ky., is the world's most popular chicken restaurant chain specializing in Original Recipe®, Extra Crispy™, Kentucky Grilled Chicken™ and Original Recipe Strips with home-style sides, Honey BBQ Wings, and freshly made chicken sandwiches. There are more than 15,000 KFC outlets in more than 80 countries and territories around the world, serving some 12 million customers each day. KFC Corporation is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., Louisville, Ky. (NYSE: YUM.)