american idol gives back

Idol Gives Back

Client: Idol Gives Back

american idol gives back


The most successful of talent shows, the juggernaut of dreams that is American Idol, has created some serious stars and been ratings gold for the Fox channel for over a decade. Idol Gives Back was an initiative conceived by Simon Fuller, with a mission to raise money and awareness of underprivileged children worldwide. Fundraising originated from a mix of donations from the television network, from sponsors such as Coca Cola, Ford, AT&T, Exxon Mobil and iTunes, as well as donations from the public.

Scope of work

Skating Panda acted as project director/producer of the Emmy-winning American Idol Special, Idol Gives Back (2007/8), including securing $17million in corporate sponsorship and philanthropic contributions in year one. A six-figure partnership agreement was negotiated with iTunes, and star names were signed up to perform on the night, including Bono and Jack Black. We organised visits to some of Kenya’s poorest communities for Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell and persuaded three US presidential candidates (Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain) to appear on the show.


Along with invaluable public awareness-raising, over $140m over two years was donated to Save the Children, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Malaria No More, UNICEF and many other charities. 

“Skating Panda has a unique understanding of where talent and brands meet and I would wholeheartedly recommend them. I worked with them on my charitable campaign fundraiser, Idol Gives Back, as part of my show, American Idol, in the United States. The extremely successful programme raised over $76million in corporate and viewer donations to benefit children and adults in poverty worldwide. Skating Panda’s involvement in Idol Gives Back was invaluable. The rich combination of private sector and non-profit experience, real understanding of production and talent, as well as clear-sighted fundraising vision helped us surpass all expectations. The commitment and flair given helped us make creative content which engaged audiences and achieved incredible fundraising totals that have set the standard for Idol Gives Back ever since.”

Simon Fuller, XIX Entertainment and creator of American Idol