Amell is one of a number of stars using the newly launched platform Represent, which allows celebrities to crowd-fund merchandise. Amell’s charity of choice is F— Cancer, a group that has been near and dear to his heart ever since his mother successfully went through treatment for breast cancer. (Check out Amell’s campaign here.)
“My mom was going through chemotherapy in April of 2012 and she and I just took a photo outside of a bar in Toronto when I was visiting. I was just giving the middle finger to the camera — representing ‘f— cancer,” Amell tells The Hollywood Reporter. “At the time, I didn’t know there was a charity called F— Cancer. They got in touch via Twitter and we’ve been working together ever since.”
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The campaign has been wildly successful, with more than $120,000 in donations and 6,700 shirts sold so far. Amell is closing in on the record set by Will Ferrell and Chad Smith, who sold 8,101 drum-off T-shirts earlier this year. Amell says he hopes other people will jump on board with Represent — calling it a simple way to raise money for a good cause.
Represent co-founder Leo Seigal says Amell’s campaign resonates with fans because his followers on Facebook and Twitter are particularly invested in him.
“His communication with his fans is extremely authentic,” says Seigal. “He replies to their comments, he shares their memes and speaks to them as as though he is speaking to fans personally. I think it makes them rally around him.”
Represent says it has a number of campaigns in the pipeline, including ones featuring Seth Rogen and James Franco, as well as new campaigns with repeat customers Ferrell and Pretty Little Liars star Ian Harding.
Amell is pleased to see a global response, with shirts being ordered all over the world.
“It’s really cool, some of the places the shirts have been ordered. I’m anticipating being on vacation and seeing someone along a beach wearing a F— Cancer shirt,” he says.
Represent is an offshoot of Prizeo, which runs charity contests giving donors the chance to win experiences with celebrities — such as getting to hang out at a wolf sanctuary with George R.R. Martin. Martin and Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz are also currently running campaigns with Represent, which launched in May.
Click here to donate to Amell’s campaign.