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How did the Kylie Kelce-signed jacket spark a husband-wife bidding war that raised $100,000 for Eagles Autism Foundation?

Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney
Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney

"The power of nostalgia" led Philadelphia native and actor Rob McElhenney to bid on a '90s Kelly Green Letterman Jacket signed by Kylie Kelce.

But who would have thought what it would become?

"I knew as soon as we engaged Kylie, our literal princess of Philadelphia, the jacket would create incredible buzz," said Ryan Hammond, the Executive Director of the Eagles Autism Foundation.

The Eagles Autism Foundation auctioned off the signed jacket as part of its Gameday Auction in November, with all proceeds going to autism research.

McElhenney, the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia star, made his bidding public on social media from day one.

"The Kelly Green coloring and that design takes me back to the time when I was a kid and first fell in love with the Eagles," McElhenney said.

Unbeknownst to McElhenney, his wife, actress Kaitlin Olson, was secretly outbidding him.

Like her husband, Olson was also a star on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and shares the same love for her adopted city's football team.

"I'm a big Eagles fan and I love a great throwback anything," Olson said. "But truly, the Eagles Autism Foundation is doing such incredible, important work, and we're always looking for ways to support. I just thought it would be funny to quietly outbid Rob since he forgot to inform me of his plans for our shared bank account."

Kylie Kelce models the jacket that she autographed.
Kylie Kelce models the jacket that she autographed.

McElhenney eventually stopped his bidding at $62,000, honoring his favorite player of all time, No. 62 Jason Kelce.

Of course, that was not the final bid. The foundation announced that an "anonymous" donor had made the highest offer when the auction closed.

Olson revealed her master plan on the New Heights podcast hosted by Jason and Travis Kelce. She mentioned on the November 29th episode that the jacket was “clearly for women.”

"I kind of missed that part even though they were making it abundantly clear," McElhenney said. "The jacket was literally being worn by Kylie Kelce! I think in my excitement I skipped any rational analysis and went straight to impulse-buy mode."

The signed jacket has since arrived, and Olson made it abundantly clear that she was the winner, and the jacket was hers.

"He can try it on from time to time, but only with a sign pinned to his back saying 'this coat belongs to my wife,'" Olson said.

While the bidding war was all fun and games for the couple, their real reason for getting the jacket was to support the Eagles Autism Foundation.

The public exposure has directly impacted funding for the foundation.

"Having influential members of the community become ambassadors is something you can't put a value on," Hammond said. "In all, we increased philanthropy, followers, and, most importantly, our impact!"

"It's so important for us to support the Eagles Autism Foundation because the world is made up of beautifully neurodiverse people, all of whom deserve the opportunity to be understood and included," Olson said.

Kaitlin Olson shows off the prize.
Kaitlin Olson shows off the prize.

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