Today’s Sign is Tomorrow’s Backpack

We believe we have a responsibility to support and lift-up local communities because our customers and employees call those communities home. Through Banners to Backpacks, we transform signs from events we sponsor into useful items that make a difference in the community long after the event ends.  

It’s a Slam Dunk: Banners to Backpacks is coming to Chicago for 2020 NBA All-Star! – Feb. 13, 2020

Following NBA All-Star, AT&T and the NBA will upcycle the signs and banners used at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Ill., transforming them into 3,250 useful items that will be distributed in communities through NBA Cares and AT&T Believe Chicago.

What makes upcycling different from recycling? The materials don’t need to be broken down before they’re reused. The patterns for backpacks and bags will be cut directly from 12,000 sq. ft. of existing vinyl mesh and fabric signage used throughout the events held at the arena, including the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game presented by Ruffles and the NBA All-Star Practice and All-Star Media Day presented by AT&T.

The materials will be transformed into 1600 backpacks and pencil bags.  NBA Cares and AT&T will work alongside local community partners to distribute these items back into the local Chicago community in the months ahead.

Banners to Backpacks launched in 2018 during the AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament.  Since then, more than 500 employees have helped distribute upcycled items like backpacks filled with school supplies or drawstring bags filled with toiletries to support communities in 8 cities across four states.  Over 77,000 items have been created by upcycling more than 223,000 square feet of material – enough material to cover Navy Pier’s Centennial Wheel ferris wheel about 3 times. 

Fore! A Good Cause: AT&T Expands Banners to Backpacks Program at AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am – Feb. 3, 2020

We’re playing another round.

Last year, we brought our Banners to Backpacks program to the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, creating 500 backpacks for Monterey County students made from banners and signs used around the course. Now, we’re doubling our impact with plans to support 1,000 Monterey County students when they head back to school this Fall. 

After the tournament, we will gather scrim – the material that wraps bleachers and scoreboards – and  other materials to create backpacks for local students. Our employees will fill the bags with school supplies and distribute them just in time for back-to-school season in August.

In 2019, we gathered 10,000 yards of signage and scrim from the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am to create 1,000 backpacks and other items used as corporate give-aways. 500 of those backpacks were given to students supported by the Boys and Girls Club of in Monterey County, and an additional 500 went to support students in Sacramento, California. 

Since the program began in 2018, we’ve upcycled more than 220,000 sq ft of material, creating more than 77,000 items which have been distributed in communities across four states.

Learn more about AT&T’s social responsibility efforts at

Banners to Backpacks 2020 – Jan. 31, 2020

Every year, tons of materials are created for AT&T-sponsored events, concerts and conferences, pointing fans in the right direction and highlighting corporate initiatives. AT&T’s Banners to Backpacks program upcycles this material into useful items that can help people in the communities long after the event ends. What makes upcycling different from recycling? The materials don’t need to be broken down before they’re reused. The patterns for backpacks and bags are cut directly from the existing signs.

Banners to Backpacks launched during the 2018 AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament in Dallas, Texas. Since then, our employees have helped distribute 77,000 upcycled items to community members in 8 cities across 4 states. We’ve upcycled more than 223,000 square feet – more than 30 tons – of material into 77,000 items for communities.  Items like backpacks filled with school supplies for students or string sacks filled with toiletries for homeless individuals. 

We’re expanding the program in 2020, upcycling even more materials, engaging more employees and distributing upcycled items Georgia and Illinois.