Russell Wilson Leads Team to Victory in Alaska Plane Pull

Jul 28, 2015, 18:50 ET from Alaska Airlines

SEATTLE, July 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Alaska Airlines' Chief Football Officer Russell Wilson led his team to victory this morning in the Alaska Plane Pull for Strong Against Cancer.

Funds raised at today's event go directly to research in immunotherapy treatments developed by the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Seattle Children's Research Institute. In clinical trials, this breakthrough treatment has had a 91 percent success rate. Since the launch of Strong Against Cancer in 2014, Alaska has contributed more than $350,000 in cash and in-kind donations. In total, the plane pull raised an additional $30,490 that will be used to help find a cure for childhood cancer.

Wilson faced off against actor and comedian Joel McHale in the plane pull, competing to see whose team could pull a 92,000-pound Alaska Airlines 737-800 25 feet in the shortest amount of time, as well as whose team could raise the most money for Strong Against Cancer. Teams were made up of Alaska and Horizon Air maintenance and engineering employees and local winners of a Facebook contest. Team Russell successfully pulled the jet 25 feet in 16.9 seconds, with Team Joel coming in at over a minute. (A second pull by Team Joel actually netted a time of 15.6 seconds, but was unofficial.) All agreed that Strong Against Cancer was the real winner.

"Russell is a great guy, and a great fit for Alaska," said Joe Sprague, Alaska's senior vice president of communications and external relations. "He's known for his hard work, down-to-earth attitude and commitment helping youth in our community. The entire team at Alaska thanks both Russell and Joel for coming out in support of this great cause."

As Alaska's Chief Football Officer, Wilson works with the airline to support youth and education programs. Among them are the Russell Wilson Passing Academy, which provides inner-city and underprivileged youth an opportunity to attend football camp for a once-in-a-lifetime experience; and Strong Against Cancer, a multi-year initiative dedicated to ending childhood cancer.

Fans are encouraged to continue the fun and vote for their favorite team by texting "TEAMJOEL" or "TEAMRUSSELL" to 501501 to donate $10 to Strong Against Cancer.* Tweets, photos and videos of the event can be viewed using the hashtag #AlaskaPlanePull on Twitter and Instagram. (Texting charges may apply depending on the carrier.)

Editor's note: Photos from Alaska Airlines' Plane Pull are available for download at High-definition b-roll of the plane pull is also available for download at

Alaska Airlines, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together with its partner regional airlines, serves more than 100 cities through an expansive network in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Alaska Airlines ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers in North America" in the J.D. Power North America Airline Satisfaction Study for eight consecutive years from 2008 to 2015. Alaska Airlines' Mileage Plan also ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Airline Loyalty Rewards Programs" in the J.D. Power 2014 and 2015 Airline Loyalty/Rewards Program Satisfaction Report. For reservations, visit For more news and information, visit Alaska Airlines' newsroom at




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SOURCE Alaska Airlines