When the video of Casey Johnstone talking about being the only Los Angeles Dodgers fan at his Bay Area school published to YouTube, the goal wasn't to make the 10-year-old into a viral video star.
His dad, Ron, just wanted to share the video with family members and friends who couldn't attend Casey's fifth-grade graduation from Lincoln Elementary in Burlingame. All the kids, as they got promoted to intermediate school, were to give a speech about a memory from fifth grade. Casey talked about wearing his Dodgers hat and jacket in a school full of Giants lovers.
The video began to spread — getting posted on blogs like this one, earning Casey a story in the L.A. Times and then an invite to throw out the first pitch at the Dodgers game on Tuesday.
Now the Johnstones have decided to not just share the video, but the profits from it too. It's not much, but YouTube pays out ad revenue to people whose videos get a lot of attention online. So far, the video of Casey's speech has been viewed 147,000 times (and climbing). That's worth $120.
So where's the money going? Would you believe, to a Giants fan?
Casey Johnstone and his family have pledged to give that $120 and any other advertising dividends that come from the video's views to Bryan Stow, the Giants fan who was severely beaten in the Dodger Stadium parking lot in 2011. Recently, Stow left his live-in rehab facility because insurance stopped paying for his care.
"We might as well do something good with it," says Ron Johnstone, who works as an attorney for Yahoo!
He and his wife came up with the idea and pitched it to Casey, who was familiar with the Bryan Stow story and agreed. Casey is far more excited to throw out the first pitch at a Dodgers game — against the Giants, no less.
"The last thing on his mind is money," Ron Johnstone told Big League Stew.
Dad hopes more people watch the video now, so more money can be raised from it. He also hopes it brings further awareness to Stow. Maybe, he figures, more people will donate money to Stow's cause just by hearing about this.
Sounds like Casey has one heck of a follow-up speech for school next year.