Farmers Insurance donations boost athletics at two private Texas high schools

Nolan Catholic High School and All Saints’ Episcopal School, both in Fort Worth, Texas, praised the kindness of a local Farmers Insurance agent who has helped support the athletic departments at both private institutions.

“The generosity of the monetary donation helps the student-athletes at Nolan by providing some necessary health supplements and transportation support to get to our games,” said Nolan Catholic High School Athletics Director Aaron Mattox.

The Nolan Vikings and the Saints at All Saints’ Episcopal have benefited through separate partnerships facilitated by DistrictWON with Farmers Insurance agent Larry Kardaras, who heads Kardaras Insurance LLC on Sandage Avenue in Fort Worth.

Mattox explained that since partnering with DistrictWON, an Ohio-based marketing consultant that builds community ties by linking company brands with schools, “our football team has been able to promote the football program and Nolan Catholic High School through the great schedule magnets that are donated to us. I think partnering with DistrictWON helps the community see that local businesses want to support NCHS and that in turn we should support them.”

Kardaras has participated in the partnership program for several years at Nolan Catholic and at All Saints’ Episcopal.

“I get to know the coaches, some of the family members of each school, and help to identify with existing customers and their children who go to school there,” Kardaras said, noting that his donation to each school allows his company to receive signage on the fields during football season, PA announcements at games, two social media posts per school, and an on-site check presentation at each school.

“The generous check is giving back to the community and school… they love seeing businesses giving back,” said Kardaras.

The Farmers Insurance agent also said that his company uses Facebook and Instagram to help promote his agency and the schools.

“Plus, both schools are private, so the customers have more insurance needs and they are more tight knit in the community,” Kardaras said, explaining that word-of-mouth support from parents has been another benefit of the DistrictWON-facilitated partnership.

Kardaras added that he’s been doing this for the last 11 years and “can’t imagine stopping now.”

Rocky River, Ohio-based DistrictWON creates meaningful brand connections within local communities through marketing partnerships between businesses and high schools. For more information on how to reach high school students, parents and administrators in a way that truly makes a difference in the community, visit,, or follow on Twitter

Panthers, Pioneers score big with new uniforms from local Buick GMC dealership 

Several student-athletic teams at both Elyria High School and Elyria Catholic High School in Ohio suited up in new uniforms this year thanks to Nick Abraham Buick GMC.

“We truly appreciate the support of Nick Abraham Buick GMC,” said Elyria High School Athletic Director Heather Beck. “Being able to provide new uniforms for our softball team is amazing.”

The Elyria, Ohio-based dealership provided both home and away uniforms for the Pioneers’ girls softball team.

“Their support through the purchase of new uniforms for the softball program has also enabled us to be able to purchase uniforms for another team in need this year,” Beck said, adding that the partnership resonates with the community, staff, and administration of Elyria High School.

“It’s great to have a relationship with local businesses,” she said. “We look forward to partnering with them on future projects.”

Nick Abraham Buick GMC also has a partnership with Elyria Catholic High School (ECHS), according to Michael Abraham, president of the company, which provided new uniforms to the Panthers’ girls basketball team, as well as for both girls and boys track and field.

“I actually went to Elyria Catholic, my dad went to Elyria Catholic, my sisters attended Elyria Catholic, and my daughters are both going to Elyria Catholic,” said Abraham. “So, it is definitely great to be a uniform sponsor at Elyria Catholic and at Elyria High.”

“We want to do anything that we can to help both schools get to the next level,” he said.

The financial contribution that ECHS received from Nick Abraham Buick GMC was greatly appreciated by all members of the Elyria Catholic community, said Jim Piazza, athletic director of ECHS.

“Thanks to the generous support of Nick Abraham Buick GMC, a financial burden was taken off of the EC Athletic Department,” Piazza said. “Because we did not have to fundraise to replace the basketball and track uniforms, we were able to use our resources for other areas of our program.”

Abraham also said that the uniforms provided to the student-athletes through the DistrictWON partnership and the related functions are beneficial for his company, too.

For instance, the dealership participated in a halftime event at Elyria Catholic where Buick GMC employees got to go out on the basketball court and hand out free company T-shirts.

“It went really, really, really well,” said Abraham. “We handed out a lot of T-shirts that we had and a lot of people in the crowd were wearing them, so that was a great thing. And we got to see the new uniforms being worn.”

At the same time, Abraham said he’s talked to the coaches and a lot of the kids and their parents, who told him they truly appreciated the new uniforms. And he said the quality of the shirts is very nice.

“It’s been a good partnership so far,” he added. “We would definitely be interested in doing it again, for sure.”

And ECHS would welcome a long-lasting partnership, as well.

“We consider this partnership to be a blessing to both the EC Athletic Department and the entire school,” Piazza said.

Rocky River, Ohio-based DistrictWON creates meaningful brand connections within local communities through marketing partnerships between businesses and high schools. For more information on how to reach high school students, parents and administrators in a way that truly makes a difference in the community, visit https://www.districtwon.com, or follow on Twitter.

Stallions on receiving end of Farmers Insurance support

The co-owners of a local Ohio Farmers Insurance agency have been a blessing to the entire St. Francis DeSales High School community, says Stallions Athletic Director Tom Neubert.

Sam Chapman, agency owner of the Westerville, Ohio, Farmers Insurance, and his brother Patrick Chapman, co-owner, “continually share their time, talent and treasure for the benefit of our students, athletes, and school,” Neubert said. “They are a fixture within our community and we are forever grateful for the sacrifices they have made for the betterment of our great school.”

The Chapmans are graduates of St. Francis DeSales High School, a co-educational college prep high school in Columbus, Ohio. For the past several years, they’ve been giving back to the high school through a public-private partnership facilitated by DistrictWON.

In 2021, for instance, the brothers provided the Stallions with new football uniforms for the entire team. And in 2021 and 2022, they donated fan T-shirts for high school football games. Currently, they’re also looking into possibly supporting the basketball team, as well as one of the girls’ teams.

“We’re trying to figure out what team needs something and then we’ll work with DistrictWON and with their connections to help us get the really good prices on everything,” said Sam Chapman.

“We have so many great families that have given so much and Sam and Pat are at the top of that list. I am blessed to call them both my friends,” the athletic director said. “They both are always willing to unselfishly help out with anything that we may need and are cornerstones to what makes our community so special.”

Sam Chapman said once DistrictWON set up the branch for Farmers Insurance to work with St. Francis DeSales High School, he and his brother have donated Stallion T-shirts each year for the school’s summer camps.

“Our logos are on the backs of all these kids going to the campus at school, which is really neat,” Chapman said.

The brothers and their wives also volunteer at the concession stand for Friday Night Football games, wearing their Farmers Insurance shirts and ballcaps, proving that the DistrictWON partnership they have with the high school benefits both sides.

For instance, working such events offers Chapman a chance to reach someone who wants to get a quote on their car insurance to add a student in the household who’s turning 16 or 17 and getting a driver’s license.

“You just don’t know who you’re going to meet during the games,” Chapman said. “It could be someone you sold a hot dog to on Friday night and then on Monday, that person is walking into your office asking for a quote. People recognize the value of volunteerism.”

“It’s been really powerful. It really has,” he added.

Having been a Farmers Insurance agent for nearly 35 years, Chapman’s hard work at the agency and in the community has earned him distinction as one of only 10 members named to the Farmers Hall of Fame in 2019. He’s also the only agent on the East Coast bearing that title.

“It just signifies that the company recognizes what we do to represent Farmers,” said Chapman. “It is quite an achievement for us to make. It means a lot and it’s quite an honor.”

Chapman thinks every Farmers Insurance agency should team up with their high schools’ athletic departments because the company brand can be advertised to an entire community for the duration of a sporting event. “And you just can’t buy that kind of reach through regular advertising dollars,” he said.

Rocky River, Ohio-based DistrictWON creates meaningful brand connections within local communities through marketing partnerships between businesses and high schools. For more information on how to reach high school students, parents, and administrators in a way that truly makes a difference in the community, visit,, or follow on Twitter.

Farmers Insurance owner helps Longview Lobos build character, school success 

Student athletes throughout the Longview Independent School District (ISD) in East Texas are gaining a diversified set of benefits derived from a successful marketing partnership DistrictWON created for the ISD and a local Farmers Insurance agency.

On one side of the public-private partnership, the monetary support from the Longview, Texas-based Farmers Insurance for the Longview ISD community has allowed the Lobo sports teams to provide new game uniforms to its girls and boys basketball teams, according to Longview ISD Athletic Director and Head Football Coach John King.

“That, in turn, allows those two sports to use their equipment budget for needed items we would not be able to purchase,” King explained. “And the monetary donation will be used for other athletic teams in areas not covered by their budget.”

Support from Farmers Insurance also helps make positive differences in the ISD’s athletic and activities programs, said the athletic director.

“Support from Farmers Insurance assists us in ways our budget will not,” King said. “We are able to provide coaches with professional development, field equipment and other incidentals not covered in our budget.”

For local Farmers Insurance agency owner Sean Goram-Welch, the DistrictWON partnership forged with Longview ISD has allowed him to continue a personal relationship he had for several years with the school district as a Christian character coach while his son attended Longview High School.

“During COVID, I got cancer so I wasn’t able to continue my work with the school district as a character coach,” Goram-Welch said. “So, coming out of COVID, coming out of cancer and recovering from it, these things changed my life. I didn’t have the time to invest like I did when I was the character coach. I was looking for a way to continue to be plugged in and to support the kids, the school district, the administrators and the coaches.”

“I love what they do. I love their service heart,” he added. “It’s the same attitude I have; it’s about plugging into young kids and young people and helping them grow into being outstanding Christian young men and women. I was looking for a way to support them in a different manner as much as I was before.”

“DistrictWON, to me, was that avenue to be able to still show them support,” said the business owner.

Goram-Welch gave money to the Longview ISD’s athletic department and donated funds for team jerseys as a way “to let the kids know that people outside the school district care about them and are interested in their futures and successes as students.”

In Texas, he said, school districts don’t have huge athletic budgets, and the money raised for student athletes — whether it goes to purchase uniforms, or pre-game meals and post-game meals — is done through fundraisers and booster clubs.

“Longview ISD is not a rich school district and there’s not a ton of money laying around,” said Goram-Welch. “Any money we can scrounge together is to make sure these kids have a top-notch experience as a student athlete.”

The partnership between Farmers Insurance and the Longview ISD also has benefited the local insurance agency, he added.

For example, Goram-Welch said he put up a table, and did a give away and presentation at mid quarter during a recent Lobo football game.

“It allowed us to garnish some clients from the event, as well as increase recognition by the teachers and administrators that my agency was giving money and time back to the school district,” said Goram-Welch. “In turn, they have reached out and given the agency their business.”

Additionally, the company has had branded signage displayed during football and basketball games, and contributed posts on the school district’s social media pages.

“I have enjoyed this partnership and plan on doing it again next year,” Gorham-Welch said. “I think it has been worthwhile.”

Rocky River, Ohio-based DistrictWON creates meaningful brand connections within local communities through marketing partnerships between businesses and high schools. For more information on how to reach high school students, parents and administrators in a way that truly makes a difference in the community, visit,, or follow on Twitter.

Driving a community partnership: Kia of Lincolnwood teams up with Mather High School

With funding for athletic programs in the Chicago Public Schools extremely limited – every dollar counts, says Kenneth Lecomte, athletic director of Mather High School on the north side of Chicago.

And that’s what makes support from Kia of Lincolnwood so important for the Mather Rangers. A public-private partnership facilitated through DistrictWon, the Kia dealership that serves Lincolnwood, Skokie, Highland Park and the surrounding areas has made contributions to the athletics program at nearby Mather High School.

“The added funds we get with our partnership with Kia of Lincolnwood help greatly,” Lecomte said. “These added funds enable our athletes to continue playing other competitions in their chosen sport.”

Karol Sikora, general manager at Kia of Lincolnwood, says the partnership is a win-win situation for both parties.

“We like to support the young players and of course promote the Kia brand and our dealership within the community. It’s the perfect way for us as a brand to be present in the community.”

Kia’s “Movement That Inspires” marketing campaign that it publicizes through Mather High School events has resonated with the students and the local community.

“The slogan “Movement That Inspires” directly correlates with what our athletes do when they play sports, Lacomte said. “’Movement’ is what our athletes do every time they take the practice field, or anytime they compete in their chosen sport. And our coaches instill in our athletes to ‘inspire’ to be great at whatever they do in life. Go be your best.”

Kia of Lincolnwood also uses its community partnership to remind parents to talk to their kids about safety on the roads, particularly during nationwide events like National Teen Driver Safety week in October. Schools partnering with Kia spread the word on social media through tweets using the hashtag #MovementThatInspiresDW.

During Mather High School football games, announcers have highlighted Kia of Lincolnwood’s partnership with the school and banners display the Kia logo at games.

Kia generated a buzz when it displayed one of its newest models, the stunningly designed all-electric Kia EV6, during a high school football game.

“We took a picture with all the players in front of the car and the school principal. It was great to see all the young people coming and checking it out and taking pictures; it’s a good way to promote our business and our products and to be recognized in the community,” Sikora said.

The positive feedback about the partnership from the local community keeps rolling in.

“We have been having families arrive at our dealership and ask questions about the cars and a lot of people who live around our dealership came and said it’s amazing that we’re supporting the high schools,” Sikora said.

Rocky River, Ohio-based DistrictWON creates meaningful brand connections within local communities through marketing partnerships between businesses and high schools. For more information on how to reach high school students, parents and administrators in a way that truly makes a difference in the community, visit https://www.districtwon.com, or follow on Twitter. 

To adopt or not? High schools consider Name, Image, Likeness deals

Like what’s unfolding in college athletics, more and more high school student athletes across America are now allowed to be compensated for their name, image, and likeness (NIL), ushering in a new model of support for some of the nation’s youngest sports stars. 

But it isn’t happening without some controversy.

Currently, 19 states have modified or developed new policies about NIL, while almost a dozen others are considering it. And where NIL is permitted, headlines are being made. 

For example, Nike in May signed its first high school NIL deal with the Thompson twins, Alyssa and Gisele, who are soccer stars at the independent, co-educational college prep day Harvard-Westlake High School in California and members of the U.S. National Team system.

Reportedly, Nike’s multiyear commitment involves monetary compensation for the sisters, who both have committed to attend Stanford University when they graduate in a couple of years.

Then in October, Nike signed NIL deals with three more high school student-athlete standouts, including Bronny James, the oldest son of NBA superstar LeBron James and a senior who plays point guard for the boys basketball team at Sierra Canyon High School in Southern California.  

It’s been widely reported that the Bronny James-Nike NIL signing is the largest endorsement deal in NIL history to date and could even be the biggest deal in college or high school sports for Nike.

Of course, such high school NIL deals don’t currently compare with those being made at the college level, according to Peter Carfagna, chairman and CEO of Magis LLC, a privately owned sports marketing, management, and investment company. “It’s evolving,” the Harvard professor said recently.

How money can be earned also is evolving.

Right now, college student athletes may engage in NIL activity without fearing their eligibility could be jeopardized. High school athletes, on the other hand, don’t enjoy the same freedoms.

For collegiate athletes, the NCAA approved a policy that allows student-athletes to monetize their NIL effective July 1, 2021. No federal legislation or specific NCAA NIL rules have been established to date.

Meanwhile, high school student athletes must adhere to a patchwork of NIL regulations set up by their specific state athletic associations.

“Slowly but surely, state-by-state, NIL is happening,” Carfagna said. “However, at the high school level, there are many limitations and all sorts of guardrails.”

Opendorse, an NIL marketplace and technology company, reported on Oct. 11 that high school regulations for NIL rights are confirmed permitted in 19 states; confirmed prohibited in 19 states; and under consideration in 11 states.

Generally, in the states where high schoolers may be compensated for their NIL, it’s permissible provided that there is no recognition of the student athletes’ school, school logos, uniforms, or insignia. And then their list of ‘can’t do’ grows from there.

For instance, the Oregon School Activities Association last month changed a rule to allow student athletes in Oregon high schools to profit off their NIL. While there’s no maximum amount that student athletes may earn from NIL deals, there are plenty of rules about how they can earn the money.

Some of the guidelines instituted in Oregon regarding compensation include that student athletes can’t make money based on their athletic performance or achievement, and compensation can’t be used to lure a student to attend a particular member school of the association or to remain enrolled at a particular member school.

At the same time, compensation also isn’t allowed to be provided by the Oregon association’s member school or an agent of the member school, like a school booster club, foundation, employee, etc.

An Oregon high school student athlete also can’t promote activities, services, or products associated with, but not limited to, adult entertainment products or services; alcohol, tobacco, nicotine, and vaping products; cannabis products; controlled dangerous substances; prescription pharmaceuticals; political parties and/or candidates; any product illegal for people under 18; or gambling, among many others.

Carfagna said athletic directors and student athletes at the high school level must be extremely careful about understanding and adhering to each state’s rules and regulations.

On top of that, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), the national leadership organization for high school athletics and performing arts activities, isn’t so keen on NIL.

NFHS says it and its member state associations would not support a situation that would involve a member school and a student athlete entering into a professional contract while representing that member school.

“The NFHS and its member associations believe high school student athletes should not be able to benefit as professionals from something they do not own — that is their high school uniform,” NFHS CEO Karissa Niehoff wrote in a June 8 blog.

“Right now, within the 51-member state associations, while some state statutes are bringing high school student athletes into their language, no student athlete in a member school can be a professionally paid student by virtue of their identity as a student athlete in that member school,” wrote Niehoff.  

Peter Fitzpatrick, CEO of DistrictWON, which is at the forefront of the scholastic marketing/partnership industry, said that voices within the NFHS for a long time have pushed states not to adopt NIL in fear of losing the sense of amateurism and moving toward a commercialized market. 

“I think they got that wrong and should do everything they can to adopt it across the nation and move forward,” he said. 

And while Fitzpatrick supports “education-based” sports as much as every coach, athletic director, and executive director does, he’s “unfortunately seen many decisions by leadership relative to this issue and others that have ultimately hurt the advancement of these sports, while simultaneously watching club sports explode.”

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 9-0 decision in favor of NIL in June 2021 — which forced the NIL-opposing NCAA to develop its policy — Fitzpatrick said he’s consulted with Carfagna on the issue.

Carfagna has “made it very clear that defending NIL adoption in the courts will be a major uphill climb for state associations,” said Fitzpatrick. “Rather than deal with the inevitable and run up massive legal bills, states should be in a race to adopt NIL and provide the proper educational tools to help instruct their membership and student athletes how to utilize it properly.”

And while such efforts are happening in almost 20 states right now, both Carfagna and Fitzpatrick say it should happen faster.

“The race goes to the swift,” said Carfagna.

“I think [NIL] is fantastic and represents a terrific opportunity for student athletes,” Fitzpatrick said. “Think of all the student athletes that could earn hundreds or even a few thousand dollars from NIL.”

In looking at the college market, he added, the average NIL deal is worth $1,500-$1,800. “If a local company is willing to provide funding to a student athlete and help out the family, I think it’s a terrific opportunity,” said Fitzpatrick.

Both experts also think NIL could become very successful at the high school level.

“It could be a game changer,” Fitzpatrick said. “I think local businesses would love to sponsor student athletes across all sports and activities. The times have changed. Club sports will no doubt jump on this immediately and schools are going to need an answer.”

They also think that high schools should learn from the college experience by instituting good legal frameworks and structure with defined rules put into play. 

“Ideally, those rules would cut across all states, but we have seen the difficulty of trying to do that at the college level,” noted Fitzpatrick. “There will be downsides for sure and abuses of the program, but those cannot and should not stop forward progress. The Supreme Court ruling isn’t going anywhere.”

Rocky River, Ohio-based DistrictWON creates meaningful brand connections within local communities through marketing partnerships between businesses and high schools. For more information on how to reach high school students, parents and administrators in a way that truly makes a difference in the community, visit https://www.districtwon.com, or follow



Avon, Lorain athletics reach next level with support from family-owned Joyce Buick GMC

The Ohio athletic directors for the Lorain Titans and the Avon Eagles have nothing but gratitude for a local family-owned car dealership that continues supporting their student athletes.

Joyce Buick GMC in Avon, Ohio, is collaborating with both Avon High School and Lorain City Schools (LCS), where the dealership has sponsored their athletic departments through comprehensive marketing partnerships created by DistrictWON.

At Avon High School, for example, Joyce Buick GMC has made contributions toward naming the new tennis facility, where pickleball will also be played, according to Athletic Director Erich Frombach.

“What makes Avon special is the support we receive from our parents, community members, and our business sponsors,” Frombach said. “We believe our tennis and pickleball facility will be one of the best in northeast Ohio and we are grateful to partner with Joyce Buick to help promote the facility and events at this facility.”

LCS in Lorain, Ohio, received Titans uniforms for its wrestlers and boys and girls basketball players from Joyce Buick GMC — eliminating a cost that otherwise would have fallen on parents, according to Bryan Koury, director of athletics for LCS.

“The fact that we have local businesses willing to help our student athletes and community is tremendous,” Koury said. “We want our kids to look good and feel good when they compete, so for them to have classy uniforms like many of our surrounding communities really motivates them.”

Generally, such support for schools from a local business like Joyce Buick GMC has a positive impact on not just the athletic departments, but on other academic activities and programs, the athletic directors said.

“Raising the necessary funds to allow our youth programs to even exist is a huge hurdle, and uniforms are one of our primary expenses,” explained Koury. “This partnership allows us to increase the number of kids that participate because it’s less money that needs to be raised annually.”

According to Koury, data also shows that kids participating in youth sports are more likely to have success in the classroom, “especially when you take into account that our coaches have academic requirements.”

With that in mind, he said increasing participation really makes a difference both on and off the court and mat.

Likewise, Frombach said that the Avon High School-Joyce Buick GMC partnership will help attract tournaments, camps, and other events that will draw positive attention and promotion of both tennis and pickleball.

Teaming up for such partnerships also resonates with neighbors and the surrounding communities.

“We have been doing a great job of communicating to our parents and community about all that Joyce Buick GMC has done to help our youth,” said Koury with LCS. “It’s been very well received and much appreciated.”

“Anytime you have a generous family and business owner give back to the schools and community,” Frombach said, “it will show that Avon is a great place to live and raise your kids.”

And the gratitude goes both ways. Mike Joyce, president of Joyce Buick GMC, said LCS and Avon High School both have been instrumental in his company’s success through the years.

“We’ve been in business for 50 years and these communities have really been supportive of us, and we wanted to give back by supporting the schools,” he said. “I think it also gives us an opportunity to enhance the experience that the students have at the schools by providing some assistance with their athletic programs.”

At the same time, Joyce said the partnerships facilitated by DistrictWON also have given the company a chance “to express our gratitude to the communities and the people who rely on the schools for their education and to support both the students and the parents.”

Rocky River, Ohio-based DistrictWON creates meaningful brand connections within local communities through marketing partnerships between businesses and high schools. For more information on how to reach high school students, parents and administrators in a way that truly makes a difference in the community, visit https://www.districtwon.com, or follow on Twitter. 

Cincinnati Public Schools athletics partners with LiUNA Local 265 to promote workforce opportunity

A new partnership between Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) and a local Ohio laborer’s union has proven beneficial for student athletes now and possibly in their future if they decide to head into the construction industry.


Financial support from the Cincinnati-based Laborers’ Local 265 — an affiliate of LiUNA (Laborers’ International Union of North America, AFL-CIO) representing 1,600 construction workers — resulted from a DistrictWON-facilitated partnership with the CPS Athletics Department.

“LiUNA is a group that is out there working hard in the community and continues to partner to positively impact the lives and future of the Cincinnati community,” said CPS Athletics Manager Josh Hardin. “We are grateful for their support.”

From the partnership, Hardin said CPS is able to provide students with more equipment and supplies, as well as support CPS coaches with the professional development and training they need to lead and mentor students toward a brighter future.

“It means so much to Cincinnati Public Schools to have such supportive partnerships for our schools, students and community,” Hardin added, saying the partnership and support has impacted CPS programs and allowed students to do more.

“I am certain the exposure of LiUNA at our schools and at our All Star game has created more awareness for our students since our partnership began,” he said. “We have received questions from our students and know they are continuing to look for more opportunities, such as what is being provided by our great partners at LiUNA.”

And awareness continues to grow because LiUNA Local 265’s career opportunities are being highlighted, providing a huge boost for its Ohio members and the construction industry, according to Justin Phillips, business manager and secretary-treasurer at the organization.

“We started our PR campaign with DistrictWON to strike up a relationship with CPS as a way to promote the construction industry, which is now coming back around with passage of the federal infrastructure bill,” Phillips explained, noting that the construction industry is expected to produce 20 percent of GDP over the current two percent to three percent.

To meet the demand, Phillips said the construction workforce pipeline needs to expand. And through its partnership with CPS, LiUNA Local 265 is getting out that message while also contributing vitally needed dollars to CPS athletics.

“We want to give back to the schools,” Phillips said, “and we’re continuing to grow our relationship.”

The partnership provides union advertising at games via banners, signs, and swag, such as team towels that get handed out during CPS football games. Local 265 also gets promoted over the PA system at games and via digital signs and social media at almost every school, said Phillips.

“We have direct access,” he said, adding that union members now speak directly with tons of people interested in workforce development opportunities, including the school board.

“It’s been well worth it,” said Phillips. “Our message is getting out there that the construction industry is a very viable career with outstanding benefits, a pension, apprenticeships, and a great hourly wage that rivals those for college graduates.”

And in the age of skyrocketing college tuition costs, Phillips said those kinds of opportunities and wages should be enticing to a diverse population of prospective construction industry workers, including women.

Rocky River, Ohio-based DistrictWON creates meaningful brand connections within local communities through marketing partnerships between businesses and high schools. For more information on how to reach high school students, parents and administrators in a way that truly makes a difference in the community, visit https://www.districtwon.com, or follow on Twitter. 

Akron Public Schools embraces partnership with LiUNA Local 894 and opportunities for its students

Akron Public Schools (APS) in Ohio received a hefty contribution from a local labor union, which forged a partnership brokered by DistrictWON that also includes informing students and the community about opportunities that exist in the building and construction trades industry after graduation.

Laborers Local Union No. 894, a chartered affiliate of LiUNA (Laborers’ International Union of North America, AFL-CIO), is headquartered in Akron, Ohio, and represents approximately 1,300 men and women in the building and construction trades industry. LiUNA Local 894 — whose members provide a skilled, in-demand workforce to more than 500 building and heavy highway contractors — recently contributed $7,500 to APS.

“The ultimate goal for APS regarding our students is that they graduate and subsequently enroll into further education, enlist in a service branch of the military, and/or gain employment in the workforce,” said Joseph Vassalotti, coordinator of Secondary Education and Athletics at Akron Public Schools. “Our partnership with LiUNA has certainly increased interest and access to that last goal.”

“Our student athletes, in particular, have been helped by our promotion of skilled trades via LiUNA at contests held in our gyms and stadiums,” Vassalotti explained.

Cedric Sommerville, president of LiUNA Local 894, said because not all students decide to attend community colleges or universities, the union’s partnership with APS allows students the opportunity to learn and become valuable employees of the building and construction trades.

  Through LiUNA Local 894’s messaging at APS games, for example, students learn that “there are other career opportunities and jobs in the construction trades, and that the jobs are good paying jobs, along with benefits and pension funds,” Sommerville said.

In fact, according to LiUNA Local 894 Business Manager Vern Floyd, jobs in the construction trades provide a livable wage that starts at $21 an hour or more plus benefits on top of their pay, and workers can retire with a nice pension. “You can’t beat that,” he said.

The union is getting a lot of positive feedback from community members who have heard about LiUNA Local 894 and the benefits of the skilled trades industry over the loudspeakers at football games and via the union’s banners, which are displayed on APS stadium walls, added Floyd.

Sommerville agreed, saying “both students and parents have been extremely receptive, with lots of questions and inquiries regarding our messaging at the games and on banners,” which are all part of its partnership with APS developed through DistrictWON.

“Our support has educated the schools and community, which in turn allows them to get engaged and involved with the building and construction trades,” said Sommerville, adding that it’s always an honor to help the local schools and community.

“We value the future generation of kids, and we want to support them,” he said.

Rocky River, Ohio-based DistrictWON creates meaningful brand connections within local communities through marketing partnerships between businesses and high schools. For more information on how to reach high school students, parents and administrators in a way that truly makes a difference in the community, visit https://www.districtwon.com, or follow on Twitter. 

School spirit surges at two Nevada high schools thanks to area businessman’s partnership

Student athletes attending Nevada’s Mineral County High School (MCHS) and Churchill County High School (CCHS) are enjoying stronger school spirit bolstered in part by their newly provided uniforms from an area Farmers Insurance agent, according to athletic administrators and coaches at both schools.

 “We can’t thank Curtis Isom and Farmers Insurance enough for all the support we have received,” said Pete Summerbell, athletic director at MCHS in Hawthorne, Nev. “This support has led to a tremendous surge in our school spirit and given our student athletes a lift in their self-esteem.” And the increased support, Summerbell said, has not gone unnoticed by the entire Serpents community, which has “rallied around the school spirit and have increased our attendance at games.”

 The same is true at CCHS, where girls’ basketball coach Kevin Wickware says “getting new uniforms has brought a sense of pride to our team.”

 Home of the Greenwave in Fallon, Nev., CCHS student athletes usually must wait several years to get a new set of uniforms, said Wickware. “That means our uniforms are usually outdated,” he explained. “But with the help of Curtis, we were able to get updated uniforms and our athletes are grateful for this opportunity and his generosity.” 

 The contributions also have covered crucial needs left unfilled due to local funding gaps at both schools.

 “As budgets for athletics in our school have diminished, Curtis has stepped up and has been a major contributor for all our programs,” said MCHS’s Summerbell.

 For example, via a deal brokered by DistrictWON, Isom supplied the Serpents’ volleyball team and the boys’ basketball team with complete home and away uniforms. Last year, Isom also sponsored a White Out day during an MCHS home game and provided more than 200 T-shirts, as well as uniforms for both the girls’ and boys’ basketball teams “that the student athletes could keep,” Summerbell said. “It was a huge success.”

“We look forward to our partnership with DistrictWON, Farmers Insurance, and Curtis Isom,” said Summerbell. “We can’t thank everyone involved enough.”

At CCHS, Wickware said Isom’s partnership provided new uniforms that enabled the team “to focus our small community-raised funds towards our basketball season.” That meant that the CCHS team could pay for other costs associated with tournament entries, programs, and equipment. “The additional donation that Curtis provides alleviates some of the stress our program has in regards to covering certain costs,” said Wickware. 

Isom, a second-generation Farmers Insurance agent with two offices — one in Fallon, Nev., (Churchill County) and the other in Hawthorne, Nev. (Mineral County) — is honored to be able to support MCHS and CCHS.

“And the fact that my daughter is an athlete at Mineral County High School definitely was an influence on my decision to provide uniforms to these schools,” he said, adding that “Hawthorne and Fallon have been very good to me and my family.”

 As many local businesses do, Isom said he supports a lot of youth events to show that his business is part of the community. But he said the high school programs make his business “stand out from the crowd.”

 “The parents and the kids both will remember where the uniforms came from. And that has helped us become more of a presence in the communities,” said Isom, noting that the DistrictWON partnership is also a win for his company.

 “When I, or someone from my team solicit business in these communities, people usually know my name,” Isom said. “It automatically gets us a warmer reception.”  

 Both MCHS and CCHS are public schools that don’t always have the necessary funding for their athletic departments, added Isom. “In recent years, both schools have had some amazing teams and won state championships. So, it doesn’t really sit well with me to see these same teams doing fundraisers for new uniforms,” he said. “I have personally been thanked by parents, coaches, and kids from both schools for doing this program.” 

 Rocky River, Ohio-based DistrictWON creates meaningful brand connections within local communities through marketing partnerships between businesses and high schools. For more information on how to reach high school students, parents and administrators in a way that truly makes a difference in the community, visit https://www.districtwon.com, or follow on Twitter.