For Farmers Insurance agent Antonio White in Martinez, Ga., supporting the nearby Evans High School athletics department is all about paying it forward.
White said as a child he benefited from the contribution other businesses made to his school sports teams.
“When I grew up in school, one of my friends, Patrick, his uncle was a local business owner and he supported us when we played,” White said. “Even when we really weren’t that good – which we thought we were – he supported us. Then when we went to the local high school, he helped us out with incidental stuff that we didn’t realize we needed. He was helping kids get things that they couldn’t afford so they could play sports and have fun in high school.”
In recent years, White and Farmers Insurance have contributed to the school’s athletics department through a partnership facilitated by Ohio-based DistrictWON, a marketing consultant that builds community ties by linking company brands with schools. This year, White’s contribution helped the school purchase uniforms for the girls’ basketball team.
“Over the past few years, the uniforms contributed by Antonio White have been a huge hit with our players and the students and fans,” said Kevin Kenny, head girls’ basketball coach at Evans High School located in Evans, Ga. “Each game we wear the ‘special uniforms;’ the kids love it and the student section usually does a theme like a ‘White Out.’ The players always want to wear them in tournaments in which we wear white, being the home team. You would be surprised how much a uniform means to a student-athlete!”
White said that while the Farmers Insurance advertising displayed at school events is good for his business, he’s more concerned with the impact it has on the community.
“It’s cool to have the advertising because you want people to see it, but from the standpoint of watching the kids and to see how much fun they’re having, that’s what’s good for me,” White said.
That kind of support from area businesses helps with team spirit, said Richard Beale, Evans High School athletic director.
“Having the support of the local community is huge to our athletic program,” Beale added. “Student-athletes appreciate having new uniforms and new equipment to use.”
Local sponsorships like White’s have an enduring effect on the department as well.
“Having a local sponsorship is huge for our athletic department. We have been fortunate to get new uniforms and with this year’s donation we will spread this to some of our other sports teams,” Beale said.
It is a tradition that White and Farmers Insurance are happy to continue.
“When I was a kid, those contributions taught me appreciation,” he said. “A kid may not have opportunities, but if we give them resources, it gives them the opportunity to make better choices. I’ve seen choices that my friends made that were not good. I would rather for the kid to have a choice to play versus going out and doing something to mess their life up.”
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, https://www.facebook.com/districtwon, or follow https://twitter.com/districtwon on Twitter.