White River Junction, Vermont - Friday afternoon found the lobby of the Hartford Area Career and Technology Center (HACTC) quiet and sunny; the latter slightly warming the tops of the cafe-style tables and chairs framing the school’s logo set creatively into the tile floor. It is a logo that has served the HACTC well the past few years but it is also a logo that will have an addition to its compass and squares beginning January 1, 2020: The Nike Swoosh.
In a deal that is the first of its kind in the educational landscape of Vermont, Doug Heavisides - Principal of the HACTC - agreed to terms with the Oregon-based company, Nike, to an advertising and apparel deal not only for himself but also for all of his teammates at the HACTC.
While the finalized details of the agreement will not be made public until fully vetted by the HACTC’s lawyers and Heavisides’ agent, one source has reported that it is a three-year deal worth approximately four million dollars.
“We want brand loyalty from an early age,'' stated Marcus White - Nike’s Northeast Regional CEO - and that loyalty begins with constant exposure of our logo to the target audience - high school students. And where can you get better exposure to a logo than to plaster it all over the most influential group of people in the country? It simply is money well spent.”
White continued to say that, “Nike is slowly moving away from paying athletes millions of dollars to expand their brand because their influence is shallow and inconsistent at best given their aggrandized egos and negative behavior.”
Nike’s new marketing and advertising strategy focuses on utilizing more moral, hard working, and consistent professionals than athletes: Educators.
“Am I looking forward to wearing a Nike headband, collared shirt, and shoes all day everyday?” Heavisides asked. “No, I am not. I am more of a Carhartt kind of fella, but if wearing the headband lowers the HACTC tuition to $3,000 a year for all of our sending schools and improves education in the Upper Valley, I am game. And my teammates will be game, too.”
Currently, the tuition to the HACTC is $19,100 for one FTE (Full Time Equivalency) from any of the sixteen schools that send students to the HACTC. And given the parameters in the Nike deal, Heavisides estimates that he and his teammates will generate an additional two million dollars in incentives based on the performance indicators of loving students, supporting them beyond high school, increasing their skill level, and strengthening their social/emotional integrity.
“Indeed”, Heavisides exclaimed, “Marcus is correct. It is money well spent on Nike’s part.”
In the early negotiations of the deal, the Nike executives were pushing for Heavisides to have the Swoosh tattooed on his abs and the apparel be limited to belly shirts only. That portion of the deal fell through, however, when it was revealed that Heavisides had only one ab. No plural.
Starting on January 1, Heavisides and the rest of the HACTC staff will wear Nike apparel not only on school days but also to ‘any public event’ including Open Houses, Recruiting Events, and Graduations.
“Yes, we have some Adidas people and Reebok people, too, on our staff” Heavisides said. “But this team is all about kids. And they will put their preferences aside to help kids. Our team will look great in their headbands, shirts, and shoes.”
That is the way it should be: Big Money and Big Educators working to help improve education.
Well done, Nike.
***This article is a complete satire. It could happen. But unlikely.