The Kroger Company has extended its high school spirit wear program to include 71 high schools in Indiana and Illinois. Kroger donates 10% of the retail price on spirit wear to the schools.
Watch Us Incorporated contacts schools via their athletic directors. Those athletic directors manage internal approvals and contract signing on behalf of their school systems, as well as obtaining permission for use of each school’s logo and confirming appropriate school colors for the apparel. Watch Us Inc. identifies the point of contact for disbursement of funds, and then Kroger sends those funds on a bi-quarterly basis.
According to Kroger’s Vice President of Merchandising for the Central Division, Pam Matthews, “This is a wonderful opportunity for Kroger to support athletic programs in our local school systems. The children of our customers and store associates attend these schools and it is very appropriate for Kroger to add this support to the many ways we already support schools in every local community we serve. The program is another way for us to support one of Kroger’s four national community engagement priorities, education.”
Kroger has announced an incentive program intended to raise additional funds for high schools participating in the program. Beginning in 2008, at the end of each semester, Kroger will present $500 cash prizes to the top-selling school systems in three categories; small (1,000 or less students), medium (1,001 to 2,500 students) and large (2,501 or more students). The $3,000 in annual prizes is in addition to the 10% of revenue earned from spirit wear sales.
Pam Matthews added, “This contest provides our customers and store associates in each local community with an opportunity to demonstrate their pride in their local teams by purchasing and then proudly wearing spirit wear for their school. In addition to presenting cash prizes to winning schools, we will encourage our local store teams to be creative and work with school administrators in arranging a celebration that our store would support.”
Some of the schools currently participating in this program include: Elmhurst, SouthSide, Wayne, and Homestead.
Kroger’s Central Division contributes more than $1 million annually in support of K-12 education. One program takes the form of cash, donated products and rebates through the “Kroger Cares…About Education” program. This does not include numerous contributions to community organizations that use Kroger funds or merchandise in support of their own K-12 education initiatives.
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