For most senior football players, the conclusion of the season means turning in your uniform. What is never handed in, however, are the lessons players learn, the respect earned, and the family created from team bonds forged by their coaches. Those are worn for life. Russell Athletic is bringing those lessons to the forefront with its “Dear Seniors” program.
“Dear Seniors” shares emotional messages from real high school coaches to their seniors, focusing on the life lessons learned from being part of a team. This effort, led by a new commercial to air during the nationally-televised Russell Athletic Bowl, will be complemented with a robust digital and social content campaign. The content culminates the Team On “Settle Your Score” campaign that debuted during the high school football season telling the untold stories of six teams that turned the one thing that haunted them from their state championship loss into their ultimate motivation.
“‘Dear Seniors’ looks to capture important life moments from the perspective of an athlete’s most influential mentor, their coach,” said Russell Athletic Vice President of Marketing, Matt Murphy. “This is a defining point in these young players’ lives. From this moment, the lessons they learned on and off the field, will serve as a solid foundation to build upon throughout their lives.”
The main “Dear Seniors” creative element is a sixty-second video featuring a letter and voiceover from an Indiana high school football coach and player that will run during the Russell Athletic Bowl on ESPN. Additionally, the program has featured a month-long digital content campaign sharing several personal letters received from over 400 high school coaches across the country to their senior players and will host a “Dear Coach” response video from a player, thanking his coach on the life-lessons he learned from the field of play. Football legend, Eddie George, will serve as spokesperson for the “Dear Seniors” program, sharing his own letter to his high school coach and senior football players everywhere.
“The ‘Dear Seniors’ program immediately struck me personally. My coaches have made an incredible impact on the man I am today on and off the field,” said George. “I believe the foundation of a team are the bonds you have with your coaches and teammates. It’s where I learned to commit myself to working hard and doing the right thing. Those are the lessons I took with me when I handed in my senior uniform.”
Russell Athletic is asking high school football coaches and fans across the country to post their farewell messages to outgoing seniors by using the #DearSeniors hashtag on social media channels.