In January of 2019, Lowe’s became the NFL’s official home improvement retailer. It didn’t take long for Lowe’s associates in Cleveland, Ohio to get excited about Lowe’s newest connection with sports.
James Drake, District Manager for Cleveland stores, spearheaded a sports activation to introduce this new partnership.
In July, Lowe’s Heroes and players from the Cleveland Browns teamed up to host a Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassador Summit. Two hundred sixty-four students and 124 educators attended the summit and participated in multiple skilled trades informational sessions, workshops and activities. The students and educators were able to interact with Cleveland Brown players and Lowe’s Heroes to while building ring tosses, plinko disks and their own obstacle course.
“We were excited to sponsor the Fuel Up to Play 60 Summit in Cleveland not only in support of our partnership with the NFL, but also to introduce students to skilled trades through fun and engaging, hands-on activities,” said Quoinesha “Q” Jones, community relations analyst at Lowe’s. “More than 30 Lowe’s Heroes helped students assemble 20 outdoor games that were ultimately donated to local Cleveland public schools.”
Drake and his team also connected with the MLB to do critical home repairs for a home that was set to serve as housing for student veterans in July. This activation aligned with MLB’s plan to engage with the Cleveland community prior to the MLB All-Star Game on July 9th. Leadership from the Cleveland stores said they were able to get approximately 60 volunteers to help with the repairs.
Originally Drake was asked to just paint the home, but after visiting and realizing how much additional work it needed to be rehabilitated, he quickly stepped in.
“What they were asking us to do was some painting and we got to the house and saw that it was a lot more than they estimated and we took it over from there,” he said. “We spent in total $25,000 dollars in product donations and we had our installers do the floor and the fencing.”
MLB also assisted with the execution of four other community projects including various renovations and critical repairs. Leadership from the Cleveland Indians baseball team worked alongside Drake and his team of 14 stores to complete these projects.
These events are the first of many, as a part of Lowe’s official connection with the NFL and its commitment to skilled trades. Drake said he’s glad to have been able to host this event in his hometown of Cleveland and he hopes to provide more opportunities for students to learn more about skilled trades in the future.
“One thing that is unique about the market is that we don’t have a store in Cleveland,” he said. “We have stores in all the suburbs and so this actually gave us the chance to interact and connect with the community on a whole different level.”