GREENSBORO -- The relationship between North Carolina A&T Athletics and
Walmart continues to strengthen.
summer at the Greensboro Walmart on 121 Elmsley Drive, Director of Athletics
Earl Hilton, Associate Athletic Director for Development Jennifer Thomas and fellow
Board members of the Aggie Athletic Foundation (AAF), Sandra Hughes , Jim
Pender and Jim McLeod, met with Walmart and more than 30 Walmart vendor partners
to discuss how various companies can support future fundraising efforts for
manager of Walmart's 121 West Elmsley Drive stoe, and Charles Benberry (Walmart
Regional Merchandising Manager), organized the meeting. The original idea to develop
the partnership between Walmart and Aggie Athletics was facilitated in 2008 by McLeod.
about scholarships for student-athletes," said Hilton. "My job today is to try
to separate you from your money."
told representatives assembled, including Walmart store managers Cindy Landwehrmann
(Battleground Avenue) and Larry McAvoy (West Wendover Avenue) that A&T
awarded 173 scholarships for the 2011-12 academic year. He then demonstrated
the need for more support by pointing out 325 student-athletes competed during
the same time frame, meaning many sports went without the funding needed to
about $3.5 million each year to support all of our student-athletes," Hilton
said. "It is important we as a community support these young men and women. Most
of our student-athletes need some type of assistance in order to attend
college. We want the ability to send students to college that otherwise would
not have the opportunity."
athletics department and Walmart have an ongoing five-year relationship. In
2011, Walmart, additionally, assisted the AAF in conducting an auction at the
Koury Convention Center that raised funds for the department. Walmart
representatives have also attended various A&T events, including Homecoming,
basketball and football games, All-Sports Awards Banquets, and, most recently, North
Carolina A&T's 2012 Commencement , featuring First Lady Michelle Obama as
keynote speaker. Walmart has been
instrumental in conducting an annual pre-Homecoming fundraising event at the
Walmart Elmsley Drive location. North Carolina A&T State University has 15
varsity sports which compete over the course of the academic school year.
to further the business relationship by involving more of its Vendor
partners. Among the companies
represented at the July meeting were Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Kelloggs, Kraft,
Nabisco, General Mills, ConAgra Foods, Krispy Kreme, Voortman and Neese's.
"We are very
excited to be a part of what is going on at A&T," said Pepsi representative,
Lisa Tew. "I get it, I embrace it, and I love it when you try to separate me
from my money. The fact that we are going to be giving student-athletes an
opportunity is something we should openly embrace both personally and
Tew was born
and raised in Greensboro, and is a graduate of Greensboro Dudley High School.
"I know the
culture of North Carolina A&T," she added. "The culture behind homecoming
and what it does for the city, economically, is tremendous."
Pepsi was recently
renewed to be the official soft drink provider for North Carolina A&T State
expressed excitement about being associated with Aggie Athletics. In the last
year, the athletics department has produced six student-athletes with 4.0 GPAs.
Ninety-eight student-athletes earned a 3.0 GPA or higher. During A&T's May Commencement, 45
track and field long and triple jumper Jared Baldwin was named the MEAC Man of
the Year. Mike Mayhew, a running back for the resurgent A&T football
program, earned MEAC Co-Offensive Player of the Year in 2011. This summer, he
was named the MEAC's preseason Offensive Player of the Year.
want a partnership with (A&T) because homecoming has such a big economic
impact on (Walmart)," Brewer said. "Back in 2007, an additional 30,000 people
came to town for A&T's homecoming, and generated an economic impact of
$11.8 million for the city of Greensboro.
A tremendous amount of people have ties to A&T and support our
stores. It's a win-win to be able to partner with (A&T), and to generate scholarship money."