After agreeing to a long-term partnership this offseason, the Cleveland Browns and Meijer – the team's Official Grocery Supercenter – announced several fan and community activations, highlighted by a dedicated gate at FirstEnergy Stadium, significant support of the HELMETS initiative and contribution to the team's Ten Days of Giving holiday efforts.
"Our customers are very passionate about and loyal to their sports teams, and we're right there with them," said Cathy Cooper, Senior Director of Community Partnerships and Giving for Meijer. "We are focused on enriching lives in the communities we serve, and this partnership with the Cleveland Browns exemplifies our commitment in Ohio."
"We are excited to partner with Meijer as they are fully committed to creating exceptional experiences for our fans and also making a significant impact in the Northeast Ohio community," said Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer of Haslam Sports Group Mike Mossholder. "We look forward to working closely with Meijer and identifying unique opportunities that will benefit Browns fans and the entire region in the years to come. We also greatly appreciate how they have continued to contribute to our community in meaningful ways during the past six months, including their staff's commitment as front-line heroes throughout the pandemic."
Beginning in 2020, Browns fans entering from the southwest side of FirstEnergy Stadium for all events will access the building through the Meijer Gate. In addition to the presence of prominent store branding elements, the partnership will identify opportunities to offer fans unique giveaways and promotions at the location.
Meijer is also now the presenting partner of HELMETS, which has provided eligible youth and high school football programs with nearly 2,200 new helmets since 2017. In the coming weeks, the Browns and their partners expect to announce additional recipients through the collaboration.
HELMETS, presented by Meijer and in association with University Hospitals and Xenith, aims to advance player safety by awarding Ohio football programs with $25,000 in new Xenith football helmets. To help further promote health and safety, each program must enroll in USA Football's medically endorsed Youth Football Certification course. The certification clinics educate coaches about concussion recognition and response protocols, proper equipment fitting, shoulder tackling, heads up blocking, heat emergency preparedness and hydration and sudden cardiac arrest.
Meijer became an official Browns partner in April, when Meijer helped supply hygiene products to East Cleveland City School District students with WR Jarvis Landry, who personally donated $15,000 to assist those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Families of East Cleveland Schools, selected as the beneficiary through the Cleveland Browns Foundation's "Stay in the Game!" Network, received many necessary items, including soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste and other personal care products.
Meijer will also contribute to the team's Ten Days of Giving holiday efforts through Browns Give Back by hosting a "Shop with a Pro" event for youth in need. The extended week of community engagement, initially inspired by the Browns' signature First and Ten volunteering movement, has expanded in recent years to fully encompass the team's commitment to supporting school attendance in Ohio through the "Stay in the Game!" Network and its yearlong efforts to enhance youth and high school football throughout the state.
Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based retailer that operates 253 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. A privately-owned and family-operated company since 1934, Meijer pioneered the "one-stop shopping" concept and has evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive apparel departments, pet departments, garden centers, toys and electronics. For additional information on Meijer, please visit www.meijer.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/Meijer and @twitter.com/MeijerPR or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.
About the Cleveland Browns and Browns Give Back:
The Browns Give Back to Northeast Ohio with a commitment to education and youth football while engaging the community through the team's signature First and Ten volunteer movement. For more information, visit www.clevelandbrowns.com/brownsgiveback.
Education – The Cleveland Browns are dedicated to improving the quality of education for students in Ohio by making investments that keep kids in school every day so they can succeed, highlighted by the "Stay in the Game! Keep Learning, Every Day" Network. The "Stay in the Game!" Network is a statewide initiative designed to promote the importance of school attendance and put an end to chronic absenteeism. The team engages local school districts and promotes quality education by using attendance data and feedback from families to build a school-going culture, uncover and reduce common barriers to attendance and support engagement opportunities for students to thrive. In the 2020-21 school year, the "Stay in the Game!" Network will partner with 14 school districts, benefitting nearly 90,000 students in Ohio. An adaptation of the "Get 2 School, Stay In The Game!" Network, the name change reflects the current environment where schools may not necessarily be able to host in-school learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. No matter the circumstances, the "Stay in the Game!" Network will continue to encourage and support students to maintain a strong educational-going mindset to keep learning, every day, aligned with its overall goal to help end chronic absenteeism and provide all students equal opportunities to be successful. To learn more visit, visit Get2School.org.
Youth Football – The Cleveland Browns are committed to assisting the development, safety and growth of youth and high school football throughout Northeast Ohio with year-round programming for players, coaches, officials and parents. Through camps, clinics and other initiatives, the Browns' goal is to promote healthy, social, emotional, intellectual and physical development of youth by enhancing opportunities for youth football participation and education.
First and Ten – Launched in June 2014, the Cleveland Browns First and Ten campaign is the team's community program, established to inspire fans to #give10 and help their communities by volunteering for 10 hours each year. Through First and Ten, the Browns are the only NFL club to promote a long-term volunteering program that unifies the team and its entire fan base, with the goal of impacting every individual's city across the globe, as well as the franchise's local community. To date, nearly 2.5 million hours of volunteering have been pledged through First and Ten. All Browns fans are encouraged to join the volunteering effort by signing the First and Ten pledge on the team's website and by sharing their stories with #give10.