Wednesday December 15, 2010
What is it?
The National Guard has partnered with the NFL by sponsoring the High School Player Development Program (HSPD). The HSPD provides high school students (sophomores through seniors) a program of character development and training in football skills. The intent is to equip participants with the skills and tools needed to achieve success both on and off the field. HSPD allows the Guard to be a presenting sponsor of a targeted and in-demand high school program while increasing public awareness of the ARNG through various marketing/advertising channels in partnership with the NFL. This grassroots marketing effort reaches students as well as influencers.
What has ARNG done?
Sponsorship of HSPD by the National Guard began in 2009. The NFL and ARNG teamed up to educate student-athletes on opportunities for all individuals to succeed, both academically and athletically. For the 2010 program, a total of 142 NFL HSPD workshops were presented in 35 states and the District of Columbia. At each workshop, multiple mechanisms were in place to generate leads for recruiter follow-up. Participants, many of whom are from economically disadvantaged areas, incur no costs in the NFL HSPD. The NFL HSPD culminates in a national 7-on-7 football tournament where the ARNG has high visibility throughout the event. In 2010, the NFL HSPD program was attended by 25K high school football players. To date, over 4,000 attendees have expressed interest in ARNG programs and opportunities.
What continued efforts does ARNG have planned for the future?
In 2011, the ARNG wants to increase the number of outreach events conducted with high school football coaches, and have that outreach begin earlier than in previous years. The rationale is that more and earlier promotion from the NFL about the program (and the ARNG's role in it) will allow coaches to better take advantage of the program and give the ARNG more time to promote the programs in high schools in advance of the registration period. Additionally, ARNG plans to increase the number of workshops offered to at least 175, providing greater opportunities for student-athlete participation.
Why is this important to ARNG?
The HSPD program provides the ARNG a productive vehicle to reach a diverse audience while allowing the Guard to showcase a strong community commitment. To be a football player, one must demonstrate loyalty, duty, respect, and personal courage and understand the importance of teamwork. These same qualities are essential to success in the ARNG and resonate with Army values. The ARNG/NFL HSPD partnership promotes these shared values with an emphasis on character development in a positive environment while promoting the National Guard. Additionally, as of December 2010, over 4,000 attendees have expressed interest in ARNG programs and opportunities as a result of their participation in the HSPD program.
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ABOUT THE ARMY
"While we will have the beginnings of a drawdown by July, it does not mean that the United States or our allies will not have a considerable number of troops in Afghanistan after July … From the United States perspective, our strategic goal is to have a long-term stable strategic partnership with Afghanistan and make that trust that was there at one time return."
- Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaking to Pakistani reporters
"I think we're just right off the bat - for the most part - more familiar with the concept and how to work the technology. What person my age doesn't text, call - whatever -- use all the smart phones. We're already pretty familiar with it. They just enhance it and create their apps to adapt to the Army's needs."
-Pvt. Harrison Henson of 1st CAB, a 2009 high school graduate, asserts that Soldiers possess skills the Army can tap into to help develop its vision of integrating smart-phone technology in today's battlefield.
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