When Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon was negotiating a new endorsement deal, the Robert Griffin III target presented companies with a rather unique request: He wanted to do something for area high school football teams. The result was a unique contest cooked up by Russell Athletic, the brand that eventually inked the NFLer, and the Redskins, who asked area high school football teams to submit reasons why they should receive new uniforms.
In the end, three D.C.-area schools were chosen: Alexandria (Va.) Thomas Jefferson High, Springbrook (Va.) High and Washington (D.C.) Theodore Roosevelt High. Then, on Tuesday, Garcon arrived at all three schools and distributed nearly $50,000 worth of new gear for student athletes in desperate need of upgraded sports threads.
According to the Washington Post, which covered Garcon's tour of the schools, Russell counted the total number of uniforms distributed at roughly 300.
Athletic directors at all three schools were effusive in praise for Garcon's program, with Jefferson AD Shawn DeRose saying that the new uniforms were likely to save the school anywhere from $15-40,000 in coming seasons.
More powerfully, the new uniforms were the first piece of new gear that many of the student athletes had ever received. The response was an almost overwhelming one.
"As long as I’ve been playing football, I've never got a new uniform," Springbrook senior lineman Azzan Goode told the Post. "I had no idea what to expect. I’m just happy to get new jerseys."
For his part, Garcon was happy to play his part in relative quiet and obscurity, particularly for a star athlete who had been the catalyst for the program even existing. The wide receiver spoke briefly at all three schools, but the Post reported that most players were too excited about checking out their new duds to pay very much attention to the former sixth round draft pick.
"At the end of the day, it worked out pretty well," Garcon said. "We'll sit back and remember this 10 years from now or whatever and say, 'Hey, remember the day we gave out jerseys to Thomas Jefferson and Springbrook and Theodore Roosevelt High School?' It’s not work. It’s like collecting memories."