OAKBROOK, Ill., August 5, 2005 Sharpie is making a stop today in Canton, Ohio, approaching the half-way mark in the effort to collect one million signatures as part of the Sharpie Retractable "Autographs for Education" program. Sharpie, who is now teaming up with football great Dan Dierdorf to kick off the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement weekend, is visiting communities across the country gathering one million autographs in exchange for a $1 million-dollar pledge in supplies and funds to schools nationwide throughout 2005.
With the help of celebrities and professional athletes like Dierdorf, Sharpie is collecting autographs from celebrities and the general public to benefit students, teachers, schools and community-based education organizations nationwide. Dierdorf, an Ohio native, is asking athletes, coaches, parents and Hall of Fame visitors in Canton for their autographs as he hosts the Sharpie Signature Moves Clinic today. All efforts encourage fans to leave their mark on education by giving their signatures to help Sharpie reach the goal of one million autographs.
"I'm proud to support education and ask people here in Canton and the football community to get involved in Sharpie's program so our schools can get the materials and funding they need," Dierdorf said. "The Hall of Fame enshrinement weekend is the perfect time to collect the signatures Sharpie needs to reach their goal."
The first official autograph was given earlier this year by Howie Long, pro football Hall of Famer and Emmy award-winning broadcaster, at the program launch in Jacksonville, Fla., prior to football's most high-profile game in February. Long is joined by a list of athletes and celebrities who have helped rally fans and collect signatures, including pro football standouts Donald Driver of Green Bay, Tony Gonzalez of Kansas City, Hines Ward of Pittsburgh, Jason Hanson of Detroit, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Champion Kurt Busch, Baltimore's baseball all-star, Brian Roberts and the PGA TOUR's Chad Campbell, among others.
"After the kickoff with Howie, we've visited some great communities across America," said Rory Leyden, president of Sharpie. "We're fortunate to have a number of high-profile personalities who visit these schools and motivate the students, faculty and community, and deliver thousands of dollars worth of school supplies and funds."
The ten-city tour features one-on-one interactions between students, teachers, parents and celebrities giving them a chance to meet the players and personalities up close and add their signatures to custom-designed, oversized autograph walls in exchange for school supplies and funds, thanks to Sharpie. The Sharpie Retractable "Autographs for Education" tour is rounding out the year with upcoming stops in Boston, Chicago and Miami.
"We're well on our way to reaching our goal for autographs with the support of legendary athletes like Dan," Leyden said. "The Pro Football Hall of Fame and Sharpie share a winning attitude toward giving back to the community and supporting education, especially since 2005 marks the biggest effort in our history to deliver funding and supplies to schools and communities nationwide."
Sharpie Retractable's commitment to "Autographs for Education" includes resources for teachers and fun for students online. From school supplies and scholarships to lesson plans and a virtual autograph wall, more information can be found on the Sharpie Web site, www.sharpie.com.
Sharpie has visited cities across the country in a fleet of Sharpie-branded all-terrain vehicles throughout 2005, stopping at local festivals and special events. The vehicles feature interactive games, product sampling opportunities, and official entry forms for the signature collection effort. Complete sweepstakes rules and entry methods can be found at retailers nationwide and at www.sharpie.com.
About Sharpie Retractable
With a retractable writing tip and no caps to lose, Sharpie markers are now easier and more convenient to use. Sharpie Retractable is available in eight colors: black, red, blue, green, orange, berry, lime and turquoise. The suggested retail price for 2-, 3-, 4-, and 8-packs are $4.89, $7.33, $9.78, and $19.56, respectively. Available at office supply stores and other retailers nationwide, Sharpie Retractable joins other significant writing innovations that target a wide range of enthusiasts from the hobbyist to the do-it-yourselfer.
About Sanford®, Makers of Sharpie®
For more than 40 years, Sharpie is the popular brand of permanent markers long-associated with the autograph experience. Sanford, maker of Sharpie, is a division of Newell Rubbermaid Inc. (NYSE: NWL), a worldwide leader in the manufacturing and marketing of writing instruments, art products and office organization, including such well known brands as Paper Mate®, Sharpie®, Parker®, Waterman®, EXPO®, Foohy®, uni-ball®, and Rolodex®, among others. Sanford makes more than 6,000 products, ranging from markers, pens and pencils to professional art products, fine writing instruments and office organization products. Visit sharpie.com or sanfordcorp.com for more information.