When Ohio State Attacker Harry Miller was in high school, he made a mission trip to Nicaragua with an ecclesiastical group from the Atlanta suburbs.
He left a lasting impression. With a look at the country’s extreme poverty, he was inspired to return and provide further assistance.
“As a kid in America, you didn’t appreciate how good it was to go somewhere else and see plastic houses made of cardboard and wood and tin and plastic sheets which is basically a room with a dirty floor and maybe a bed, maybe not,” she said. his mother, Christina, who accompanied her.
In the last seven years, Miller has traveled almost twelve times to Nicaragua on similar trips. He brought his teammate Tommy Eichenberg with him just last year, before the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
So as it was accepted this month that college athletes would benefit from their name, image and resemblance, Miller had an idea. An online pop-up store was launched selling T-shirts, T-shirts and baseball caps bearing a logo of his personal brand. The logo includes the letter “H” inside a curved shield.
Soccer player logo sales to help kids in Nicaragua
All proceeds from the sale will go to Mission for Nicaragua, a nonprofit for which Miller is one of five board members and was created by members of Miller’s church group. They continue to provide food, medicine and other resources for children at a school in Los Brasiles, Nicaragua. It is the only pursuit related to NIL, at present, due to football requirements and academic commitments as a great engineer.
“I am extremely fortunate to have good friends, a good family support system, clothes, food,” Miller said. “I have my guitars and books, so there is nothing else I want to buy. The reality is that money can be stretched far and wide for many more people, and therefore, it is the most useful thing to do. It would not be unthinkable not to note this, especially for a community that has supported me so much for over a decade now. They deserve it.”
Miller has developed a bond with children at school over previous trips. He played football with them. They dance together.
Many members of the community accompanied mission teams as these groups undertook projects such as house building and food distribution, Miller said, and he loves the special moments that led to their creation.
Prior to the lifting of the NIL restrictions, Miller would likely need to resign from the NCAA to raise money for the organization, similar to what former Clemson star Trevor Lawrence did last year when he launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money. for relief from coronaviruses.
Instead, the charity effort came together in a matter of days without having to jump a lot. Miller already had a copy of a personalized brand logo. It was made by Sammy Silverman, a former creative director at Ohio State, who designed it as part of a brand presentation on one of Miller’s campus visits as a high school recruiter.
On July 1, the first day players had the opportunity to use their NIL, his mother gave the logo to a seller to make merchandise. There were a few style options to install. (They chose blue because it is the main color of the Nicaraguan flag.) But the online store went up the next day.
“It was almost overnight,” Kristina said.
The new NIL rules made it easy
Miller considered it “incredibly useful” that it took a few steps to set up the store.
“It’s a nuisance that would be so difficult to help people,” Miller said. “It simply came to our notice then. Any citizen could create a GoFundMe or share something on social media about a cause he wants to support, but because I play a sport, he got infected by saying it is that schematic? “
With previous restrictions on NCAA rules, Miller took some time to think about raising money for the nonprofit as a college athlete.
Christina said they had discussed donating part of his salary if Miller continued to play in the NFL and that he has a promising future in football. A former five-star recruiter, Miller started with the Left Guard last fall and is expected to center this coming season, replacing Josh Myers, who was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in April.
But the arrival of the NIL era at sports colleges gave him the opportunity to dive into charity work earlier.
He expects other college athletes to follow similar paths as they discover their own works of passion.
“A lot of kids want to do charity work,” Miller said. “I think the only reason I was able to jump something fast was because I had a story with him. Every locker room is full of wonderful kids, and you give a man a reason to care, I think there is nothing he would not do to support this case. “
Miller said last week that he was not sure how much money the site had raised, but was encouraged by the loyalty he had seen on social media and comments from friends.
During a visit to his native Buford, Georgia, on the weekend of July 4, he stopped at a youth soccer camp and ran to one of his former coaches who told him he had bought a T-shirt.
There is no sales target for the pop-up site, which will remain linked until Sunday. Miller hopes more and more tools are being bought.
“If it was GoFundMe, the goal would be as much as possible,” he said.