Brat Sales Boost Football Program
A Missouri high school booster club president helps the football program win new uniforms
When Barbara Herr, president of the athletic booster club at Ferguson-Florissant School District's McCluer North High School in Florissant, Missouri, heard about the Johnsonville National Booster Club Contest, sponsored by Johnsonville Sausage, she told friends and family that she was going to win "one for the team."
And she did, helping the club sell more than 800 bratwursts during the 2006 football season. Due to her incredible efforts, the football team will receive brand new uniformsthe first-place prize of the contest. Herr was honored at a surprise ceremony at the Ferguson-Florissant School District offices on December 13.
"We are excited for McCluer North High School and are particularly proud of Barbara Herr," says Jim Mueller of Johnsonville. "Everybody knows that booster clubs are essential to the success of sports programs, especially in high schools. Barbara scored the winning touchdown for her team. Johnsonville has a long history of community and football involvement, from youth football to the NFL. We were thrilled to support local high schools by lending our products and resources to this contest. We will be proud to provide new uniforms to McCluer North High School."
The contest featured a host of high schools from across the country, requiring each school to sell Johnsonville Brats at concession stands during home football games. The high school that sold the most Johnsonville Brats by the end of the season would win new uniforms similar to those of top college and NFL teams. McCluer North High School came in first, with Hopatcong High School (N.J.) finishing second and St. Francis High School (Wis.) placing third.
Herr, the new Johnsonville Brats National Booster Mom, enlisted the booster club into the contest after one of the school's football student-athletes was nominated to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl last year. She has served as booster club president for more than two years, and first enjoyed Johnsonville Brats more than 15 years ago. She regularly purchases the brats for her family and expanded the idea when she became a booster mom, serving them at McCluer North's homecoming games. Because of their tremendous popularity, the booster club decided to continue selling the brats at all home functions.
The successful bratwurst sales came from Herr's diligent marketing tactics. She created homemade signs advertising the contest and posted them around the stadium during all home games. She had the high school stadium's public address announcer mention the contest to the home crowd and explain the benefits of the program. According to Herr, the contest would typically be mentioned four times a game to help drive traffic to the booster club snack shop. In addition, the football team had a great year with an 11-1 record, which help generate strong home attendance numbers, and in turn, pushed the brat sales along. Herr's efforts resulted in McCluer North's concession stand selling out of Johnsonville Brats after every home game and contributed to the club starting a new tradition: After every home game, the last 10 brats would be saved for the referees, who would devour the last links.
In addition to raising three children and working full time at a local pharmacy, Herr spends 15 hours a week year-round running the booster club, which is responsible for all of the high school's sports teams. She graduated from McCluer North High School in 1978 and has one son attending high school.
McCluer North High School, under the direction of Head Football Coach Jim Schottmueller, has an excellent reputation and is considered one of the top football programs in the state. Many alums play or have played in the NFL. This year's team made it all the way to the state semifinals.
The national contest is part of Johnsonville Brats Corporation's national sponsorship of SportsLink's U.S. Army All-American Bowl on NBC, the nation's premier prep football game featuring the nation's top 80 prep football players. The Bowl will be played on January 6, 2007, in San Antonio, Texas. Alumni of the Bowl have included Reggie Bush (USC and New Orleans Saints) and Vince Young (University of Texas and Tennessee Titans).
For more information on the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, please visit: www.usarmyallamericanbowl.com. For more information about Johnsonville Sausage, visit: www.johnsonville.com.