Pirates become Nike community partner
February 7th, 2021
The East Kilbride Pirates are delighted to be officially recognised as a local community partner of one of the world’s biggest sports brands – Nike.
When lockdown lifts, shoppers at the flagship Nike Unite store at the Kingsgate Retail Park will be greeted by images of star running back and Stewartfield resident Dougie Meechan in action for the Pirates and information about the club on the store’s new digital community board.
Heart and spirit
East Kilbride is one of just a handful of locations globally where the sports mega-brand have opened a store with their new Nike Unite concept – designed to reflect the “heart and spirit” of the local community. Other Nike Unite stores to date include Namyangju in South Korea and Portland, San Antonio and East New York in the United States. The East Kilbride Nike store, previously an outlet, was refitted and reopened with the new store concept in mid-November.
As one of the store’s community partners, the Pirates benefit from in-store promotion to raise awareness of club activities and signpost how people can get involved, as well as the opportunity to gain support from store staff members who can volunteer with the club as Nike Community Ambassadors.
“We’re really excited by the new partnership,” say Pirates chair Amanda McDonald. “One of our big aims as a club is to get young people involved and active in our sport and promotion in store will help us reach lots of potential new members of all ages who might not even realise that they can even play the sport in the UK – let alone locally in EK. And the volunteer support we’re going to get from the Nike community programme is going to be hugely valuable too. When the pandemic lifts and we’re able to return to action, we want to get out and about in our local community and in schools running taster sessions for young people. Sport is going to be a hugely important way to help them recover from the mental health impact of COVID-19.”
Nike Unite Assistant Head Coach and Community Champion at the Kingsgate Store Gavin Thomson is delighted to be working with the Pirates: “By regularly volunteering in the community to get kids active, Nike Community Ambassadors lead the charge in creating the future of sport for kids. By working with Scotland’s number one American football organisation we’ll be able to help kids get access to a sport many may never have considered trying – regardless of their background. With the Pirates’ vast knowledge of not only the sport but the local community, the partnership we’re creating will help to keep kids moving through play and sport so they can lead healthier, happier and more successful lives and create opportunities that many may have not thought possible.”
As well as playing for the Pirates, Dougie Meechan is also Footwear Lead at the store. “This partnership also allows Dougie to combine his passion with his job, making Nike a great place to work too,” says Gavin. “It gives Dougie and his Nike Unite colleagues the opportunity to share their passion for Nike as a brand but also that of the sport and the EK Pirates organisation within the local community and beyond.”
EK Nike Staff already supported the Pirates to run a number of flag football taster sessions at the John Wright Center in February last year. The sessions, run in partnership with dynamic flag football duo The UK Dukes and Active Schools South Lanarkshire, took place not long before the pandemic hit and saw kids from across East Kilbride primary schools try their hand at the non-contact version of American Football in fast-paced, fun sessions.
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