By Ashley Bryant
Special to howard-bison.com
WASHINGTON, D.C. - After much negotiation, the Howard University Athletic Department has teamed up with one of the world's most prominent fast-food hamburger chains. In the first of many initiatives to come, various Howard athletic teams were invited to meet their sponsors. The Lady Bison basketball team was one of the first teams to visit the Howard McDonald's to meet owners Ashley and Craig Welburn.
"[McDonald's] has been trying to partner with Howard for a long time," said Ron Harris, former Howard baseball coach and broadcaster.
At the hour-long meet and greet, the women's basketball squad was provided with the opportunity to take photographs and socialize.
According to Juanita Edwards, manager of trademark licensing and vending, HU was able to partner up with McDonald's due to overcoming administrative hurdles and the athletic department opening up to the idea of the sponsorship.
"[McDonald's is] creating a general partnership since they are here in the community," said Edwards, who helped get the sponsorship underway.
McDonald's is on board to be involved with homecoming activities, signage in the gym and football stadium, and have live commercial announcements at games, according to Harris.
In addition to the golden arches being more visible on campus, Edwards says the sponsorship will embrace the student body. According to Edwards, McCafe will make its way to the yard at homecoming, there will be promotional events at the game and coupons will be distributed for freshmen backpacks.
McDonald's has offered to reach out with green zone, a sustainability project, but plans to look into creating more initiatives to reach out to students as the partnership develops, according to Edwards.