Outgoing University Park Elementary Dads Club president Robb Flint is no stranger to bringing attention to a brand, thanks to his career in marketing.
So when the father of three decided to put the construction of a sport court at the forefront of his presidential tenure, he found unorthodox ways to make the dream a reality.
Ground broke for the elementary school’s first athletics court on July 1 after a Borat-themed “cornhole” tournament spearheaded an initiative that garnered more than $55,000.
PTA president Dana Manley said the notion of bringing a sport court to University Park had been of interest for several years. Armstrong, Bradfield, and Hyer were ahead of the game, and Flint believed it was time to catch up.
“It’s one thing for one person to come up to you, but I literally had several parents come up to me and mention how those schools’ sport court facilities are nice, and it would be great if UP had something similar,” said Flint.
While Flint’s idea was met with support, he faced the challenge of acquiring enough money to cover construction costs. A cap of $75,000 was placed, and HPISD agreed to offset a third of the cost if the Dads Club raised $50,000.
As for the fundraising, Flint pulled from his own bag of unconventional tricks. In early May, he introduced the “Cornhole Extravaganza for Make Benefit Glorious Sport Court UP.” The title was inspired by Sacha Baron Cohen’s 2006 film.
The event featured a 40-team tournament of beanbag tossing, along with prizes, food, and drinks. Flint’s approach was to bring something different and fun to the community, and the combination of Borat and cornhole seemed like a winner.
“I don’t know how, but it just came to me. That’s how my brain works,” Flint said. “Using what I think is fun, innocent, harmless humor really helped get my message through, and it was fun for me.”
Proceeds from the extravaganza, combined with generous donations from supporters, exceeded the agreed-upon amount.
Manley applauded Flint’s humorous efforts, naming him the reason for the increase in Dads Club membership.
“Robb’s approach as Dads Club president was very effective,” Manley said. “He was able to use his sense of humor in emails that typically ensured they would be read in their entirety and generate a response.”
The sport court is expected to be complete by the start of the school year. Flint unconventionally expressed his gratitude to the community through a “We Have a Dream” email inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic speech.
With his lively presidential term coming to an end, Flint looks forward to some down time. He plans to take the school year off, enjoy his “retirement,” and decide what’s next. Stay tuned.