How will young boys and girls respond when their pro sports, entertainment and performing arts idols tell them to pass on fame and focus on careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)? Sports tech companies hope kids listen to the likes of Drew Brees and LeBron James and consider a career as a mathlete, for example, over a shot at a professional athlete. The same goes for girls hearing a similar message from super-model Adriana Lima, and actress Zendaya.
It’s no secret that there are millions of open tech jobs available in the U.S. today that STEM-educated kids could fill as adults. Verizon pegs the number at 9 million overall with 4 million in science and math alone. By contrast, the number of pro sports and entertainment jobs are limited and quite difficult to land.
You needn’t do the math. A Verizon commercial claims there are only 2,880 pro football players, 624 pro basketball players, 850 pro soccer players and 5,800 models.
“We don’t need more Drews,” says NFL Super Bowl Winner Saints QB Drew Brees in the engaging ad. “We don’t need more LeBrons,” says NBA Superstar LeBron James. Other famous personalities added their voices.
That’s Brees’ and James’ message in a Verizon commercial that hit the airwaves during the Final Four and then during the national championship on Monday evening. The ads are part of an ongoing Verizon program, which includes financial and tech resources for kids in underserved schools and communities so that they have the opportunity to take the STEM challenge.
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