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4/9/2012 4:30:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Fleets Move College Football Gear for Pride’s Sake, Executives Say

Longistics, Research Triangle Park, N.C., began its relationship with the North Carolina State University football team more than 15 years ago.

“The [head football] coach at the time, Mike O’Cain, and I were having dinner with a couple of friends,” said Duane Long, the logistics company’s chairman and co-founder. “During the course of the meal, he said he had a dream that he would have a truck that was painted up to display N.C. State Wolfpack football all over the country.”

Long said he replied, “We can make your dream come true.”

Since that discussion, Longistics has dedicated three tractors and two trailers to the team, Long said. While the first tractor-trailer combination — called “The Big Bad Wolf” — was hand-painted, “the new truck has a beautiful wrap on it. The truck is very impressive,” he said.

Long said each coach has been very happy with the truck.

“We’re extremely grateful for Longistics and their generosity, said Kit Hughes, N.C. State’s assistant director of athletics for football operations. “The truck is a critical component of our team operations, [carrying] our equipment for games as well as storage over the course of the year. The trailer stays with us 12 months a year, so it is pretty much part of the family.”

When asked if it is a useful recruiting tool, he said, “Absolutely. One of the benefits of it, the way that we have it’s wrapped with graphics, [makes] it essentially a large moving billboard. . . . It’s a pretty significant marketing element and helps in getting our brand out there to areas that may not hear about N.C. State on a regular basis.”

Hughes also said that the truck attracts fans — both the school’s and its opponents’.

“There are a lot of people that take pictures in front of it,” he said. “It definitely gets a lot of attention.”

Hughes added, “Sometimes, it gets negative attention from the other team’s fans, but it’s usually good-spirited, and we have people with the truck at all times” for protection.

And while N.C. State provides the drivers for the truck, they are trained and obtain U.S. Department of Transportation qualification through Longistics, said Long, who added that he attends all the team’s games.

N.C. State also finished the 2011 regular season with a 7-5 record. In the Belk Bowl at Charlotte, N.C., the Wolfpack defeated Louisville, 31-24.

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