During his 20-years-and-counting career, German-born basketball star Dirk Nowitzki has endeared himself to fans across Dallas and around the world. Recently, one fan and her family got the chance of a lifetime to meet the NBA MVP and NBA champion. Rebecca Valera, a real estate agent and longtime Dallas area resident, was the winner of the "Win A Day With Dirk" sweepstakes run by Which Wich Superior Sandwiches as part of the company’s season-long celebration of Nowitzki’s 20th anniversary with the Mavericks.
Valera was able to bring her husband, children and parents to a recent Dallas Mavericks game. The day included dinner, viewing of Nowitzki’s private warm up, participating in the players’ high five line, VIP seats, a locker room tour, and a personal meet-and-greet with Nowitzki afterward.
“My husband has been a diehard fan his entire life and introduced me to the Mavericks back in 2010. At first, I was asking him a ton of questions like who the players were, what their stories were—but my love of the Mavs has really taken off from there,” says Valera. “My husband heard about the Which Wich contest and we decided to enter. They notified me on the 5th of December—which was my birthday. I would have never imagined that we'd win this kind of contest. It was a nice, special birthday surprise.”
To celebrate and thank Nowitzki for the impact he has made on the Dallas area during his time as a member of the Mavericks, Dallas-based Which Wich launched a new line of “DirkWiches” ahead of his 20th NBA season including sandwiches such as the Dirkwurst, Swishwich, MVPizza and more. A dollar from every DirkWich sold at participating Which Wich locations goes to The Dirk Nowitzki Foundation, which helps provide education, health and well-being for children to enrich their lives and realize their dreams. Guests also have the opportunity to make an additional donation in the form of another dollar, 41 dollars (in honor of Nowitzki’s jersey number) or any amount of their choosing. Additionally, Which Wich locations in the Dallas area have Dirk t-shirts available for purchase with proceeds benefitting the foundation and out-of-town fans can support the initiative by purchasing them on the Which Wich website.
Both Jeff and his wife, Courtney Sinelli, were already fans of Nowitzki’s when the first Which Wich opened in downtown Dallas in 2003. Since then, the company has grown to nearly 450 locations with 33 in their home city of Dallas, and the two were enthusiastic to cheer on Dallas’s hometown hero in a unique and bigger way. It was in this spirit that they collaborated with Nowitzki’s team to create the DirkWich program.
“It was so rewarding to be able to provide this incredible opportunity to meet Dirk to Rebecca and her family,” says Courtney Sinelli, co-founder of Which Wich. “Dirk has meant so much to so many people across the Dallas area and it is great to see a family of fans get the chance to meet him in-person. But there’s still much more in store to celebrate Dirk’s 20th season and to raise more money for The Dirk Nowitzki Foundation.”
One additional opportunity is the “Hoops With Dirk” contest that Which Wich will launch on January 20 where the winner will get a chance to play a game of WICH with Nowitzki, similar to the popular basketball shoot-around game, HORSE. The second-place winner will receive VIP tickets to a Dallas Mavericks game complete with a locker room tour and other prizes will be awarded through the campaign. To participate, Which Wich fans simply need to take a picture of their DirkWich or any other Which Wich sandwich and post on social media with the #HoopsWithDirk hashtag.
For Valera and her family, the meeting with Dirk has further cemented them as fans of the Mavs, Dirk, and of Which Wich.
“We've gone occasionally to Which Wich. We live in Lewisville and when we decided to go the time we entered the contest, it was getting late when we were visiting family and seemed like a convenient place to grab dinner. It wasn't our first visit and it's obviously not going to be our last visit, for sure.”