Chasing Dreams

Capturing Authentic Passion Among Seattle’s Graduating Youth

Project Summary

Over the summer of 2017, Alaska Airlines wanted to make an impact in the lives and education of 1,200 underprivileged high school seniors in the Greater Seattle Area. To accomplish this, they enlisted their Chief Football Officer Russell Wilson and Nyhus to create an event that would leave a lasting impression – encouraging students to proudly finish their high school career and set themselves up for long-term educational success.

Alaska Airlines

Public Relations, Public Affairs and Marketing

Reinforced a global brand’s connection to its hometown by inspiring local graduating seniors to plan for their futures


With underprivileged high school students having the highest number of seniors not graduating, Alaska was faced with a time-sensitive dilemma: how to incentivize these students to graduate with their classmates while positioning themselves as an advocate for education in the surrounding communities.


  • Using on-screen highlights and powerful imagery, Alaska’s CEO Brad Tilden and Russell Wilson rallied the crowd and shared lessons of hard work and following your dreams
  • The event highlighted the authentic passion of Alaska’s CEO for education and the positive future of the region
  • Alaska donated twelve scholarships to graduating seniors, selected by their respective schools for exhibiting dedication to their educational goals
  • The event was the cover story on the September 2017 edition of Alaska Beyond magazine – read by millions of customers on Alaska Airlines flights– and was part of a broader effort to position Alaska as a thought leader around efforts to improve educational outcomes for youth in our region