“I Will Give Myself A Tattoo”: How Jerrick Gorton Won Homecoming King

The story of Jerrick Gorton's intense marketing campaign

After a week-long campaign of relentless virtual and in-person advertising, Jerrick Gorton ‘24 realized a dream he’s had since Homecoming Week of his Junior year: to be crowned Homecoming King. Students in the school Snapchat story bore witness to his countless calls to action, and those who encountered him in person heard his persistent prodding for votes. 

“I’ve wanted to be King ever since I saw Ovie Mayo win last year,” Gorton explained. “I thought it was cool how his friends basically got him there. Then I emailed Mischke about how to become Homecoming King, and he told me [about the process].” 

Gorton’s younger brother, Jenner Gorton ‘27 played a big part in his advertising campaign.

 “He was pestering a lot of people, like, a lot,” Gorton said. “I got people coming up to me yelling at me because of how annoying he was, but he said he got at least 40 people to vote for me.”

Another pillar of Gorton’s strategy was making posts on the BHS Snapchat story. His marketing campaign featured photos of himself with heavy filters and promotional captions reminding students of how much time was left to vote and that they should strongly consider voting for him.

A few days before voting closed, Gorton announced that he was going to get a tattoo if he won the vote. “I thought people were going to think it was funny if I won,” Gorton said, “but when I got the idea for the tattoo, things were a little more serious, I guess.”

Despite his consistent efforts, Gorton didn’t have very much confidence in his victory until the moment he stepped out on stage. 

“I thought Reese Hollins was going to win,” he said. “I heard so many people say that Reese was going to win. When that crown was hovering above my head, I was so nervous. I think I saw a video [of the moment] and I was tapping my shoes and whatever.”

When the crown landed on his head, a crowd of his friends and family lept from their seats to congratulate him. 

“My mom is really hyped for me,” Gorton said, “for the Homecoming King part. She thinks I’m a little silly for the tattoo, and when I told her I bought [the tattoo gun], she wasn’t upset, she was concerned.”

With the machine ordered, as well as several “practice skins” to perfect his technique on, Gorton hopes to carry out his promise this weekend. 

“It’s gonna say the year and then homecoming king and then above it a little doodle crown,” Gorton said.

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Karalee Parsons

Karalee Parsons is a 2024 graduate from Buffalo High School. She is involved in Student Council as co-president, editor & social media manager on the Hoofprint, and editor on the Tatanka Yearbook. Parsons plans to pursue mathematics at University of Wisconsin Eau Claire.

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