Archive for April, 2013

NFL Honored for Suicide Prevention Efforts

New York, NY: April 30, 2013 – The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is honoring the National Football League (NFL) with its prestigious Humanitarian Award at its 25th annual Lifesavers Dinner on May 8th at the Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. Troy Vincent, former All-Pro defensive back and NFL Senior Vice President of Player Engagement will attend the black-tie gala to accept the award.

In 2012, the league partnered with leading suicide prevention organizations, including AFSP, to launch the NFL Life Line, a website and crisis hotline number as a resource for former and current players, their family members, and all league and team employees.  The website includes an anonymous and confidential self-check quiz and online chat that allows individuals to interact with trained professionals.  The website also lists important information about depression, suicide warning signs and features videos from former players encouraging those in distress to “make the call” for help.

“We know that one of the best ways to prevent suicide is by encouraging those who are struggling with a crisis or feeling depressed to seek help, but too often many people fear reaching out because of shame or embarrassment or because they just don’t know where to turn,” said Robert Gebbia, executive director for AFSP.  “This is why the NFL Life Line is so important. It provides a confidential support system specifically for the NFL family.”

Additionally, the NFL is being recognized for its generous support of neurological research that will help in understanding the impact of traumatic brain injuries on mental health.
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NFL Offseason Workout Program Dates Announced

Click here for the full NFL Offseason Workout Program calendar for 2013, including rookie minicamp dates. Voluntary offseason workout programs are intended to provide training, teaching and physical conditioning for players.

OVER 20 MILLION FANS WATCH & FOLLOW THE 2013 NFL DRAFT ON NFL NETWORK, NFL.COM, & NFL MOBILE PROPERTIES

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Over seven million viewers watched 2013 NFL Draft coverage on NFL Network

Fueled by 126% increase to NFL Mobile properties, coverage on NFL Digital platforms drew over 13 million fans

NFL Network’s coverage of the 78th annual NFL Draft resulted in record rating and viewership numbers for the network. NFL Network drew a record total of 7.1 million viewers over the three days (based on a 6-minute qualifier) of the 2013 NFL Draft, a 17% increase over 2012 (6.07 million) and the 5th consecutive year that NFL Network has increased its total Draft audience.

Over the course of the three days of the draft, NFL Network averaged nearly a million viewers (930k), an increase of 23% over 2012. NFL Network’s viewership numbers were highlighted by Thursday’s coverage of Round 1 which averaged over 1.5 million viewers.

On the digital front, audience to NFL Digital Media’s draft coverage grew to over 13 million unique viewers, a 31% increase over 2012. The digital growth was driven in large part by traffic to NFL Mobile properties, which increased 126% versus last year.

With a record-high 47 hours of live coverage of the three-day event, an extensive talent roster of analysts, reporters and college coaches, and a record number of draft war room cameras providing behind-the-scenes access, NFL Network, NFL.com and NFL Mobile properties provided coverage of the 2013 NFL Draft live from Radio City Music Hall.

(Source: Nielsen Media Research)

23 current & former NFL players to participate in new “NFL Sports Journalism & Communications Boot Camp” May 13-16

Four-day program for current & former players includes “final exam” covering Toledo Mud Hens baseball game

Twenty three current and former NFL players — including 12-year NFL veteran CHARLIE BATCH, 2012 Patriots Hall of Fame inductee TROY BROWN, and 2001 Heisman Trophy winner ERIC CROUCH — will take part in the first-ever NFL Sports Journalism & Communications Boot Camp from May 13-16 at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. With the new longer offseason, the boot camp is one of a record 10 training programs for post-NFL careers that NFL Player Engagement offers to current and former players.

The four-day program will focus on improving each player’s writing skills for newspapers, radio, and the expanding digital media industry. A field exercise at a Toledo Mud Hens home game will include a mock press conference as part of the player’s game coverage.  Players will write and record their own radio commentary as part of one of the other planned exercises.

Faculty for the boot camp will include ED BOUCHETTE (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), PETER KING (Sports Illustrated, NBC), and BARRY WILNER (Associated Press) as well as former NFL players-turned-journalists SOLOMON WILCOTS (CBS, NFL Network), MATT BOWEN (Chicago Tribune), MATT CHATHAM (Boston Herald), and BUCKY BROOKS (NFL.com and NFL Network).

The boot camp is hosted by the BGSU School of Media and Communications and the Sport Management program and was developed with NFL Player Engagement, under the auspices of the Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project.
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20 million watch Round 1 of 2013 NFL Draft; First Round most-watched show on cable

NFL Network & NFL Digital Properties Set Records 

First-round coverage of the 2013 NFL Draft on ESPN and NFL Network drew a combined total viewership of 20.0 million viewers*, according to The Nielsen Company (*based on at least six minutes of viewing).

The combined ESPN/NFLN average of 7.7 million viewers:

  • Nearly doubled the viewership of the next most-watched show of the day on cable (Swamp People on History Channel, 4.0 million);
  • Drew five million more viewers than the day’s next most-watched sporting event (Clippers-Grizzles on TNT, 2.6 million);
  • Ranks as the third-most-watched first round ever behind 2010 (8.3 million viewers) and 2012 (8.1 million viewers).

NFL Network’s first-round coverage drew a record average of 1.5 million viewers – a seven percent increase over last year’s previous record (1.4 million viewers).

The NFL’s digital media platforms — including NFL.com, NFL Mobile From Verizon and other NFL mobile products — set a record with its first-round draft coverage as unique visitors jumped 35 percent compared to last year (and 101 percent increase over 2011).

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NFL Salutes Military, Fans and Football Greats at 2013 NFL Draft

75 GUESTS SCHEDULED TO ANNOUNCE DRAFT PICKS

The National Football League announced today the roster of guests scheduled to announce Draft picks live from Radio City Music Hall today and Saturday during the 2013 NFL Draft. The Draft resumes tonight at 6:30 PM ET (Rounds 2-3) and continues Saturday at 12:00 PM ET (Rounds 4-7).

Throughout the Draft, members of the United States Armed Forces from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and the Wounded Warrior Project will be honored on the stage of Radio City Music Hall as part of the NFL’s Salute To Service campaign.

The NFL previously announced that 32 legendary NFL alumni, one representing each team, will announce live on Friday second or third round Draft picks from Radio City Music Hall. This continues a successful program that began in 2011 in which every selection in the second round is announced by former players.

In addition, 25 fans will make announcements for their teams. Fans chosen by NFL teams from throughout the league will join sweepstakes winners and sponsors Bud Light and Verizon in making selections. Bud Light provided their Ultimate Fan the chance to join an NFL alumnus on stage to announce his or her favorite team’s second round pick and Verizon is the presenting sponsor of the 2013 NFL Draft Dream Sweepstakes, which awarded three fans the opportunity to make a pick for their favorite NFL teams during the third round.

Among the fans on hand Saturday will be TAYA KYLE, who will make the Cowboys announcement. Kyle’s husband, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, was killed in February outside Ft. Worth. Kyle was recognized as one of the best snipers in American military history. The Cowboys hosted Chris Kyle’s memorial service at Cowboys Stadium with more than 7,000 people in attendance.

For the complete release, click here

NFL Auction Celebrates 2013 NFL Draft with New Roster of Items & New Look

Special NFL Draft Auction Features Items to Raise Money For St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital including ANDREW LUCK Game-Used 2013 Pro Bowl Jersey

NFL AUCTION, the official auction site of the National Football League and the only place to bid on guaranteed and authentic signed, game-used items and unique NFL experiences, is introducing a new and improved look, functionalities and a charity auction in celebration of the 2013 NFL Draft. 

The new NFL Auction features a cleaner navigation, which makes viewing and bidding on items easier.  New for the 2013 season, Buy It Now and Group Buy (fixed price purchasing) features will be incorporated into the site. Fans will also be able to bid on the unique items on NFL Auction from their mobile devices and via Facebook.

The re-launch of NFL Auction will kick off a special collaboration between St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and NFL PLAY 60, the NFL’s campaign for an active and healthy generation. NFL PLAY 60 is the new “Official Champion of Play” at St. Jude, the global leader in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other deadly diseases.

Items signed by many of the 2013 Draft prospects, including a Kansas City Chiefs No. 1 overall selection T ERIC FISHER-signed football, are featured on the NFL Auction home page. The funds raised from the auction will support the needs of the St. Jude Child Life department, giving these kids the chance to play and be active.  To kick off the collaboration, Markell Gregoire, a child from St. Jude announced a pick during Round One of the Draft last night.

Over the past five years NFL Auction has donated more than $5 million to a variety of nonprofit organizations.  NFL Auction donates 100% of its net proceeds to support NFL and team charities.  Charities that benefit from NFL Auction include:

  • American Cancer Society: More than $500,000 was raised through NFL Auction this past year as part of the NFL’s “A Crucial Catch” Breast Cancer Awareness campaign.
  • Military charities including Pat Tillman Foundation, Wounded Warrior Project, USO:   More than $300,000 was raised through NFL Auction this past year as part of the NFL’s “Salute To Service” Military Appreciation campaign.
  • Player Care Foundation: An independent organization dedicated to helping retired players improve their quality of life. PCF addresses all aspects of life – medical, emotional, financial, social and community, providing programs and assistance in each area.
  • Urology Care Foundation: The Urology Care Foundation is the official foundation of the American Urological Association (AUA).
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinees Assistance Foundation
  • Team Foundations:  More than half of NFL teams currently use NFL Auction as a fundraising vehicle.

Visit www.nfl.com/auction for more information.

The National Football League Foundation Donates $100,000 to The One Fund Boston

Donation matches contribution from the Kraft family

 April 26, 2013 – The National Football League Foundation announced today a $100,000 donation to The One Fund Boston to support the victims of the bombings at the Boston Marathon on April 15. 

The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation and the Kraft Family have been generating donations online that will be distributed via The One Fund Boston. The Kraft Family challenged their community to raise money and pledged to match donations up to $100,000.  With the contribution from the NFL Foundation, the Kraft family announced Thursday that $617,000 has been raised thus far.   

“Our hearts go out to all those affected,” said Charlotte Jones Anderson, chairman of the NFL Foundation and executive vice president of the Dallas Cowboys. “We know the victims, their families and the entire community face a long recovery, and we hope our donation helps to ensure the necessary resources are available to them.” 

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino announced the creation of The One Fund Boston to collect donations for distribution to the victims and their families. 

Those interested in assisting victims of the attack can learn more or contribute through the Patriots’ website

The National Football League Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those touched by the game of football – from players at all levels to communities across the country. The NFL Foundation represents the 32 NFL clubs and supports the health and safety of athletes, youth football, and the communities which support our game.

For more information on The NFL Foundation, visit: www.NFLFoundation.org.

Federal Court issues ruling to disable nearly 1,500 websites offering counterfeit NFL and team merchandise

The NFL received Wednesday an important and favorable ruling by New York federal court Judge Lorna Schofield in a counterfeiting action brought by the league against more than 1,470 China-based websites offering for sale counterfeit NFL and club-identified jerseys, headwear and other goods.

The Court issued a preliminary injunction order disabling these “rogue” websites so that they can no longer be accessed by consumers and freezing certain payment accounts held by the sites’ operators. Click here for the ruling.

Many of these rogue sites used domain names that incorporated the NFL and club trademarks (for example, officialcowboysjersey.comnflshop365.com,  officialravensauthentic.com) and mimicked the look and feel of official team store sites to confuse fans into thinking they were shopping on an authorized web site.  Click here for a comprehensive list of these sites.

The ruling was issued on the eve of the 2013 NFL Draft, an event that is expected to attract more than 45 million viewers and serves as the start of a new season for fans. The Draft also represents one of the hottest windows of NFL merchandise sales.

This is the third such action that the NFL has filed against infringing eCommerce sites.  In total, the NFL has disabled over 2,500 web sites, significantly disrupting these criminal enterprises. The NFL was assisted in its efforts on this matter by MarkMonitor, Inc. and Kroll Associates, Inc.

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NFL SHOP AT DRAFT POPS UP AGAIN!

 NFL Shop at Draft opens Wednesday, April 24

 Following the success of last year’s inaugural NFL Shop at Draft, the NFL is converting a recycled shipping container into the latest rendition of the NFL Shop at Draft. This year’s NFL SHOP AT DRAFT is located across the street from Radio City Music Hall in the Time & Life Plaza (1271 Avenue of the Americas) starting Wednesday, April 24.

The pop-up shop will feature a New Era “Speak with Your Cap” Photo Booth where fans can show off their team spirit & receive a souvenir photo, and meet NFL cheerleaders. The pop-up shop will also be one of the first places to unveil NY/ NJ Super Bowl apparel and novelties. Fans can also shop NFL Draft products, New Era caps and other NFL accessories.

The NFL Shop at Draft is open Wednesday, April 24 – Friday, April 26 from 10 AM – 7 PM and Saturday, April 27 from 10 AM – 4 PM.