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Skittles Brand and NFL Activate Sponsorship

Iconic Rainbow Candy to “Make Game Day Awesomer”

NFL skittles post- 4.29

CHICAGO (MAY 20, 2014) – National Football League game days are about to get awesomer: the Skittles brand ­ made by Wrigley, a subsidiary of Mars, Inc. ­ is an official NFL sponsor.

The brand’s NFL activation plans were on display today at the Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago to celebrate Skittles official entry into the NFL’s roster of sponsors.

Through the sponsorship, the Skittles brand will help NFL fans make their game day celebrations awesomer this season with a series of retail and in-stadium activations. From August 1 to November 4 football fans everywhere can snap a photo of a pack of Skittles candies found on the Wrigley NFL-themed displays nationally for the chance to win one of 1,000 awesome weekly prizes. Fans should expect the unexpected as the brand prepares to celebrate the sponsorship in the months ahead.

Skittles candies are a game day staple for many of the League’s passionate fans. While Skittles made its NFL debut around Super Bowl XLVIII and this season marks the first long-term activation with the NFL, it complements a longstanding relationship between the League and the brand’s parent company, Mars Inc., whose Snickers brand has sponsored the League since 2003.

“Over the last few years, NFL fans have embraced our brand in a truly breathtaking way, and we’re very excited that this program will make it possible for us to express our appreciation in bigger and better ways,” said Matt Montei, Sr. Director of Confections and Seasonal at Wrigley. “I can’t wait for NFL fans to find all the ways that Skittles makes their game days awesomer.”

About Wrigley

Wrigley is a recognized leader in confections with a wide range of product offerings including gum, mints, hard and chewy candies, and lollipops. Wrigley’s world-famous brands – including Extra®, Orbit®, Doublemint®, and 5™ chewing gums, as well as confectionery brands Skittles®, Starburst®, Altoids® and Life Savers® – create simple pleasures for consumers every day. With operations across 50 countries and distribution in more than 180 countries, Wrigley’s brands bring smiles to faces around the globe. The company is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, employs approximately 17,000 associates globally, and operates as a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion, six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience, and more than 72,000 Associates worldwide that are putting its Principles into action to make a difference for people and the planet through its performance.

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NFL Offseason Workout Program Dates Announced

Following is the NFL Offseason Workout Program calendar for 2014. Voluntary offseason workout programs are intended to provide training, teaching and physical conditioning for players.

As per Article 21 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each club’s official, voluntary nine-week offseason program is conducted in three phases:

Phase One consists of the first two weeks of the program with activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.

Phase Two consists of the next three weeks of the program. On-field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.

Phase Three consists of the next four weeks of the program. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs”. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

Article 22 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement stipulates that clubs may hold one mandatory minicamp for veteran players. This minicamp, noted below, must occur during Phase Three of the offseason program. Head coaches hired after the end of the 2013 season are also entitled to conduct an additional voluntary veteran minicamp.

Each club may hold a rookie football development program for a period of seven weeks, which in 2014 may begin on May 12. During this period, no activities may be held on weekends, with the exception of one post-NFL Draft rookie minicamp, which may be conducted on either the first or second weekend following the draft.

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Four-Day Program Hosted by University of Notre Dame Includes Business Pitch Competition

NFL Legends and past BM&E participants CHARLIE BATCH, DEKE COOPER, JEFF FAINE & J.R. TOLVER to Serve as Speakers and Mentors

Twenty-seven current and former NFL players will take part in the NFL Business Management & Entrepreneurial Program (BM&E) April 3-6 at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. This is one of several training programs for post-NFL careers that NFL Player Engagement offers to current and former players.

Participants will hear from University of Notre Dame faculty and successful business leaders. The program will kick off with presentations from four NFL Legends who applied learnings from past BM&E programs to launch their own business ventures and foundations including Notre Dame alumni DEKE COOPER and JEFF FAINE, as well as CHARLIE BATCH and J.R. TOLVER. Faine and BRADY QUINN, a fellow Notre Dame alumnus and past participant in the BM&E Program, were instrumental in bringing the program to Notre Dame for the first time in 2013.

The program—developed jointly with NFL Player Engagement, Mendoza’s Stayer Center for Executive Education and the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship—will cover topics such as financial literacy and analysis, investing for impact, and business plan development. Attendees will receive mentoring from Batch, Cooper, Faine and Tolver as well as the Irish Angels, a select group of investors within the Notre Dame community who advise and invest in start-ups. Throughout the four days, participants will work in groups to develop and deliver a business plan for the Business Pitch Competition that closes out the program.

“We believe in a shared responsibility to prepare our players for career opportunities after their NFL playing experience,” said Kimberly Fields, Vice President of NFL Player Engagement. “This program provides education, mentoring, and hands-on experience for those looking to succeed in the business world.”

“It is a pleasure again to have the opportunity to work with the NFL in presenting the Business Management & Entrepreneurial Program,” said Paul Slaggert, Director of Non-Degree Programs for the Stayer Center for Executive Education at Notre Dame. “The ability to work with current and former NFL players who want to give back by starting or investing in new ventures that benefit their communities is extremely gratifying.”

Players will be live blogging throughout the program, documenting their experience on Following is a list of participating players:


BRIAN ARNFELT Pittsburgh Steelers
ZANE BEADLES Jacksonville Jaguars
VONTAE DAVIS Indianapolis Colts
JEROME FELTON Minnesota Vikings
ANDRE GURODE Oakland Raiders
JEFFREY “J.J.” JANSEN Carolina Panthers
JOSH MARTIN Kansas City Chiefs
TIM MASTHAY Green Bay Packers
KEVIN MC DERMOTT San Francisco 49ers
RYAN MUNDY Chicago Bears
MICHAEL PALMER Pittsburgh Steelers
JOE REITZ Indianapolis Colts
WILL SVITEK New England Patriots
DARRYL TAPP Detroit Lions
DE MARCUS WARE Denver Broncos
SAM YOUNG Jacksonville Jaguars

About NFL Player Engagement

NFL Player Engagement assists players in reaching their highest potential on and off-the-field with guidance, support, and resources provided before, during, and after their NFL experiences. NFL Player Engagement works with three core audiences: Prep, Life, and Next. NFL Life (current players) and NFL Next (former players) reach more than 2,000 NFL players and spouses each year through a variety of programs and services focused on career development, financial and continuing education, as well as personal, psychological, and physical wellness. NFL Prep provides high-school and college student-athletes of all sports with tools to help them succeed in life, focused on awareness, prevention, and education. More information can be found at

About Stayer Center for Executive Education

Founded in 1980, the University of Notre Dame’s Stayer Center for Executive Education, located in the No. 1 ranked Mendoza College of Business, provides leaders in the executive and management ranks with the opportunity to develop and strengthen their leadership abilities and business acumen skills. The Stayer Center for Executive Education is dedicated to devel­oping leaders who succeed in today’s global business world and are prepared to meet the challenges of tomorrow. In keeping with the Notre Dame mission, the Stayer Center emphasizes values-centered leadership plus strategic thinking. The Stayer Center offers non-degree programs in 10 countries (including open-enrollment, custom and online) and the Executive MBA degree program (No. 15 ranked) in South Bend and Chicago awarding about 120 degrees annually. All these programs are designed to meet a range of career and lifetime goals, for individuals as well as organizations.

About the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship

Located in the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame, the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship was founded in 1998 for the purpose of fostering innovation and infusing aspiring Notre Dame entrepreneurs with a sense of the possible.  Through rigorous coursework, its annual business plan competition, conferences, extensive networking and mentoring, and experiential learning opportunities, the Center provides students, alumni and faculty members with the knowledge and skills vital to entrepreneurship. Gigot develops individuals who have a vision for a startup, as well as “intrapreneurs” who seek to bring innovation to an existing business. In keeping with the Mendoza College mission to Ask More of Business™, the Gigot Center actively supports the social entrepreneur who uses business skills and knowledge to serve the greater good.


Both Conference Championship Games Average More Than 50 Million Viewers



Football fans across America continue to tune in to NFL games in BIG numbers.  This weekend’s conference championship games averaged 53.7 million viewers, joining the 2011 season’s championship weekend as the most-watched conference championship Sunday in more than 30 years (January 1982; game-by-game comparison below).

The San Francisco 49ers-Seattle Seahawks NFC Championship Game on FOX averaged 55.9 million viewers to rank as the fifth most-watched conference championship game ever (chart below).

The New England Patriots-Denver Broncos AFC Championship Game on CBS averaged 51.3 million viewers to rank as the third most-watched AFC Championship Game ever (New York Jets-Pittsburgh Steelers 1/23/11, 54.9 million, CBS; San Diego Chargers-Cincinnati Bengals 1/10/82, 51.6 million, NBC).  The conference championship games are television’s two most-watched shows since Super Bowl XLVII. 

2013 NFL Conference Championship Games

Date Network (Game) Viewers
Jan. 19, 2014 CBS (Patriots at Broncos) 51.3 million
Jan. 19, 2014 FOX (49ers at Seahawks) 55.9 million

2011 NFL Conference Championship Games

Date Network (Game) Viewers
Jan. 22, 2012 CBS (Ravens at Patriots) 48.7 million
Jan. 22, 2012 FOX (Giants at 49ers) 57.6 million

1981 NFL Conference Championship Games

Date Network (Game) Viewers
Jan. 10, 1982 NBC (Chargers at Bengals) 51.6 million
Jan. 10, 1982 CBS (Cowboys at 49ers) 68.7 million

Most-Watched NFL Conference Championship Games

Date Network (Game) Viewers
Jan. 10, 1982 CBS (Cowboys at 49ers) 68.7 million
Jan. 24, 2010 FOX (Vikings at Saints-OT) 57.9 million
Jan. 22, 2012 FOX (N.Y. Giants at 49ers-OT) 57.6 million
Jan. 15, 1995 FOX (Cowboys-49ers) 56.8 million
Jan. 19, 2013 FOX (49ers-Seahawks) 55.9 million

 Source: NFL & The Nielsen Company, Fast National Data

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Thank You From Roger Goodell

To the most passionate and dedicated fans in the world, we thank you.

We hope you enjoyed the 2013 regular season that many view as one of the greatest in NFL history. Now we look ahead to the playoffs that start this weekend and culminate in a historic Super Bowl XLVIII in New York-New Jersey.

The 2013 season brought us incredible athleticism, extraordinary teamwork, intense and unpredictable competition, and unparalleled community interest and support. Last Sunday’s dramatic finish to the playoff races was an incredible day of excitement. Once again, we have new teams in the playoffs – 5 of the 12 were not there last year (Carolina, Kansas City, New Orleans, Philadelphia and San Diego) – and, for the 11th straight year, teams that went from last to first in their divisions (Carolina, Philadelphia). The competition on the field has never been better.

On behalf of the NFL’s players, coaches and staff, we are grateful for your support and dedication. By any measure, football is more popular than ever. You are engaging with and enjoying the NFL in unprecedented numbers – from the stadium and television to mobile, fantasy and more. There has never been a better time to be an NFL fan. We also know we have to earn your loyalty every day, and we will work as hard as we can to do that.

While we take pride in the positive role that football at all levels plays in the lives of so many, we are also focused on the future of this game we love. Part of our responsibility is to embrace our challenges and continuously ask ourselves how we can improve the game and fan experience.

We have never been more optimistic about football and its future. We are doing the work that needs to be done. There is always more to do and we take nothing for granted.

The newest chapter in the history of football will be written over the next month. It will bring back memories of other champions and near-champions as we celebrate all those who have been part of football. The game is special. All of us, whether we played, coached, or simply follow the game, recognize the value of football. It is our responsibility to take good care of the game and make it better.

Enjoy the playoffs and have a great 2014.

Thank you,

Roger Goodell

NFL Games Top Ratings In 29 Markets

Locally, NFL games topped the ratings in 29 NFL markets last week (Dec. 16-22).  Following is the list of the NFL markets where football was the top-rated program for the week: 

Week of 12/16-22  





Market Game





New Orleans Saints at Panthers 12/22/2013 47.7 71


Milwaukee Steelers at Packers 12/22/2013 44.7 67


Pittsburgh Steelers at Packers 12/22/2013 44.1 63


Seattle Cardinals at Seahawks 12/22/2013 41.8 74


Kansas City Colts at Chiefs 12/22/2013 40.0 62


Denver Broncos at Texans 12/22/2013 38.0 74


Baltimore Patriots at Ravens 12/22/2013 36.0 57


Boston Patriots at Ravens 12/22/2013 35.9 60


Indianapolis Colts at Chiefs 12/22/2013 35.5 60


Charlotte Saints at Panthers 12/22/2013 34.1 62


Cincinnati Vikings at Bengals 12/22/2013 31.3 55


Philadelphia Bears at Eagles 12/22/2013 30.3 46


Detroit Giants at Lions 12/22/2013 29.7 51


Chicago Bears at Eagles 12/22/2013 27.5 43


San Diego Raiders at Chargers/Steelers at Packers 12/22/2013 26.0 56


Cleveland Browns at Jets 12/22/2013 25.9 49


Washington, DC Cowboys at Redskins 12/22/2013 25.9 51


Dallas Cowboys at Redskins 12/22/2013 24.3 53


Minneapolis Vikings at Bengals 12/22/2013 24.2 50


Phoenix Cardinals at Seahawks 12/22/2013 22.8 43


Nashville Titans at Jaguars 12/22/2013 20.8 37


Houston Broncos at Texans 12/22/2013 19.4 43


St. Louis Buccaneers at Rams 12/22/2013 19.3 39


Jacksonville Titans at Jaguars 12/22/2013 18.3 38


Miami Dolphins at Bills 12/22/2013 15.8 36


Tampa Buccaneers at Rams 12/22/2013 15.6 32


Atlanta Saints at Panthers 12/22/2013 13.7 27


San Fran-Oakland Colts at Chiefs 12/22/2013 12.1 34


New York Browns at Jets 12/22/2013 11.5 28


Source: NFL & The Nielsen Company


The National Football League established a record-low number of blackouts with only two games not televised this season in the local market of a home team, it was announced today. There were no blackouts in 15 of 17 weekends, also a record.

The previous record low was set in 2006 when seven games were blacked out. In 2006 13 of 17 weekends experienced no blackouts, a record until this year.

All NFL games are carried on free, over-the-air television in the city of the visiting team and, if it is sold out 72 hours in advance of kickoff, in the city where the game is played.  The NFL remains the only sports league that presents all regular-season and postseason games on free, over-the-air television.

A look at the percentage of games televised in local home markets and the number of local blackouts over the past 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 years:

Cowboys Giants Football

20 NFL Games Top 25 Million Viewers In 2013

NFL Game Ranks as Week’s Most-Watched Show for 15th Consecutive Week

NFL Games 30 of the 31 Most-Watched TV Shows This Fall

 Games Top Local Ratings in all 30 NFL Markets

Twenty NFL game telecasts this season have been watched by 25 million viewers – more than double the total for the full 2012 season (eight).

The FOX national telecast (mostly Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys) was the most-watched show on TV last week topping all sports and entertainment competition with 27.8 million viewers.  An NFL game has topped the viewership charts in all 15 weeks this season.

For the season, NFL games rank as 30 of the 31 most-watched TV shows since Labor Day. Following are the most-watched programs this fall:

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Tweets of the Week

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NFL Homegating Turns Houses into Team Headquarters

         NFL Launches NFL Homegating Mobile App

Courtyard By Marriott To Host NFL Homegating Parties

PrintAs friends and family gather around for football and food this holiday season, the NFL is kicking off its NFL Homegating campaign giving fans more ways to get closer to the game and celebrate their teams.

The NFL is launching the inaugural NFL Homegating Mobile App with exclusive recipes, featured products and team-customization to help fans homegate like a pro.  The App contains recipes from MARC PAYERO, Executive Chef, Restaurant Associates – at the NFL League Office, as well as tips on how to create a fun and authentic NFL Homegate. The NFL Homegating Mobile App is now available on iTunes and is compatible with iOS and android devices.

SI AdThis season, the NFL and Courtyard by Marriott, the Official Hotel Sponsor of the NFL, are hosting NFL Homegating parties which will showcase how NFL Homegating products can elevate and enhance the look of any game day party. Fans will learn how to throw a great Homegate as well as get inspired for their next game day party. These NFL Homegating parties are taking place throughout the season at Courtyard by Marriott hotels in Kansas City (11/17) and Pittsburgh (11/24),  Charlotte (12/8) and Seattle (12/15) giving fans opportunities to come together and homegate when their team is on the road.

Fans looking for creative ways to show their team pride during their homegate can find a variety of products on, including Gametime Bowls and hand painted wine glasses by Boelter, ceramic chips & dip trays by Memory Company, glass pitchers by Great American Products, icon cutting boards by Picnic Time, crock pots by Rawlings, Ceramic Mugs by Hunter Manufacturing and Wine Bottle Shoe Holders by Evergreen Enterprises, among others.

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