NFL STATEMENT ON THE RELOCATION OF THE DALLAS COWBOYS-HOUSTON TEXANS GAME
Due to public safety concerns resulting from the ongoing weather emergency related to Hurricane Harvey, Thursday’s Dallas Cowboys-Houston Texans game originally scheduled to be played in Houston at 7 p.m. CT has been relocated to AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Kickoff on Thursday will remain at 7 p.m. CT. Details on tickets, parking and other game day logistics will be announced later this week.
As announced earlier today, The NFL Foundation will match Mr. McNair and the Texans' $1 million contribution to the United Way Relief Fund to address the immediate needs of those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The total $2 million contribution will support first response efforts by the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and the United Way of Greater Houston. Our thoughts are with the Houston community during this difficult time and we encourage fans to text HARVEY to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey relief.
The NFL and the Texans will continue to closely monitor the situation in Houston and adjust the team’s plans as necessary.
|NFL Foundation Matches Mr. McNair and Houston Texans’ $1 Million Contribution to Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Efforts|
|The NFL Foundation will match Mr. McNair and the Houston Texans' $1 million contribution to the United Way Relief Fund to address the immediate needs of those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The total $2 million contribution will support first response efforts by the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and the United Way of Greater Houston. Our thoughts are with the Houston community during this difficult time and we encourage fans to text HARVEY to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey relief.|
NFL CELEBRATES YOUTH AND HIGH SCHOOL
COMMUNITY DURING PLAY FOOTBALL MONTH
NFL Teams and Partners Host 'Play Football' Festivities Throughout the Preseason
Recognizing Youth and High School Football Athletes and Coaches
As the summer camp season comes to an end and the community prepares to get Back to Football, the NFL is celebrating youth athletes, their coaches, families and communities with special festivities throughout PLAY FOOTBALL MONTH. Play Football Month is a culmination of the league's year-round recognition of youth and high school football athletes and includes clinics, camps, grant opportunities and other unique football activities. Throughout the preseason, the NFL, its 32 clubs and partners such as USA Football are highlighting the talent, character, values and achievements of football players on and off the field.
"Play Football Month is an exciting time for the NFL family to recognize youth and high school football players, coaches and communities as we celebrate the return of football," said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. "The NFL and its partners offer many resources to help ensure players at all levels have fun and enjoy the benefits of playing the game. We wish teams nationwide the best of luck as they return to action."
The return of football follows an exciting summer camp season, where more than 70,000 kids had the opportunity to play football with NFL players and coaches. This summer, the NFL Foundation awarded $1 million in grants to support 350 current and former NFL players' and coaches' free, non-contact youth football camps across the country. The Youth Football Camp Grant Program, in its 20th year, recognizes NFL players and coaches who give back to communities in their hometowns or club markets and offer young athletes the opportunity to play in a healthy and fun environment. 200 of the camp grant recipients worked with USA Football to host FUNdamentals Camps this summer, which introduce young athletes to football by teaching basic skills. All drills at FUNdamentals camps are based on USA Football's Player Progression Development Model, ensuring participants learn in an age-appropriate manner.
"The excitement of a new season, kicked off by Play Football Month, inspires us to prepare thousands of dedicated coaches through coaching education," said USA Football CEO SCOTT HALLENBECK. "These men and women instill the timeless values of discipline, sacrifice and teamwork that elevate athletes and communities alike through the fun of this great team sport."
In 2016, Heads Up Football, USA Football's player safety program, reached more than 1.3 million participants (youth and high school). More than 142,000 youth and high school coaches were certified. Ten youth football leagues will pilot USA Football's [/Pages/USA-Football-Introduces-Rookie-Tackle-Pilot-Program.aspx]Rookie Tackle Program, a bridge game between flag football and 11-player tackle designed to introduce young athletes to tackle football. Additionally, more than 400,000 boys and girls participate in NFL FLAG powered by USA Football leagues across the country.
Below is a snapshot of how NFL Clubs are celebrating Play Football Month:
|TEAM||NFL PLAY FOOTBALL MONTH ACTIVATIONS|
|Arizona Cardinals||The Arizona Cardinals invited local youth football teams to home games, encouraged kids to participate in their pregame Kids Zone and hosted coaches' clinics for flag football. A local Pop Warner team was invited to participate in pregame festivities during the Cardinals-Raiders preseason game on Saturday, Aug. 12.|
|Atlanta Falcons||The Atlanta Falcons hosted more than 100 children from the Westside Falcons NFL FLAG League at training camp on Sunday, July 30 for a VIP experience, which included player meet and greets and the distribution of school supplies. On Friday, Aug. 25 the Falcons will host an NFL FLAG football training session for physical education teachers from the schools within the Rise UP! 159 program to learn how to implement the equipment within their classrooms and after school programs. NFL FLAG and tackle teams will play during halftime of the Falcons' preseason games vs. the Cardinals on Saturday, Aug. 26 and vs. the Jaguars on Thursday, Aug. 31.|
|Baltimore Ravens||The Baltimore Ravens presented 21 grants to local youth football teams. Jerseys, cleats, gloves, footballs and mouth guards were distributed to grant recipients at M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 5. During their preseason game vs. the Redskins on Thursday, Aug. 10, the Ravens invited four youth football teams on-field during pregame and halftime. The Ravens will again invite youth football teams to participate in their pregame and halftime festivities during their Saturday, Aug. 26 matchup against the Bills.|
|Buffalo Bills||On Thursday, July 27 the Buffalo Bills hosted a Mom's Football Safety Clinic at the Bills Training Camp. Further recognition of youth and high school football communities throughout August included a USA Football Protection Tour on Friday, Aug. 4 and the inclusion of the youth football team from the Niagara Orleans Football Association in the Stampede Row at their Aug. 10 game vs. the Vikings. For their game vs. the Lions on Thursday, Aug. 31, local youth football organizations will form Stampede Row and scrimmage during halftime.|
|Carolina Panthers||On Thursday, Aug. 3, the Carolina Panthers hosted a unified practice at training camp with Dorman High School. On Thursday, Aug. 31, the Ebinport Panthers youth football players will participate in the tunnel run, stand alongside players during the National Anthem and walk out with team captains for the coin toss.|
|Chicago Bears||On Thursday, Aug. 10, the Chicago Bears invited two youth football leagues to watch pregame warm-ups and stand alongside players during the National Anthem before their game against the Broncos. On Thursday, Aug. 31, two youth football leagues will view pregame warm-ups, line up for the National Anthem and participate in a scrimmage during halftime of the Bears' game vs. the Browns. Junior Bear Tackle Football players will also participate in player introductions and accompany a Bears player when he runs out of the tunnel.|
|Cincinnati Bengals||To celebrate Play Football Month, on Friday, Aug. 11 and Saturday, Aug. 19, the Cincinnati Bengals invited youth football teams to participate in a scrimmage during halftime. On Saturday, Aug. 26, the Bengals will host a Protection Tour with USA Football at the team's facility.|
|Cleveland Browns||On Tuesday, Aug. 1, the Cleveland Browns hosted their annual Cleveland Browns Parents Clinic. On Monday, Aug. 21, during their game against the Giants, the Browns selected a local volunteer from the Adapted Football League to serve as an honorary coin toss captain and players from the Cleveland Rookie Tackle Football League participated in pregame festivities including standing alongside players during the National Anthem.|
|Dallas Cowboys||On Saturday, Aug. 12, the Dallas Cowboys hosted a halftime flag football showcase with four local youth teams and on Aug.19, the Cowboys hosted a Parents Safety Clinic for approximately 1,200 participants.|
|Denver Broncos||The Denver Broncos hosted an NFL FLAG Football Festival on Saturday, Aug. 19 with more than 80 boys and girls teams. The day concluded with an eight-team, 13-14-year-old boys single elimination tournament to determine the Broncos NFL FLAG representative at the 2018 Pro Bowl. On Saturday, Aug. 26, youth football players will participate in on-field pregame activities. The Broncos will additionally host their Youth Football Salute Game on Thursday, Aug. 31.|
|Detroit Lions||On Saturday, Aug. 19, the Detroit Lions hosted four youth football teams at their game vs. the Jets. Players ran out of the player tunnel, participated in the National Anthem and played in a halftime scrimmage.|
|Green Bay Packers||On Thursday, Aug. 10, four teams from the Kenosha Ramblers League took the field for the National Anthem and participated in a scrimmage at halftime of the Packers-Eagles preseason game. On Thursday, Aug. 31, four teams from the Cottage Grove Parks and Recreation League will stand alongside the Packers' coaches and players during the National Anthem and will scrimmage at halftime.|
|Houston Texans||On Tuesday, Aug. 8, the Houston Texans hosted two youth football camps at their training camp. At their Aug. 19 game vs. the Patriots, the Texans hosted a USA Football Proper Tackling Clinic in their Kids Zone, invited Junior High School Football Cheerleaders to welcome fans as they entered the stadium, invited Houston Texans YMCA Flag Football teams to serve as flag holders, hosted a halftime scrimmage with youth football teams and featured High School Friday Night Football captains during the coin toss. On Thursday, Aug. 31, the Texans will feature youth football tackle players in gameday festivities.|
|Indianapolis Colts||The Indianapolis Colts hosted high school football teams at their facility during training camp on Thursday, Aug. 3. On Sunday, Aug. 13, the Colts hosted a "Play Football Zone" in Touchdown Town. At the Colts-Bengals preseason game on Thursday, Aug. 31, NFL FLAG football teams and tackle football teams will scrimmage at halftime.|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||The Jacksonville Jaguars hosted several youth football teams during their preseason game on Thursday, Aug. 17 against the Buccaneers and featured Jr. Pee Wee youth football teams in a halftime scrimmage. On Aug. 24, during pregame, the Terry Parker High School Girls Flag team will stand alongside Jaguars players and coaches during the National Anthem.|
|Kansas City Chiefs||The Kansas City Chiefs held several youth-centric community events during Play Football Month, including a USA Football Protection Tour for approximately 300 participants. On Friday, Aug. 11, the Chiefs invited four local youth football teams to participate in pregame activities. The Chiefs will host their official Youth Football Game on Thursday, Aug. 31.|
|Miami Dolphins||To Kick off Play Football Month, the Miami Dolphins hosted youth football scrimmages on Aug. 3 and 4. On Saturday, Aug. 5, at Hard Rock Stadium, the Miami Dolphins held their annual High School Media Day in which over 1,000 South Florida High Schools participated. On Thursday, Aug. 17, three youth football teams participated in the Dolphins pregame activities before their match-up against the Ravens.|
|Los Angeles Chargers||On Sunday, Aug. 20, the Los Angeles Chargers hosted several NFL FLAG Football teams. The teams had an opportunity to participate in a scrimmage during halftime.|
|Los Angeles Rams||The Los Angeles Rams held a Gatorade Junior Training Camp on Tuesday, Aug. 8. On Saturday, Aug. 12 and Aug. 16 the Rams invited approximately 2,000 youth and high school football players to attend their preseason games.|
|Minnesota Vikings||On Sunday, Aug. 27, the Minnesota Vikings will host a high school skills competition for local youth football players. On Thursday, Aug. 31 the Vikings will honor a Youth Football Hometown Hero during their preseason game against the 49ers.|
|New England Patriots||The New England Patriots invited several youth football teams to participate in on-field pregame and halftime activities on Thursday, Aug. 10. At their preseason game vs. the Giants on Thursday, Aug. 31, the Patriots will once again invite youth football teams to participate in pregame and halftime activities.|
|New Orleans Saints||Throughout Play Football Month, the New Orleans Saints hosted children at Gatorade Junior Training Camps at their practice facility. On Tuesday, Aug. 22, the Saints held a Parents Information Clinic. At their preseason game vs. the Texans on Saturday, Aug. 26, the Saints will invite eight youth football tackle teams to participate in pregame and halftime activities.|
|New York Giants||During their preseason game vs. the Steelers, the New York Giants hosted a Rookie Tackle exhibition with USA Football and Suffolk County PAL at halftime. At the Giants' home game against the Jets on Saturday, Aug. 26, the Watching Hills Football team, coached by former Giants guard RICH SEUBERT, will form a player gauntlet and stand with the team during the National Anthem. Newark Collegiate Academy's football team will also stand on-field for the anthem, which will be sung by the Newark Collegiate Academy Choir.|
|New York Jets||The New York Jets hosted a youth football scrimmage during their preseason game vs. the Titans on Saturday, Aug. 12. On Thursday, Aug. 31 at their game vs. the Eagles, the Jets will recognize the New York City Regional USA Football 7on7 Champion, Malcolm X. Shabazz High School, and the Public Schools Athletic League Girls NFL FLAG Football Champion.|
|Oakland Raiders||On Wednesday, Aug. 9, the Oakland Raiders welcomed the Napa High School football program to their facility. On Thursday, Aug. 31, youth football teams from the Oakland Jr. Raiders and the San Leandro Crusaders will play in a pregame scrimmage before the Raiders-Seahawks game.|
|Philadelphia Eagles||The Philadelphia Eagles invited over 100 high school coaches and athletic directors to watch practice at the NovaCare Facility on Sunday, Aug. 13. On Monday, Aug. 14, the Eagles hosted league administrators and coaches from the club's Youth Football Partner of the Year, Bux-Mont Pop Warner. The team was also invited to watch the Eagles-Dolphins preseason game. The following week, the Eagles hosted the varsity football team from St. Joe's Prep to watch practice.|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||The Pittsburgh Steelers held a USA Football Protection Tour in Family Fest at Heinz Field on Sunday, Aug. 6. On Saturday, Aug. 26, the Steelers will host a halftime scrimmage between two youth football teams during the club's preseason game against the Colts.|
|San Francisco 49ers||The San Francisco 49ers hosted a Pop Warner team for a youth football scrimmage at halftime of their Aug. 19 game vs. the Broncos. On Monday, Aug. 28, the 49ers will hold a free, non-contact football camp for the San Francisco School District. The camp offers children the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of the game. During the 49ers' final preseason game on Thursday, Aug. 31 vs. the Chargers, the club will run a youth football minicamp in the Stadium Kids Zone.|
|Seattle Seahawks||The Seattle Seahawks hosted 50 youth football players during their preseason game vs. the Vikings on Friday, Aug. 18. At their game vs. the Chiefs on Friday, Aug. 25, the Seahawks will feature four all-girls NFL FLAG football teams during halftime.|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||On Tuesday, Aug. 8, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosted 100 Buccaneers Academy Students at training camp. On Thursday, Aug. 31, the Buccaneers will invite four youth football teams to participate in a scrimmage at halftime. The club will also give 1,000 game tickets to local youth football and cheerleading programs.|
|Tennessee Titans||The Tennessee Titans hosted a Special Olympics Tennessee Flag Football Day at training camp on Tuesday, Aug. 1. The first week of August, the Titans conducted a training camp practice at Centennial High School and a youth football jamboree at Nissan Stadium. On Saturday, Aug. 19, the Titans hosted two youth football teams at their preseason game vs. the Panthers. The Titans will invite youth football players to watch their Aug. 27 game vs. the Bears. Additionally, the club will donate more than 2,000 tickets to numerous youth, high school, and flag football teams and organizations across their market.|
|Washington Redskins||During the first week of August, the Washington Redskins held their annual Moms Football Safety Clinic as well as a Gatorade Junior Training Camp for middle school student-athletes. On Friday, Aug. 18, the Redskins held their annual High School Coaches Clinic which provided an opportunity for high school coaches to engage with Redskins personnel and hear from special guest speakers. The Redskins will invite Pop Warner players to participate in pregame activities during their match-up against the Bengals on Sunday, Aug. 27.|
The NFL FLAG National Championships will once again take place in Orlando at the 2018 Pro Bowl. For a chance to play, visit PlayFootball.com and find an NFL FLAG league near you.
2017 NFL DRAFT EXCEEDS ECONOMIC IMPACT PROJECTIONS WITH AN ESTIMATED $94.9 MILLION GENERATED FOR PHILADELPHIA
PHILADELPHIA, PA – August 24, 2017 - From the moment the gates opened on April 27, the 2017 NFL Draft was a huge success for the city of Philadelphia, with a record-breaking attendance of250,000 over the three-day event. Football fans of all ages gathered along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to participate in what has been hailed by many as one of the most successful NFL Drafts ever. According to the NFL Draft Event Impact Report, commissioned by the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) and conducted by Temple University’s Sport Industry Research Center (SIRC), direct spending during the 3-day event in April was $56.1 million, resulting in an estimated$94.9 million in economic impact for Philadelphia. The considerable economic output of the Draft, which exceeded initial expectations of $80 million, was just one of the highlights. The report also looked at travel behavior of attendees, hotel performance and media impact of the event, among other areas.
“Philadelphia served as a phenomenal host for the 2017 NFL Draft and created a memorable experience for our fans, incoming players, and teams,” said Peter O’Reilly, NFL Senior Vice President of Events. “We are grateful to Mayor Kenney, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, and all of our partners for helping make the event a resounding success.”
The event packed local restaurants and kept area attractions busy. Altogether, more than30,000 jobs (914 full-time equivalent) were supported by the Draft, which helped to generate$38.5 million in personal income. $7.9 million in state and local taxes were also created from income tax, sales tax and hotel occupancy tax, among other categories.
“The Draft was a family-friendly event for Philadelphians and visitors across the country,” said Philadelphia Mayor, Jim Kenney. “I thank all of our public and private partners, especially the City employees and first responders, who made this event a success and allowed Philly to shine in the national spotlight once again.”
Tourism Driver for Philadelphia
Positioned as a driver of tourism within the region, the Draft attracted attendees from 42 different states and provided an opportunity for Philadelphia to shine as an event destination, with 93 percent of visitors citing the Draft as their primary reason for visiting. Of those who attended, 79 percent would recommend Philadelphia as a travel destination and 62 percent intend to return to Philadelphia for a vacation within the next 12 months – indicating that the Draft will have a continued benefit in the months and years to come.
In total, 18,991 room nights were consumed at paid accommodations between April 26-29 (80 percent in Philadelphia County). While total hotel room nights were below initial projections as some visitors opted for alternate locations during their stay, hotel room revenue was up 11.4 percent (YOY) in the Philadelphia region bringing in an additional$2.1 millionin room revenue over the same time last year, with$1.2 million in Philadelphia County alone.
Raising Philadelphia’s Profile Nationally and Globally
The Draft helped shine a spotlight on Philadelphia and its assets by attracting top-tier media interest from around the world, with over 1,800 media in attendance. For the time period between the announcement that Philadelphia had won the bid to host the 2017 NFL Draft (September 1, 2016) through May 2017, thePHLCVB tracked2,352 print, digital and broadcast Draft-related stories that contained a destination mention1 of Philadelphia. These stories resulted in more than137.4 million media impressions. Additionally, the first round of the NFL Draft was the most-watched cable program of the week and the most-watched sports event of the week on both broadcast and cable networks.
“When we chose to pursue the Draft, we did so with the goal of an economic win for our city and region. We are thrilled that not only did it generate substantial economic activity for Philadelphia but we were also successful in showing the world that this city is a premier destination for sports, big events and tourism in general,” said Julie Coker Graham,PHLCVB President & CEO.
Media coverage of the event included headlines such as “Philadelphia Fans Show Why the NFL Draft should be in Philadelphia Every Year” from CBS Sports, and on social media prominent sports anchors including ESPN’s Adam Schefter lauded the event, tweeting “Props to the city of Philadelphia. That’s how to host a Draft. No city has injected that much energy, electricity, excitement into draft.”
Event Impact Report Methodology
A total of 4,794 attendees of the NFL Draft completed a post-event survey. The results were then compared to the larger population of individuals who attended the 2017 NFL Draft by using other available datasets, before being applied to an input-output (I-O) analysis using IMPLAN modeling software, the most widely accepted methodology for measuring economic impact. The report is intended to capture the overall impact of the 2017 NFL Draft on Philadelphia, however analysis is limited by the data available, namely a survey of attendees and operational expenditures of the NFL. It does not include all spending that occurred by sponsors and other large corporations in conjunction with the event.
NFL FANS ACROSS THE COUNTRY EXPERIENCE
"RANDOM ACTS OF KICKOFF"
98TH NFL Season Premieres with
Kansas City Chiefs vs. New England Patriots
NBC & NFL Network Special Begins on
Thursday, September 7 at 7:30 PM ET
In the lead-up to the 2017 NFL season, all 32 clubs are hosting RANDOM ACTS OF KICKOFF fan experiences, ranging from surprise player and celebrity appearances, to team rallies with free merchandise and game tickets, to events supporting non-profit organizations in the community. Visit NFL.com/Kickoff or follow #KICKOFF2017 and #RANDOMACTSOFKICKOFF on social media to view team activations.
These Random Acts of Kickoff will culminate with a free special event at CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS PARK IN BOSTON on Thursday, September 7 at 12:00 PM to commemorate the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS' SUPER BOWL LI CHAMPIONSHIP. Further details will be released in the days ahead.
"Kickoff marks a time of eternal hope for football fans of all ages and teams," said DAWN HUDSON, NFL Chief Marketing Officer. "Through Random Acts of Kickoff, we wanted to deliver memorable experiences to our fans while sharing in their love of the game and anticipation for the start of the season."
The new season officially begins at 8:30 PM ET ON THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 with "2017 NFL Kickoff Driven by Hyundai," when the New England Patriots play the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium. The NFL Kickoff Game on NBC will be called by AL MICHAELS, CRIS COLLINSWORTH, and MICHELE TAFOYA.
An hour-long pre-game special hosted by MIKE TIRICO and DAN PATRICK, alongside TONY DUNGY, RODNEY HARRISON, and MIKE FLORIO, will air on NBC and NFL Network starting at 7:30 PM ET. NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app will live stream all NBC NFL games this season to desktops, tablets, and connected TVs. A live broadcast of the Kickoff game will also be available via NFL Mobile from Verizon, along with live audio on Westwood One Radio Sports, SiriusXM's NFL Radio, and TuneIn.
NFL GAMEDAY KICKOFF will air at 5:00 PM ET on NFL Network. RICH EISEN hosts the 2.5-hour show, along with Hall of Famers MARSHALL FAULK, KURT WARNER, and MICHAEL IRVIN, and former NFL head coach STEVE MARIUCCI, breaking down the Kansas City Chiefs-New England Patriots game as well as other Week 1 matchups.
This is the 16TH CONSECUTIVE KICKOFF celebration to begin the season, a tradition which started in 2002. That year, the Patriots were featured as the primetime host for Monday Night Football on September 9 and officially opened Gillette Stadium as Super Bowl Champions. This year, the Patriots will host their fifth such Super Bowl banner-raising ceremony and their fourth as the host in the NFL's showcase Thursday night primetime season premiere.
In addition to presenting sponsor Hyundai, top tier NFL Kickoff partners include Bud Light, Microsoft, Pepsi, Snickers, Verizon, and Visa.
NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE AND TENCENT ANNOUNCE CHINA DIGITAL PARTNERSHIP
Tencent to become NFL’s exclusive live streaming media partner in China
The National Football League (NFL) and Tencent Holdings Limited, ("Tencent", HKSE: 0700) today announced a three-year partnership to make Tencent Sports the exclusive live digital streaming media partner of the NFL in China.
Under terms of the agreement, Tencent will air live and on-demand select preseason games, all Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football games, as well as select Sunday afternoon games, the playoffs, the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl for the 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons.
The partnership also features other expanded footage and programming rights, such as the NFL Draft, NFL Combine, and NFL Game Day, as well as programming such as NFL Hard Knocks and A Football Life, further bolstering Tencent’s non-game NFL content, making Tencent the home of the NFL in China.
NFL live games and content will be available for fans to access through Tencent's NFL sections on both mobile and desktop terminals including Tencent Sports, QQ.com, Tencent Video, Kuai Bao, Penguin Live, Tencent Sports app, Tencent Video app, Tencent News app, as well as its social networking services, QQ and WeChat. This partnership between the No. 1 sports league in the United States and the No. 1 digital sports platform in China brings the NFL’s excitement and quality production to Tencent’s hundreds of millions users*.
“We are very excited about the NFL’s future in China and proud of our partnership with Tencent,” said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. “We are confident that this agreement will provide our growing number of Chinese fans with a better viewing experience and more opportunities for engagement with the NFL than ever before.”
“We believe our capability in production, content distribution and fans engagement will help NFL expand its audience profile and elevate the popularity of American football in China," said Vice President of Tencent CAITLYN CHEN. “Tencent Sports has been dedicated to fulfilling the diverse needs of Chinese users by bringing top premium sports content to China, including global sports leagues and tournaments, basketball, soccer, tennis, winter sports and American football, among others. We will continue to maximize the value of the sports right owners via the partnership and enhance the digital entertainment experience for Chinese users. We are committed to contributing to the growth of China’s sports industry."
“This extraordinary partnership will bring localized NFL games and content to Tencent’s hundreds of millions of daily users across China,” said NFL China Managing Director RICHARD YOUNG. “The NFL’s popularity in China is soaring and our fan base will receive unprecedented NFL coverage and content throughout the year.”
|EZEKIEL ELLIOTT SUSPENDED WITHOUT PAY FOR SIX GAMES|
EZEKIEL ELLIOTT SUSPENDED WITHOUT PAY FOR SIX GAMESEzekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys was notified today by the NFL that he will be suspended without pay for the team's first six 2017 regular-season games for violating the league's Personal Conduct Policy.
Over the course of the last year, the league conducted an extensive investigation. League investigators interviewed more than a dozen witnesses, including Ms. Tiffany Thompson, who had alleged multiple instances of physical violence in July 2016, and Mr. Elliott. The league also consulted with medical experts. League investigators examined all available evidence, including photographic and digital evidence, thousands of text messages and other records of electronic communications.
Pursuant to the Personal Conduct Policy, Commissioner Goodell sought the views of four external advisors (see below) to assist him in evaluating potential violations. These experts range in experience from law enforcement, judicial and public service, and other specialized subject areas.
The advisors participated in a meeting on June 26, 2017 in New York City with Elliott, who was represented by his legal team and the NFL Players Association. The group also reviewed the league's investigative reports and materials, the expert medical reports, and multiple NFL Players Association submissions on Elliott's behalf.
In a letter to Elliott advising him of the decision, Todd Jones, the NFL's Special Counsel for Conduct, said these advisors "were of the view that there is substantial and persuasive evidence supporting a finding that [Elliott] engaged in physical violence against Ms. Thompson on multiple occasions during the week of July 16, 2016."
After reviewing the record, and having considered the views of the independent advisors, the commissioner determined that the credible evidence established that Elliott engaged in conduct that violated NFL policy.
Elliott may appeal this decision within three days. If he does not appeal, Elliott's suspension will begin September 2, the day of final roster reductions for NFL teams. He is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games. Elliott will be eligible to return to the team's active roster on Monday, October 23 following the Cowboys' Sunday, October 22 game against the San Francisco 49ers.
MEMBERS OF THE EXTERNAL EXPERT ADVISORY PANEL
PETER HARVEY, Esq., former Attorney General for the State of New Jersey.
KEN HOUSTON, member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, who played in 14 seasons in the NFL.
TONYA LOVELACE, MA, Chief Executive Officer of The Women of Color Network, Inc.
MARY JO WHITE, Esq., former United States attorney and former Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
NFL TO HIRE UP TO 24 FULL-TIME GAME OFFICIALSThe NFL will hire up to 24 full-time game officials from among the current 124-person roster of officials, the NFL and NFL Referees Association (NFLRA) jointly announced today.
The NFL and NFLRA agreed to experiment with full-time officials as part of the last Collective Bargaining Agreement. The decision to hire up to 24 such officials for 2017 is a collaborative initiative intended to promote the common goal of enhancing all aspects of NFL officiating – scouting, training and mentoring, better understanding of current game trends, game preparation, and increased input on rules relating to player safety and game administration.
"We believe this is a great development for NFL officiating overall and ultimately the quality of our game," said NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations TROY VINCENT. "We share a common goal, which is to make our game as great as it can possibly be, and look forward to working together on this new effort."
"NFL officials are always looking to improve, and we believe that additional time, particularly in the offseason, will be positive," said NFLRA Executive Director SCOTT GREEN. "We're looking forward to working together with the league on this effort."
The program will permit current officials who wish to transition to a full-time role the opportunity to apply. The full-time officials that are hired – between 21 and 24 – will play an important role in enhancing communication and the flow of information to and from on-field officials, NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating ALBERTO RIVERON and the league's officiating supervisors.
The implementation throughout the 2017 season will provide the NFL Officiating Department, in consultation with the NFLRA, the opportunity to identify the most effective ways to utilize the off-field time for full-time game officials throughout the calendar year.
Full-time officials will be hired at each of the seven officiating positions and may serve on each of the 17 officiating crews. They will work collaboratively with their assigned crews, the league officiating staff and the NFL's football-related committees during the offseason.