Archives for posts with tag: Super Bowl LII

There were two winners at Super Bowl LII.

Winner number one?

The Philadelphia Eagles, who took home the Lombardi Trophy by holding off the New England Patriots at US Bank Stadium in a Super Bowl that wll be talked about for years.

The second winner?

The environment as well as soup kitchens and youth sports programs.

The NFL, in partnership with PepsiCo, Aramark, U.S. Bank Stadium, SMG and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, scored a zero-waste legacy project at Super Bowl LII, with 91 percent[ii] of all trash generated on gameday from 67,612 fans responsibly recovered through composting, recycling and reuse. The landmark project marks the highest diversion rate achieved at U.S. Bank Stadium and at any previous Super Bowl and aims to serve as the benchmark for future large-scale events.

The results are in following the big game: nearly 63 tons of the 69 tons of gameday waste were recovered through recycling or donation for reuse (62 percent) and composting (29 percent). Recovering waste through composting and recycling reduces waste disposal costs and provides several environmental benefits including reduction of landfill use and reduction of the greenhouse gas generated by the landfill process, gasses which contribute significantly to global warming.

“The zero-waste legacy project is a testament to teamwork, with multiple partners coming together to achieve an ambitious environmental goal,” Jack Groh, Director of the NFL’s Environmental Program told USA Today. “The NFL is proud that this program was not only successful at Super Bowl LII but will also serve as a permanent installation at the stadium and leave a lasting impact on the community.”

U.S. Bank Stadium partners, including the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, stadium operator SMG and Aramark, kicked off the effort to achieve a zero-waste operation in 2017 and were joined by the NFL and PepsiCo in the lead-up to Super Bowl LII.

“SMG is always striving to raise industry standards through our operation at U.S. Bank Stadium and our commitment to sustainability is no different. In our first season, we produced a waste diversion rate of 20 percent. Over the course of our second season our team increased that diversion rate to 91 percent,” says Patrick Talty, SMG General Manager at U.S. Bank Stadium. “Developing a successful and long-term zero-waste program has always been our goal. The diversion improvement we have seen to date is rare in the world of facility management and is a testament to the dedication of all of our stadium partners.”

“U.S. Bank Stadium’s journey to the zero-waste threshold has been demanding and we couldn’t have gotten here without the commitment of our stadium partners,” Michael Vekich, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, owner of U.S. Bank Stadium told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “We look forward to sharing our experiences with other facilities who are interested in this important sustainability program.”

Ahead of gameday, PepsiCo launched the Rush2Recycle campaign to show fans how to make recycling fun and easy in the stadium and at in-home Super Bowl parties across the country. Fans attending the Super Bowl were greeted by a team of uniformed zero-waste ambassadors who helped identify the correct bins for recycling, composting and waste-to-energy. Super Bowl XL MVP and Pittsburgh Steelers Legend Hines Ward helped lucky fans recycle with his own end zone dance, the Rush2Recyle Shuffle, available at http://www.Rush2Recycle.com, along with tips and resources.

“To tackle waste and boost recycling rates, each of us needs to do our part,” said Roberta Barbieri, PepsiCo’s vice president global environmental sustainability. “While we’re working to make PepsiCo’s packaging increasingly sustainable and investing in recycling programs in communities around the world, we also want to find new ways to make it fun and simple for consumers to participate—like Rush2Recycle.”

Critical to hitting the initiative’s goals was removing items from stadium inventory that could not be either recycled or composted. Aramark, the food and beverage partner for U.S. Bank Stadium, replaced nearly its entire inventory of food vessels, service products and utensils handed to fans with compostable alternatives.

“The successful implementation and results of this historic waste reduction project reflect the partners’ collective commitment to delivering innovative sustainable solutions that will endure beyond Super Bowl LII,” said Carl Mittleman, President of Aramark’s Sports and Entertainment division. “Aramark is incredibly proud to have contributed to this milestone and we look forward to utilizing our insights from this effort to further reduce the environmental impact of our operations at U.S. Bank Stadium and across all the venues we serve.”

Other pre-game steps were essential to achieving the zero-waste goal. U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings, working with Recycle Across America, designed all illustrated signs for the stadium’s new three-bin waste stations to show fans exactly how to sort items. Recycling and compost bins were made larger and more accessible, while trash bins were made much smaller, encouraging fans to make the right choices for disposing items. In addition, a comprehensive LEED-certification level waste audit was performed in October 2017 to identify specific materials for recovery in the stadium waste stream. A “zero-waste trial run” was performed at a December 2017 Minnesota Vikings home game to encourage fans to properly dispose of waste and to refine gameday practices for Super Bowl LII.

Post-game steps to achieve the 91% resource recovery rate at Super Bowl LII were led by SMG and the NFL. The SMG team sorted all fan-generated waste into the correct waste compactors. The waste hauling partners then collected and provided weight-tickets at each destination including the recycling facility, the composting facility and the waste-to-energy facility. This data was reviewed by SMG and combined with the reuse and donation data collected by the NFL from their community partners. When the recycling, composting and donation/reuse data is combined, the total resource recovery rate for gameday waste is 91%.

For more than 25 years, the NFL has been the leader in sports event sustainability; creating the first significant stadium solid waste recycling project in America at Super Bowl XXVIII in Atlanta in 1994. The NFL and the Minnesota Super Bowl LII Host Committee developed a series of initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of Super Bowl LII activities and leave a “green” legacy throughout the area. Through the NFL Environmental Program, leftover décor and construction materials from Super Bowl was donated to local organizations for reuse and repurposing. More than 150 thousand pounds of unserved, prepared food and beverages from Super Bowl events was distributed to local shelters and community kitchens. U.S. Bank Stadium, the site of Super Bowl LII and several other major NFL Super Bowl event venues were powered using “green energy” to reduce the climate impact of Super Bowl events. A Super Bowl E-waste event held in October 2017, diverted 42,081 pounds of E-waste from the landfill for responsible recycling. The NFL’s Super Bowl urban forestry program planted more than 12,000 trees, 4,000 native plants and 8 pollinator gardens in Minnesota. On Thursday, January 18, more than 100 local schools and YMCAs joined in a community initiative called Super Kids-Super Sharing which put 46,000 donated items (books, sports equipment and school supplies) into the hands of local children in need.

About the NFL Environmental Program: As a leader in the community, the NFL is a responsible steward of the environment in all business areas, using resources efficiently and minimizing waste. The NFL Environmental Program focuses on greening NFL tentpole events and facilities and provides resources for NFL clubs to help them operate their business in sustainable, eco-friendly ways. The NFL was the first professional sports organization to take on full programming for environmental impact at large-scale sporting events such as Super Bowl.

About PepsiCo: PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated approximately $63.5 billion in net revenue in 2017, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales. At the heart of PepsiCo is Performance with Purpose – our fundamental belief that the success of our company is inextricably linked to the sustainability of the world around us. We believe that continuously improving the products we sell, operating responsibly to protect our planet and empowering people around the world is what enable PepsiCo to run a successful global company that creates long-term value for society and our shareholders. For more information, visit http://www.pepsico.com.

About U.S. Bank Stadium: U.S. Bank Stadium, owned by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, is a multi-purpose stadium and home to the Minnesota Vikings. The 66,400+ seat stadium is located in the heart of Minneapolis, Minnesota. This state-of-the-art facility hosts prominent national and international programming including the Minnesota Vikings, concerts, family shows, college and high school sporting events, conventions, trade/consumer shows and corporate or private meetings and other community events. U.S. Bank Stadium opened on July 22, 2016 and has been chosen as the site of the Summer X Games (2017 and 2018), Super Bowl LII (2018) and the NCAA Men’s Final Four (2019).

U.S. Bank Stadium is an SMG managed facility. M Hospitality, a division of Aramark, is the official food and beverage provider for U.S. Bank Stadium. For More Information: http://www.usbankstadium.com.

About Aramark: Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) proudly serves Fortune 500 companies, world champion sports teams, state-of-the-art healthcare providers, the world’s leading educational institutions, iconic destinations and cultural attractions and numerous municipalities in 19 countries around the world. Our 270,000 team members deliver experiences that enrich and nourish millions of lives every day through innovative services in food, facilities management and uniforms. We operate our business with social responsibility, focusing on initiatives that support our diverse workforce, advance consumer health and wellness, protect our environment, and strengthen our communities. Aramark is recognized as one of the World’s Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE, as well as an employer of choice by the Human Rights Campaign and Diversity Inc. Learn more at http://www.aramark.com or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

It’s that time again!

The 2018 Super Bowl ads made their appearance before America and a world-wide audience. There were some ads that were really good, some that were fair and some that flat out sucked. A 30-second ad in this year’s Super Bowl cost a whopping $5.5 million dollars.

That’s MILLION with a capital M.

In case you’re wondering, the cost for that same 30 seconds at the very first Super Bowl was a whopping $50,000.

Like we’ve done in the past, we’ve given each ad grades but this year, we’re going to give them a PASS/FAIL grade. Ads that appeared during the game were graded, ads for the network or the National Football League or during station breaks were not graded and ads that were repeated during the game were not given second grades.

we listed each ad in the quarter they appeared in, listed the product and gave them a grade. We also listed the time on the game clock when play was stopped and that ad appeared.

These ads will be talked about not just by the people that made them, they’ll be talked about by the fans that watched them and hopefully will buy the products that are being offered. $5.5 million for 30 seconds comes out to $183,000 a second. That means that if you have an ad or thinking about doing one for Super Bowl LIII (which will be in Atlanta), start working on it and save those pennies NOW.

Here are the ads that appeared during the game and each are listed by quarter and what time they appeared.

First Quarter

7:55 – Toyota Paralympian – PASS
Sprint Robot – PASS

7:55 – Lucas Films: Solo – PASS
Turkish Airlines Dr. Oz Five Senses – PASS

4:17 – Bud Light Battle – PASS
M&M Danny Devito – PASS

2:34 – Dodge Ram Vikings – PASS
Wendy’s vs. McDonalds – PASS

2:30 – Hulu: Castle Rock – PASS
Skechers Howie Long – PASS
Heroes Arena – PASS

Second Quarter

13:11 – Bud Light Knight – FAIL
E Trade 85 – FAIL
Mission Impossible – PASS

12:59 – Rocket Mortage – FAIL
Avocados from Mexico – PASS
Netflix Cloverfield – PASS

11:53 – Coke Mango – FAIL
Jeep the Road – PASS
Tide – FAIL
Weather Tech – PASS

8:48 – Pringles – FAIL
Febreeze – FAIL
Michelob Ultra – FAIL

7:24 – Jamie Casino – PASS

5:01 – Squarespace – FAIL
Dodge Ram MLK – FAIL

1:59 – Rimfire Films Australia – PASS
Turbo Tax Monster under bed – FAIL
Persil – FAIL

Third Quarter

12:15 – Lexus Black Panther – PASS
Tide Day – FAIL
Budweiser Stand By Me – PASS
Intuit – PASS

7:18 – Jeep Jurasic Park – PASS
Westworkd – PASS
Turbotax Ghost – FAIL

7:18 – Kia Steven Tyler Dream On – PASS
Blacture – PASS

3:23 – Marvel Studios – PASS
T Mobile – FAIL

3:23 – Toyota Free To Move – PASS
WIX – FAIL
Kraft Family – PASS

Fourth Quarter

14:09 – Monster Headphones – PASS
Michelob Ultra – PASS
Groupon – PASS

9:22 – Alexa Loses Her Voice – PASS

4:52 – Coke – PASS
Universal Peyton Manning – PASS

3:07 – Hyundai Hope Detector – PASS

1:56 – Stella Artois Clean Water – PASS
Jeep Manifesto – PASS
Tide – FAIL

 

New England (13-3) vs. Philadelphia (13-3), 6:30 p.m. on NBC

And there were two.

The last two teams standing meet in the Twin Cities.

New England vs. Philadelphia.

The hunter vs. the hunted.

It’s the last football game that will be played until the pre-season (the regular season starts September 6th, so mark those calendars now).

one team will be going home with a trophy, while the otner team will be second-guessed from now until they kick off in the Fall. All the work of OTA’s, mini-camp, preseason and regular season comes to an end.

Sweating, fighting rookies and free agents for your job, sleeping in dorms for the first time since college, having a coach or ball boy come to you saying “coach wants to see you and bring your playbook,” which means you’re being cut.

17 weeks and 16 games. Travel, dealing with the media and coaches comes to an end in the Twin Cities in the great indoors. In three hours or so, the 2017 season will draw its final breath.

Super Bowl LII in the Twin Cities. While the other 30 teams will be at home wishing they were preparing to win the Lombardi, the New England Patriots will have a chance to defend their title, while the Philadelphia Eagles will look to win their first. A pair of top seeds meet to decide who will win it all.

The defending Super Bowl champions erased a 20-10 deficit in the final 15 minutes of play, using a pair of TD passes from Brady to WR Danny Amendola to win the AFC crown by a final of 24-20 over Jacksonville at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. The Jaguars led 14-10 at the intermission and could have made it a 14-point game going into the half had they not picked up two penalties that stalled their drive. The Jaguars then took a 17-10 lead into the start of the fourth quarter before Brady and Amendola did their magic, first scoring on a 9-yard pass with 8:44 left and then took the lead with 2:48 when the duo connected on a 4-yard toss with 2:48 left.

Jacksonville then had one last chance to reclaim the lead late in the contest when they got the ball back with 2:48 left at their own 25-yard line. After the two-minute warning, the Jaguars would get as close as New England’s 43-yard line when Blake Bortle’s pass to WR Dede Westbrook was swatted away by Stephon Gilmore. Jacksonville outrushed New England 101-46, with rookie RB Leonard Fournette leading all rushers with 76 yards and a TD, while Bortles threw for 293 yards and a TD, while Brady threw for 290 yards and the two Amendola TDs. Jacksonville on third down was 6 of 15 and kept the ball for 35:08 (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down), while New England was 3 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and held the ball for 24:52.

Philadelphia erased a 7-0 first quarter deficit and scored their 38 points in the NFC Championship Game unchallenged in their 38-7 win over Minnesota at Lincoln Financial Field last Sunday afternoon. Minnesota opened the scoring and led 7-0 with 10:14 left in the quarter when Case Keenum and WR Kyle Rudolph connected on a 25-yard pass. The Eagles then went to work and tied the contest when Keenum was picked off by CB Patrick Robinson with 6:26 left in the first and things would go downhill from there for Minnesota as the Vikings would go into the intermission, trailing 24-7. Philly would then go on to score two more times in the second half, sealing the Vikings’ fate. Nick Foles threw for 352 yards and three TDs, two of them to WR Alshon Jeffery as the Eagles outrushed Minnesota 110-70, while Keenum threw for 271 yards with a pair of interceptions. The Eagles were 10 of 14 on third down tries and ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 34:04, while the Vikings were 6 of 13 and 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs, keeping the pigskin for 25:56.

For New England, it will be their 10th trip to the big game and they’re 5-4, while the Eagles will make their third trip with an 0-2 record under their belts. It will be their first meeting since George Walker Bush was in the White House and John Paul II was on the throne of St. Peter in the Vatican.

The Eagles, led by second-year head coach Doug Pederson, tied a franchise record with 13 regular-season wins (2004) and earned the No. 1 seed in the NFC for the fourth time since 2002. The Eagles, who completed a “worst-to-first” turnaround, are the first team since the 2009 New Orleans Saints to win its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place and advance to the Super Bowl.

“It’s a tremendous feeling to be going to the Super Bowl,” Pederson told USA Today and ESPN. “I love coaching this football team. I love coaching these players. The thing about this team is that despite all the adversity that surrounds the team, these guys don’t listen to that. I don’t listen to that. They come to work and practice hard every day. They love being around each other. One of our goals was to be the NFC champions and represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. And now we’ve got our work cut out for us. We’re going to the Super Bowl and we still have some unfinished business ahead of us.”

Patriots head coach Bill Bellichick and quarterback Tom Brady will be making their eighth Super Bowl appearance together, the most NFL title games for any head coach and starting quarterback duo in league history. Belichick and Brady have won five Super Bowls together, the most by a head coach and starting quarterback combination.

“You cherish these moments and opportunities,” Brady told the Boston Globe and Boston Herald. “I know we’ve had quite a few of them, which we’ve been very blessed to do. It’s just been an unbelievable run and I think everyone should be really proud of what we’ve accomplished. I’m proud of our team. It’s been a great year and it would be really great if we can take care of business in the next game.”

“We have great players and coaches in this locker room and I knew we’d be able to compete for this,” Eagles defensive end Chris Long told ESPN. “We’ve earned this opportunity but that’s all it is. We still have a lot of work to do.”

“We all believe in each other,” says Patriots safety Devin McCourty. “This team is battle tested. We’ve gone through ups and downs. We’ve gone through adversity. You just have to keep playing. When you have a foundation that you can lean on, you don’t panic. You understand and believe in each other and you just give yourself a chance to win.”

In regular season action, the Eagles lead the series 7-5 and have outscored the Pats 283-269. Their last regular season meeting took place in 2015 in Foxboro and the Eagles wer 35-28 winners, while New England’s last win in the series came in the City of Brotherly Love by a final of 31-10 in 2003.

Their only post-season meeting took place in 2004 in Super Bowl XXXIX and the Pats came away witt the 24-21 win at what was then Alltel Stadium (now Ever Bank Field). After a scoreless first quarter, the teams took a 7-7 tie with them to the intermission and were tied 14-14 at the end of the third quarter before New England went to work, scoring the first ten points of the period when RB Cory Dillon scored from 2 yards out with 13:44 left in the contest and added a 22-yard field goal from Adam Vinatieri with 8:40 left to play. The Eagles would pull to within 3 with 1:48 left when WR Greg Lewis connected with QB Donovan McNabb on a 30 yard TD toss. Dillon led all rushers with 75 yards as the Pats outrushed Phialdelphia 112-45 and McNabb threw for 357 yards and three TDs, while Brady threw for 236 yard and a pair of TDs (McNabb was sacked four times, Brady was sacked twice and McNabb three three interceptions) and each team lost a fumble in the contest. New England on third down tries went 4 of 12 and held on to the ball for 31:37, while the Eagles kept the pigskin for 28:23, going 9 of 16 on third down tries.

In the final football game of the 2017 campaign, the oddsmakers in Vegas like the Patriots and the powers that be have made them 5 point favorites with the over/under at 48. Since this is the last game of the season, this is the LAST chance to make THE DRILL a reality until September. With that… (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 57 last June and dates a 42-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”

Two teams.

One game.

One mission.

It all comes down to this.

Win and you’re World Champions.

Lose and you’ll be second-guessed from now until the start of next season.

Each player on the winning team will get $112,000; as for the losing team, they’ll be getting $56,000 to each member of the losing, which comes out to a little more than $8 million total for the personnel of the two competing clubs. The winners will get rings, be on talk shows and perhaps make a trip to the White House. There’s a lot at stake. There will be winners on the field and winners in the ad battle that will ensue. Could there be overtime? It’s possible. Could there be a shutout? Maybe but there’s never been a shutout in all of the Super Bowls.

While the Pats are the darlings of the football world for now, there’s always a chance for an upset. That chance is coming Sunday in the Twin Cities. Philly pulls off the upset in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and takes the win, even though New England could make things closer than 5 points.

Broadcast Information – 6:30 p.m. on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (Field reporter)WESTWOOD ONE: Kevin Harlan, Boomer Esiason, Mike Holmgren, Tony Boselli, Ed Werder; SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Philadelphia), 82 (New England);| XM: 88 (WestW1ood), 83 (Philadelphia), 82 (New England)

Referee: Gene Steratore

Injury Report

New England – New England reports no injuries

Philadelphia – Philadelphia reports no injuries

Weather Information: Game indoors

Emmy-nominated actor and comedian Rob Riggle will take the stage as host of NFL HONORS on Saturday, February 3 at Northrop at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The two-hour primetime awards special recognizing the NFL’s best players, performances and plays from the 2017 season will air nationally at 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on NBC.

Riggle announced the news on his social media with the following video: https://tinyurl.com/ybl2pv94.

Riggle, who recently retired from the Marine Corps Reserve after 23 years of service, has been a staple in comedic film for more than 15 years. Widely known for his memorable roles in films such as The Hangover, Step Brothers and The Other Guys, Riggle can currently be seen in Warner Bros.’ 12 Strong, his first dramatic turn opposite Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon and Michael Peña. Following up with another dramatic role, Riggle will co-star Bella Thorne and Patrick Schwarzenegger in Open Road Films’, Midnight Sun, opening March 23 and he is currently in production on Universal’s upcoming comedy, Night School, opposite Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish, which is set to release September 28.

Riggle is also a mainstay in television. Known for his four-year stint as a correspondent on the Emmy Award-winning The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, he went on to be a cast member on Saturday Night Live and currently appears in a recurring role as “The President of the Navy” in the Adult Swim comedy-action series NTSF:SD:SUV:. Other television credits include 30 Rock, The Office, Arrested Development, Modern Family, The League and New Girl.

In addition to his various film and television appearances, Riggle is a stand-up comedian and improv actor who spent seven years studying, teaching and performing at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. Riggle began his comedy career in 1997 while still on active duty in the Marine Corps, serving in Marine Corps Aviation and later in Public Affairs on active duty and in the Marine Corps Reserve. During his 23-year military career, Riggle was deployed to Afghanistan, Albania, Kosovo and Liberia and earned more than 22 medals and ribbons.

NFL Honors, which debuted in Indianapolis in 2012, is an annual event hosted from the Super Bowl city the evening before the AFC and NFC champions meet. Riggle joins Alec Baldwin Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Meyers and Conan O’Brien on the list of award-winning celebrities to host the NFL’s awards show.

Music for the show will be performed by vocalist-instrumentalist Spencer Ludwig. The trumpeter, singer and songwriter wowed audiences at a string of festivals, including Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits, in 2017 and opened for Bebe Rexha on her North American and European tours. Ludwig signed a worldwide record deal as a solo artist with Warner Bros. Records in 2015 and was previously the featured trumpeter for the multi-Platinum band Capital Cities.

The show includes the announcement of THE ASSOCIATED PRESS’ annual accolades and the newest PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME class. Preceding NBC’s telecast, NFL Network will air “Super Bowl Saturday Night” at 8 p.m. Eastern covering all the sights and sounds from the Red Carpet at NFL Honors.

The full list of awards that will be presented is:

AP Most Valuable Player Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year presented by Nationwide
AP Coach of the Year AP Comeback Player of the Year
AP Offensive Player of the Year presented by Microsoft AP Defensive Player of the Year
AP Offensive Rookie of the Year AP Defensive Rookie of the Year

Bridgestone Elite Performance Play of the Year
FedEx Air & Ground Players of the Year
Salute To Service Award presented by USAACourtyard’s Greatness on the Road Award
Deacon Jones Award Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award
Built Ford Tough Offensive Line of the YearCastrol EDGE Clutch Performer of the Year
Touchdown Celebration of the YearGame Changer Award presented by Secret

Although the weather may be a little on the chilly side, fans in the Twin Cities area and their visitors will have a chance to be a part of a sporting event that is bigger than themselves.

Super Bowl LII brings much more than football to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Throughout the weeks preceding the game, more than 30 charitable activities and community outreach events will enrich the community and provide lasting legacies.

Super Bowl Week activities include the announcement of the annual Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide winner, a series of community projects made possible by millions of dollars in NFL Foundation Super Bowl Legacy Grants and the Super Bowl LII Host Committee and a number of youth character development events including the NFL PLAY 60 Kids’ Day.

During the week, the NFL and Verizon will host an Unsung Heroes luncheon for volunteers and employees at local domestic violence and sexual assault prevention organizations and shelters. The league is also working with local organizations on social issues including human trafficking, providing financial grants to address issues in the Minneapolis area.

The following are just some of the ways the NFL and Super Bowl LII will positively impact the community and at the end, every thing that is not used will be recycled, including paper goods and food that is not consumed either the game or at events will be donated to churches, mosques, food pantries and other charities. Nothing will go to waste.

Note: NFL player names will be added in the daily media advisories.

SUPER BOWL EXPERIENCE DRIVEN BY GENESIS: Super Bowl Experience Driven by Genesis – pro football’s interactive theme park – will return to Minneapolis for the first time since Super Bowl XXVI in 1992. This event offers fans a unique chance to get involved in the festivities surrounding Super Bowl LII, offering interactive games, youth football clinics, merchandise from NFL Shop presented by Visa, player autograph sessions and more.

Celebrating the history of the game and electrifying atmosphere of Super Bowl LII, Super Bowl Experience Driven by Genesis at the Minneapolis Convention Center (1301 2nd Avenue South) will be open to the public Saturday, January 27 to Monday, January 29 and again Wednesday, January 31 to Sunday, February 4.

The hub of Super Bowl fan activity, Super Bowl Experience provides visitors of all ages an opportunity to experience the game like never before. Fans can test their football skills in interactive games, receive autographs from current stars and legends of the game, shop the latest NFL team and Super Bowl gear and get a photo with the most prestigious trophy in sports, the Vince Lombardi Trophy. For more information and a complete schedule of events for Super Bowl Experience Driven by Genesis visit SuperBowl.com and download the Super Bowl LII Minnesota – Fan Mobile Pass app.

Tickets for Super Bowl Experience Driven by Genesis can be purchased online exclusively through Ticketmaster.com. Tickets are $35 for adults and $25 for children 12 and under and permit entry for a particular day and time. An NFLXtra Fast Pass may be purchased for $55. Beginning Saturday, January 27, opening day of Super Bowl Experience Driven by Genesis, fans can purchase tickets at Super Bowl Experience Box Office located in the Minneapolis Convention Center. Tickets sold at Super Bowl Experience box office will go on sale two hours before opening daily. For more information and to find out about special family packages available online only, visit SuperBowl.com. Tickets purchased online are subject to a Ticketmaster service charge.

2018 Super Bowl Experience Driven by Genesis Hours of Operation (Times are local – Central Time – and are subject to change)
Saturday, January 27 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, January 28 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Monday, January 29 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday, January 31 from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Thursday, February 1 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday, February 2 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday, February 3 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The complete schedule for Super Bowl Experience Driven by Genesis and other Super Bowl LII gameday and event information, will be posted on SuperBowl.com and in the Super Bowl LII Minnesota – Fan Mobile Pass app. To download the app, visit the app store or NFL.com/SBApp. Fans are encouraged to follow @SuperBowl and tag their posts and photos using hashtag #SBLII.

PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME ARTIFACTS ON DISPLAY AT SUPER BOWL EXPERIENCE: The Pro Football Hall of Fame will showcase more than 130 artifacts at the Super Bowl Experience. The one-of-a-kind treasures will help the Hall convey the NFL’s 98-year history since the league’s birth in Canton, Ohio in 1920.

The Hall of Fame will also exhibit the three iconic symbols to represent an individual’s induction into the Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame Gold Jacket is presented on the eve of the Enshrinement at the annual Enshrinees Gold Jacket Dinner. The Hall of Famer’s bronze bust is unveiled at the Enshrinement Ceremony. The enshrinee then receives his Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence at a ceremony held in their home stadium during the NFL season.

Eight Bronzed Busts will be temporarily removed from The Hall of Fame Gallery and displayed at the Super Bowl Experience in Minnesota: Bud Grant, Alan Page, Cris Carter, Brett Favre, Vince Lombardi, Curly Lambeau, Bart Starr and Reggie White.

SUPER BOWL LIVE PRESENTED BY VERIZON: Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis will be the site of Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon, a massive, free, ten-day fan festival leading up to Super Bowl LII.

Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon will by open daily from Friday, January 26 at 4 p.m. to Sunday, February 4. The event — free and open to the public – will stretch six blocks on Nicollet Mall, from South 12th Street to South 6th Street The free,
10-day festival will have something for everyone including food, fun and nods to winter that showcase Minnesota’s authentic, Bold North brand, including larger-than-life ice sculptures, warming huts, ice bars and winter sports and activities.

The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee (MNSBHC) has enlisted Grammy-winning producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis to curate 10 days of free music on Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon. Daily line-ups and schedules will be organized largely based on music genre, such as country, rock, gospel, hip hop, reggae and soul. Highlights include an evening of music honoring Prince on Monday, January 29. ‘Prince Night’ performers include The Revolution, Sheila E. and Morris Day and the Time and other artists with professional ties to late Minnesota-born icon. The evening’s performances will conclude with a community sing along of Purple Rain and select ‘Prince Night’ performances will be shown on NFL Network, ESPN2 and NBC Sports Network as part of their telecast of Super Bowl Opening Night fueled by Gatorade from Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul.

Dozens of other national and local Minnesota artists will perform free music daily at Verizon Up Stage at Ice Mountain on Nicollet Mall at 8th Street on Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon. Other performers include Idina Menzel, Soul Asylum, Dessa, Bob Mould, Esera Tuaolo and Mint Condition..  Due to space limitations, media will have access to pool footage of the live music and performers during the 10-day festival. Several additional, free musical acts will be announced in the coming days and more information can be found at mnsuperbowl.com/sblive.

There will also be free, indoor activities and fan engagement opportunities at the site of the Dayton’s Project on Nicollet Mall throughout the festival.

The American Birkebeiner International Bridge (Birkie Bridge), an iconic centerpiece of North America’s largest cross-country ski race held each February in Wisconsin, will be constructed on Nicollet Mall over 9th Street for the 10-day festival. The nearly 200-foot bridge will be the site for cross-country skiing, skijoring and fat tire bike racing that visitors to Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon can witness daily for free.

Special Olympics Minnesota, in partnership with the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee, are inviting visitors, Minnesota residents, businesses and athletes to participate in a Polar Plunge on Tuesday, Jan. 30, at the Verizon Up Stage at Ice Mountain. The Polar Plunge on Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon, Special Olympics Minnesota’s signature winter event, is centered around participants jumping into a body of icy water and raising funds to support more than 8,200 individuals with intellectual disabilities across the state.

Visitors and residents will have the chance to soar across the Mississippi River suspended 100 feet in the air on The Bold North™ Zipline. Fun seekers will thrill their senses by ziplining 750 feet from a launch tower on Nicollet Island to a landing tower across the Mississippi River. The Bold North Zipline will open on Monday, January 26 and run daily through gameday. A parallel 4-line set-up will allow four riders at a time, traveling at speeds of 20-30 mph as they glide across the Mississippi River. A limited of number tickets are available for sale on-site at Zipline Headquarters at Nicolette Mall and 7th street during the 10-day festival. Tickets are $30 per rider. Customized vehicles will transport guests from the Bold North™ Zipline headquarters on Nicollet Mall to the launch tower and again back after the zipline adventure. For more information and FAQ about the Bold North zipline, visit mnsuperbowl.com/zipline.

Super Bowl LIVE Hours of Operation

Friday, January 26 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday, January 27 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, January 28 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Monday, January 29 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Tuesday, January 30 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Wednesday, January 31 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Thursday, February 1 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday, February 2 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday, February 3 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, February 4 from Noon to 3 p.m.

Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon is a free event, non-ticketed 10-day festival that is open to the public. For more

‘TESTIFY: AMERICANA FROM SLAVERY TO TODAY’ EXHIBIT: Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page, along with Diane Sims Page, Executive Director of the Page Education Foundation, will publicly present TESTIFY, a preview of their collection of Americana. The wide-ranging exhibit will feature art and artifacts from pivotal eras in American history while also providing a platform for visitors to share their thoughts, feelings and personal experiences.

Supported in part by the NFL Foundation, the exhibit is running from now to Tuesday, February 6 during library hours in Cargill Hall at Hennepin County Library—Minneapolis Central (300 Nicollet Mall). Inspired by the recent resurgence of racial tension in our country, TESTIFY gives context and definition to the conversation, serving as a reminder of the history that brings us to today.

AN INTERFAITH GATHERING HOSTED BY THE MINNESOTA SUPER BOWL HOST COMMITTEE: The MNSBHC is partnering with the Downtown Congregations to kick-off Super Bowl week with an Interfaith gathering to celebrate unity and shared purpose. The
gathering will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church on Nicollet Mall and 12th Street on Sunday, January 28 at 2 p.m.  The celebration will showcase Minnesota’s national leadership in multi-faith dialogue and cooperation, and will raise money to prevent homelessness. The event is the proud work of the Twin Cities Faith Community – Rabbis, Priests, Pastors, Imams and other faith leaders – coming together to send a message about unity in the Twin Cities.

NFL PLAY 60 CHARACTER CAMP: On Monday, January 29 at 9 a.m., the NFL will host a free Character Camp on the field at Super Bowl Experience Driven by Genesis at the Minneapolis Convention Center (1301 2nd Avenue South) before Super Bowl Experience is open to the public. The event will include 300 predominantly-Hispanic youth from the Minnesota area. The non-contact football camp will be led by Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive tackle Anthony Munoz.

The NFL PLAY 60 Character Camps program is a partnership between the NFL and the Muñoz Agency. The mission of the camps are to make a positive impact on youth through teaching football skills, emphasizing exercise, and reinforcing the importance of character in athletics and life. The camp is part of a series of NFL PLAY 60 Character Camps hosted as part of the NFL’s year-round Hispanic outreach initiative, focused on offering youth opportunities to play and experience the game of football. Since the inception of NFL PLAY 60 Character Camps in 2012, over 60 camps have been held impacting more than 20,000 youth across the country.

SHRINERS HOSPITALS PLAY 60 ALL-ABILITY EVENT: The NFL and Shriners Hospitals for Children will host a PLAY 60 All-Ability
event on Monday, January 29 from 5 to 6 p.m. at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Twin Cities (2025 East River Parkway). The NFL PLAY 60 All-Ability event will include activities that allow kids of all-abilities to get active in a fun environment including ultimate football, and various all-ability fitness stations. The NFL is celebrating ten years of getting kids active and healthy through NFL PLAY 60, the league’s youth health and wellness campaign encouraging kids to get active for 60 minutes every day. Unfortunately, children with mobility challenges are less likely to be as active as their peers, which can lead to obesity, lack of strength and other health issues. Shriners Hospitals for Children teamed up with the NFL to ensure that all children have the ability to get active. Together, they collaborated to create the NFL PLAY 60 All-Ability Guide that includes adaptive play activities for children of varying physical abilities to help them live active and healthy lifestyles.

CREATING A CULTURE OF CARE: AN INSIDEOUT INITIATIVE EVENT: The NFL Foundation and Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee Legacy Fund will host a special character development event for local Minnesota High School athletic directors and their respective head football coach and female coach of influence on Tuesday, January 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine (600 Hennepin Avenue, Suite 310). Led by InSideOut Initiative co-founders Joe Ehrmann and Jody Redman and the Minnesota State High School League, this day-long training will center on the importance of creating a culture of care for student-athletes that focuses on transformational coaching, developing moral character and creating a positive mental health climate. The InSideOut Initiative is aimed at transforming the “win-at-all-costs” sports culture in communities across the country.

SPECIAL OLYMPICS UNIFIED FLAG FOOTBALL GAME & POLAR PLUNGE: The NFL and Special Olympics Minnesota will host a Special Olympics Unified Flag Football game on Tuesday, January 30 from 2 to 3 p.m. Following the Unified Flag Football game, Special Olympics athletes and other celebrities will participate in a Polar Plunge at Super Bowl LIVE.

The NFL and Special Olympics are teaming to provide opportunities for athletes of all abilities to ‘PLAY 60′ through the expansion of Special Olympics Unified Flag Football. PLAY 60 is the NFL’s campaign to promote youth health and wellness, aimed at encouraging kids to get active for 60 minutes a day. For more information, visit NFL.com/PLAY60.

Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports, every day around the world. They empower people with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all. Using sports as the catalyst and programming around health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 5.3 million athletes and Unified partners in 169 countries. With the support of more than 1 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and over 108,000 games and competitions throughout the year.

SALUTE TO SERVICE MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY: As part of Salute to Service, the NFL will invite veterans, active duty service
men and women and their families to Military Appreciation Day at Super Bowl Experience Driven by Genesis on Tuesday, January 30 from 3 to 8 p.m. The NFL is working with its military nonprofit partners, including Wounded Warrior Project, to invite attendees. The event will include football-themed activities, meet and greets and a special “Thank You” moment for all service members.

NFL PLAY 60 KIDS’ DAY AT SUPER BOWL EXPERIENCE: NFL PLAY 60 Kids’ Day gives more than 1,000 local children the opportunity to spend time with NFL players at the Super Bowl Experience Driven by Genesis at the Minneapolis Convention Center (1301 2nd Avenue South) on Wednesday, January 31, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Children from the local Minneapolis area will take part in the excitement of Super Bowl Week alongside NFL players. Award-winning singer, dancer and YouTube personality JOJO SIWA will perform and teach the kids a dance routine at the NFL PLAY 60 Clinic Field at approximately noon.

Kids will learn more about the importance of healthy living during Kids’ Day as part of NFL PLAY 60, aimed at helping youngsters get 60 minutes of exercise each day. Classrooms earned their invite to Kids’ Day by completing the NFL PLAY 60 Challenge, in partnership with the American Heart Association, in the months leading up to Super Bowl LII.

As part of their Kids’ Day experience, local children will participate in interactive PLAY 60 fitness activities and take part in games including Punt, Pass & Kick, speed and mobility drills, quarterback challenge games and extra point kicking stations.

SUPER BOWL LII BUSINESS CONNECT CELEBRATION: The NFL and the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee will host “Super Bowl LII
Business Connect: Celebrating Opportunities, Teamwork & Success” event on Wednesday, January 31 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Aria (105 North 1st Street). The event is a celebration of the Super Bowl LII Business Connect program spotlighting the accomplishments of Super Bowl LII Business Connect suppliers and local businesses that have grown and thrived under the tutelage of the program’s professional development initiatives and, acknowledging NFL event contractors who’ve aggressively utilized the program, awarding contract opportunities to the vendors in the program.
More than 350 Minnesota businesses in 40 vendor categories participated in the year and a half long Business Connect program, which identifies Super Bowl LII contracting opportunities and matches those contracts with experienced, local diverse business owners in the program. To qualify for participation in Business Connect, businesses must be 51 percent owned by a minority, woman, veteran, lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender individual. The Business Connect Celebration is a ticketed event for participating business owners. A networking reception will precede and follow the formal program. Former NFL Punter and current voice of the Vikings, Greg Coleman is the event’s keynote speaker.

NFL PLAYER ENGAGEMENT PRESENTS “THE BROADCAST BOWL”: As an extension of Broadcast Boot Camp/Advanced Broadcast Boot Camp and Sports Media/Sports Journalism Radio Boot Camps, NFL Player Engagement is creating a unique opportunity for Alumnae to commentate on SB Radio Row at Super Bowl LII. Participating players include Matt Forte, Lorenzo Alexander, Ryan Harris and Bruce Gradkowski.

Each player will have a tailored schedule of commentating segments on various radio broadcasting channels including Sirius XM Radio and Westwood One Radio.  This program is open to current and former players who have previously participated in Broadcast Boot Camp/Advanced Broadcast Boot Camp and Sports Media/Sports Journalism & Radio Boot Camp. Select players will begin broadcast appearances on Wednesday, Janaury 31 through Sunday, February 4 at the Media Center located at Mall of America. Players will have the opportunity to practice what they learned at previous boot camps and make important contacts during the NFL’s largest event of the year.

THE KIDS TAILGATE PARTY

The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee Legacy Fund 52 Weeks of Giving campaign will culminate at the Kids Tailgate Party, a special celebration for young people in Minnesota who have been a part of the year-long effort. The Kids Tailgate Party is a family-friendly event that will feature healthy snacks, fun, activities and special surprises for nearly 2,000 children from across the state. The event will be hosted at Target Center (600 North 1st Avenue) in Minneapolis on Wednesday, January 31 from 2 to 4 p.m.

As a way to get more kids involved in the Super Bowl fun, as well as emphasize healthy eating and nutrition, the MNSBHC teamed up with Chef Andrew Zimmern to organize the Super Snack Challenge, a fun competition that celebrates kids’ healthy snack choices. To participate, kids ages 8-14 around Minnesota were invited to submit their favorite healthy game day snack recipes for a chance to be recognized as one of 52 Winners.

Over 400 young people entered and the 52 winners and top 10 “All Pro Chefs” have been invited to attend the Kids Tailgate Party, where the Super Snack Challenge MVP will be announced. As part of their recognition, the top 10 “All-Pro Chefs” will donate nearly $60,000 to their favorite charities in Minnesota.

For more information, please visit http://www.mnsuperbowl.com/legacy.

NFL PLAYER CARE FOUNDATION SCREENINGS: On Wednesday, January 31 through Saturday, February 2, the NFL Player Care Foundation (PCF), supported by the NFL Alumni Association (NFLA), are proud to partner with one of the nation’s premier medical providers, Tulane University School of Medicine, to conduct its annual Super Bowl Healthy Body and Mind Screening program. This complimentary national program is open to all former NFL players and includes cardiovascular and prostate screenings and mental health resources and education. Comprehensive blood testing will be offered to the wives and significant others who accompany former player screening participants and are being provided by NFLA free of charge.

NFL Player Care Foundation screenings are offered as part of PCF’s research programs, which help to advance public awareness and scientific understanding of health issues that affect former NFL players. The screening will take place at the Hilton Minneapolis (1001 South Marquette Avenue, Marquette VI and VII Rooms) from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The PCF is an independent foundation created in 2007 by a partnership between NFL owners, the NFL Players Association, Pro Football Hall of Fame and the NFL Alumni Association. Since its inception, the organization has screened more than 5,000 retired NFL players and provided over $14 million in emergency financial assistance. For more information, visit nflplayercare.com. (The screenings are closed to the public, per medical privacy laws.)

NFLPA INITIATIVES: The following is a sampling of community events the NFLPA has planned in the Minneapolis area during Super Bowl Week:

Ten hot start-ups will pitch their business during NFLPA Pitch Day on Wednesday, January 31 from 1 to 6 p.m. at WeWork (225 South 6th Street) in hopes of landing a deal with the OneTeam Collective–the first athlete-driven accelerator. The next round will feature ACE Media scouting the next great athlete-centric content idea.

The NFLPA will host Smocks & Jocks, a jazz brunch and silent auction showcasing the art of active and former players, on Saturday, February 3 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Loring Bar & Restaurant (327 14th Avenue Southeast). Guests have the opportunity to mingle with other players, observe the artistic displays and enjoy food and drinks.

Through the NFLPA’s #SportsBiz Local series, players will have the opportunity to tour and engage at iconic Minneapolis site and companies:

On Thursday, February 1 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., players will take a private tour of the legend Prince’s private estate, Paisley Park.

On Friday, February 2 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., players will have the opportunity to participate in a behind the scenes tour and get a sneak peek of exclusive merchandise at Target’s Downtown Minneapolis headquarters. Players will also explore the state of the art social media command center and have lunch with senior executives to learn how they can develop a post career path similar to former NFL player Ian Allen, Senior Manager of Finances and Strategy for Target.

Also on Friday, February 2, Mayo Clinic’s state-of-the-art Sports Medicine Center has created a special opportunity for local high school students and NFL players. Players will engage with aspiring athletes while interacting with performance and physician experts.

SUPER BOWL LEGACY GRANT EVENT: The NFL seeks to improve the surrounding communities of the Super Bowl host city with the Super Bowl Legacy Grant Program, made possible each year by a $1 million contribution from the NFL Foundation and matched by the Super Bowl Host Committee. This year, the NFL and Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee’s grants are focused on improving access and creating healthy behaviors for a lifetime, whether it’s access to physical activity or nutritious food. To build a healthier, more active, life-changing future for all of Minnesota’s children, the Super Bowl Legacy Fund’s strategic areas of giving are fun, fuel and fundamentals.

As a culmination of the 52 Weeks of Giving Campaign, the year-long effort to award 52 Minnesota communities with grants leading up to the big game, NFL and Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee executives will award the 52nd and final Super Bowl Legacy Grant to Anwatin Middle School (256 Upton Avenue South) on Thursday, February 1 at 10 a.m.

MINNESOTA SUPER BOWL HOST COMMITTEE LEGACY FUND 52 WEEKS OF GIVING CAMPAIGN: Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee Legacy Fund 52 Weeks of Giving Campaign 52 Weeks of Giving is a year-long community giving campaign to ensure hosting the Big Game will leave a lasting legacy for Minnesota’s children.

Each week, for 52 weeks, the MNSBHC Legacy Fund provides a capital grant to a community organization in Minnesota that is committed to improving the health and wellness of children. The grants help improve access to nutritious food and physical activity and create healthy behaviors in Minnesota’s youth.

In addition to community grant giving, the Legacy Fund’s Super School Breakfast campaign has brought Fuel Up to Play 60’s Breakfast-in-the-Classroom program to elementary, middle and high schools in 52 communities statewide. Midwest Dairy Council, GENYOUTH, FuelUp to Play60 and the MNSBHC Legacy Fund provide the resources to make Breakfast-in-the-Classroom a reality. The campaign has given more kids access to healthy, nutritious food for a productive start each morning and the needed fuel to help them power through a healthy and active day.

The 52 Weeks of Giving Campaign will conclude with the announcement of the final community grant during the 10-day festival. The 52nd community grant will be celebrated at a special dedication event in Minneapolis on Thursday, February 1.

MAN OF THE YEAR LEGACY RECEPTION PRESENTED BY NATIONWIDE: In honor of their excellence on and off the field, past Man of the Year winners – and family representatives of those who are no longer with us – will come together during Super Bowl weekend for a series of special events and programs. The Man of the Year Legacy Reception presented by Nationwide will kick off the weekend on Thursday, February 1 from 7 to 10 p.m. and celebrate the past winners and their families through a premium evening of tributes. The event will feature meaningful conversations about their impact on the league and in their communities, and how as a group they can mobilize the entire NFL family to carry that legacy into the future. To further advance the legacy of Man of the Year winners and create impact in their communities, the Legacy Reception will serve as a fundraiser for the NFL Foundation.  Funds raised will be distributed among both the NFL Foundation and the nonprofit organizations supported by the Men of the Year.

MAKE-A-WISH®: Through the assistance of the NFL, Make-A-Wish will grant the wishes of 12 children to attend Super Bowl LII. Attending the Super Bowl continues to be a wish that transcends generations: every year since 1982, one or more wish kids has wished to attend the big game.

This year, the children and their families will arrive in Minnesota on Thursday, February 1 for a welcome reception. Wish children and their families will participate in several other activities related to the Super Bowl and will attend the game at U.S. Bank Stadium through the support of the NFL and other organizations.

Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true can have positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Based in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children’s charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 33,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 34 minutes. It has granted more than 285,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 15,300 in 2016 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at wish.org to learn more.

SUPER BOWL GOSPEL CELEBRATION: The 19th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration (SBGC) will help kickoff Super Bowl LII with a star-studded music jubilation live taping on Thursday, February 1 at 7:30 p.m., at the Benson Great Hall at Bethel University (3900 Bethel Drive in Arden Hills). The annual event joins NFL players, top gospel, contemporary Christian and mainstream GRAMMY® Award-winning artists and other special guests to bring audiences an evening of uplifting music and inspirational messages. The one-hour special will air on BET Network on Saturday, February 3.

NFL WOMEN’S SUMMIT — “IN THE HUDDLE”: On Friday, February 2 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the NFL will host the third-annual Women’s Summit—In The Huddle. Building on the success of last year’s Women’s Summit at Super Bowl LI, which engaged teen girls through an interactive event focused on personal development and achievement, this year’s model will leverage the platform of the Super Bowl to celebrate women in sports with young women from the local Minneapolis community.

Female college and university students from the local Minneapolis area will join members of the broader NFL family and special guests for meaningful discussions on careers in sports, building strong support systems and the advancement of women on and off the field.

The NFL Women’s Summit—In The Huddle is held in conjunction with Super Bowl LII and in collaboration with the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee and the Minnesota Vikings. The event will take place at Pantages Theater (710 Hennepin Avenue) in Downtown Minneapolis. Speakers and special guests will be announced in the coming weeks.

MAN OF THE YEAR FAN FORUM: To recognize their outstanding contributions to the game and to their communities, the three Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year finalists will participate in a Man of the Year Fan Forum on Friday, February 2 at 10:30 a.m. The 2017 Man of the Year finalists – to be announced this Sunday, January 21 during the AFC Championship Game – will
participate in a panel with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and answer questions from fans in attendance.

Considered the League’s most prestigious honor, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field as well as excellence on the field. The winner will be announced during NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on February 3, the eve of Super Bowl LII, at 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on NBC. NFL Honors will be taped earlier that evening at the Cyrus
Northrop Memorial Auditorium at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. While members of the media are welcome to attend, questions will be limited to the fans in attendace.

PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME MERLIN OLSON SUPER BOWL LUNCHEON: Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Merlin Olsen Super Bowl Luncheon takes place on Friday, February 2 at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis. The annual event has been described by Jerry Jones as the “best event at the Super Bowl.” More than 75 Gold Jackets (living Hall of Famers) and other NFL Legends will be on hand at the private event that honors Hall of Famer Bud Grant and the Wilf Family.

ROSS INITIATIVE IN SPORTS FOR EQUALITY (RISE) SUPER BOWL TOWN HALL: The Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) and NFL will host their third annual Super Bowl Town Hall, “The Next Play: Best Practices for Using Sports to Improve Race Relations,” on Friday, February 2 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Super Bowl Media Center presented by Microsoft (Mall of America). The event will be live streamed on RISE’s Facebook page. Current and former NFL greats will participate in a panel discussion to review lessons learned from the activist athlete this season with a focus on what’s coming next. RISE will release a report on athlete activism in 2017 and recommendations for best practices moving forward. RISE aims to use sports to improve race relations. To learn more, visit http://www.RISEtoWIN.org.

23rd ANNUAL REBUILDING TOGETHER “KICKOFF TO REBUILD”: For the past 23 years, Rebuilding Together has partnered with the NFL to host community revitalization projects in Super Bowl cities across the country. These NFL-sanctioned events provide critical home repairs for people in need and their communities.

This year Rebuilding Together Twin Cities will host a community revitalization project on Friday, February 2 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. to rehabilitate six homes and develop a community garden in the Bryant neighborhood of South Minneapolis (401 East 41st Street). The community garden will give neighbors access to fresh produce, which is extremely limited in the area and offer residents opportunities to connect with their neighborhood. The Sankofa Garden will also work to establish a community kitchen, giving all neighbors a space to learn about fresh food preparation techniques and nutrition information. Over two days, hundreds of volunteers will help residents in need, providing critical home repairs that address health and safety concerns. As the result of this partnership, the Bryant neighborhood of South Minneapolis will be stronger, more vibrant community.

To learn more about Rebuilding Together’s Kickoff to Rebuild project, visit rebuildingtogether.org/ktr.

NFL-USAA MILITARY OUTREACH: The following is a sampling of events planned for service members and their families in the Minneapolis area during Super Bowl Week:

USAA will host current and former military and their guests at the “USAA Salute to Service Lounge” within Super Bowl Experience. The Lounge will be open on Saturday, February 3 and serves as an exclusive area for current and former military members and their families to enjoy complimentary food and beverage, games, NFL player meet and greets and more.

The NFL and USAA will recognize the winner of the 2017 Salute to Service Award presented by USAA at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Febuary 3, the eve of Super Bowl LII, at 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on NBC.
NFL Honors will be taped earlier that evening at the Cyrus Northrop Memorial Auditorium at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Created in 2011, the Salute to Service Award acknowledges the members of the NFL for their exemplary commitment to honoring and supporting the military community and their families.

NFL HONORS INTERNSHIP PROGRAM: The night before the AFC and NFC champions meet at Super Bowl LII, the NFL will salute its best players, performances and plays from the 2017 season with a two-hour primetime awards special – NFL HONORS. The annual awards show and Red Carpet will take place at Northrop at the University of Minnesota and air on NBC at 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on Saturday, February 3.

For the first time, the NFL is providing local students with the opportunity to be a part of the multi-faceted production of this prestigious event. Teaming with the University of Minnesota, the NFL offered internship positions in a variety of areas, including NFL Honors red carpet production, television production, media operations and public relations. Following an application process, 64 University of Minnesota students were selected to receive paid internships and will play an integral role in the preparation leading up to and the execution on show day in Minneapolis. In addition, University of Minnesota students, faculty and alumni will have the opportunity to be a part of the awards show as volunteers onsite

NFL & ALL PRO DAD FAMILY FOOTBALL CLINIC: Current and former players celebrate football and family at the third annual NFL
& All Pro Dad Family Football Clinic at Super Bowl LII. Presented by NFL Player Engagement and All Pro Dad organization, players are invited to bring their children and significant others to participate in fun football activities on Saturday, February 3 at the clinic (7000 Washington Avenue South in Eden Prairie). Players and their children will learn how fun it is to PLAY 60 and create new football memories as a family. Within each football activity, kids and their parents will participate in an exercise designed to foster engagement and relationship building among family members. The clinic will begin at 9:30 a.m. with player media availability at 11:30 a.m.

1st AND FUTURE: The NFL, in collaboration with Comcast-NBCUniversal and Mayo Clinic, is calling on innovators to share their solutions to help advance the game of football and athlete safety. On Saturday, February 3, the partners will host 1st and Future, the NFL’s official pitch competition, at the Guthrie Theater (818 South 2nd Street) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Up to nine startups will be invited to present their game-changing technologies in the following three categories: Technology to Improve Athletic Performance, Advancements in Protective Equipment and New Therapies to Speed Recovery. The startups will pitch their products to an exclusive audience and one winner from each category will be selected by a panel of judges comprising of former NFL players, entrepreneurs and medical experts. The winners will receive a $50,000 prize from the NFL and two tickets to Super Bowl LII.

SUPER BOWL BREAKFAST: The 2018 Super Bowl Breakfast will be held Saturday, February 3 at the Hilton Minneapolis (1001 South Marquette Avenue) from 8 to 10 a.m. The breakfast will feature a presentation of the 2018 Bart Starr Award to an NFL player for outstanding character, integrity and leadership on and off the field. In addition, the program features Super Bowl Champion Coach TONY DUNGY, Minnesota Vikings greats Jeff Siemon, Alan Page, Greg Coleman, Chuck Foreman and Doug Sutherland and emcee Akbar Gbajimila, co-host of American Ninja Warrior. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.superbowlbreakfast.com.

18TH ANNUAL PNE™ POWERED BY TOYOTA MOTOR NORTH AMERICA: The 18th Annual Player Networking Event™ (PNE) will take place Saturday, February 3 from Noon to 6 p.m. on the 45th Floor of the Minneapolis City Center (33 South 6th Street). PNE, a collaboration of over 50 organizations, targets businesses committed to helping active and former NFL players prepare for life after football through various post-event opportunities including group counseling, career coaching, mentoring, job shadowing, internships, entrepreneurial training, franchising and employment.

Highlights for PNE 2018 include featured charities founded by current NFL players Chris Harris Jr. (Denver Broncos) and Malcolm Mitchell (New England Patriots); workshops on networking and socio-economic mobility; an Internet radio broadcast spotlighting player-owned businesses and transition success stories; hourly career-related social media challenges; a three-hour trade show and a wine tasting wellness hour following the trade show.

TASTE OF THE NFL: Taste of the NFL (TNFL) is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to raising awareness and funds for hunger relief organizations in the 32 NFL cities and across the country. Proudly celebrating its 27th year at Super Bowl LII, the organization conducts national and local fundraising events throughout the year, culminating in the annual Party with a Purpose® on Super Bowl Eve. Since its inception, Taste of the NFL has raised more than $25 million, which has provided more than 275 million meals for Americans. All proceeds raised are donated directly to local and national food banks in each of the 32 NFL cities.

This season’s Party with a Purpose® will be held at the Saint Paul RiverCenter (175 W. Kellogg Boulevard) on Saturday, February 3 at 7 p.m. with a musical performance at 9 p.m. An evening celebrating two of America’s favorite pastimes — food and football — Taste of the NFL’s 27th Annual Party with a Purpose® pairs extraordinary chefs from the 32 NFL cities together with current, Hall of Fame and alumni players from each of the NFL franchises as they serve over 45,000 tastings for 2,500 guests. These efforts have resulted in more than 200 million new meals for Americans in need (many of them children and seniors), who have turned to their local food banks for assistance. Event attendees will also enjoy live musical entertainment from notable performers and have the opportunity to bid on over 250 unique sports and celebrity memorabilia, vacation packages and other coveted auction items. Andrew Zimmern is the Culinary Host for this year’s Party with a Purpose®.

Follow @TasteoftheNFL on Instagram and Twitter as they #KickHunger this season, or visit Taste of the NFL on Facebook at facebook.com/TasteoftheNFL. Tickets to this event can be purchased at http://www.TasteoftheNFL.com.

SUPER BOWL ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAM: The NFL and the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee have teamed up to develop a series of initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of Super Bowl. Verizon is a key partner in several of these projects including Super Kids – Super Sharing, the Super Bowl LII Urban Forestry Project and a public E-Waste Recycling Rally. PepsiCo has joined NFL Environmental this year for an innovative Super Bowl waste reduction project.

The Super Kids – Super Sharing Sports Equipment and Book Donation event were held on Thursday, January 18 at Braemar Field in Edina. Tens of thousands of books, school supplies, games and pieces of sports equipment will be collected and distributed to low-income schools and youth programs throughout the region. As part of Super Kids, local students will also donate used cell phones through the Verizon Foundation to support STEM education for all students. Verizon also has plans to donate $25,000 to Sabathani Community Center to support their after-school STEM programming curriculum.

A Super Bowl LII E-Waste Recycling Rally was held in October and collected 42,081 pounds of e-waste which was responsibly recycled and kept out of local landfills. This recycling rally, sponsored by Verizon in partnership with the NFL and the Minnesota Zoo was the largest Super Bowl e-waste event to date.

Other environmental projects include:

URBAN FORESTRY: The “Greening” of Super Bowl has created a legacy in the Twin Cities region. Fourteen projects in nine communities added more than 12-thousand trees, 4-thousand native plantings and 8 pollinator gardens to local parks and recreation areas. The NFL teamed with the Minnesota Super Bowl LII Host Committee, Verizon and Andersen Corporation to fund the urban forestry projects, and worked with local organizations to implement the plantings.

GREEN ENERGY: “Green” energy will be used to power major Super Bowl event venues throughout the Twin Cities including US Bank Stadium, the Convention Center and the hotels being used by the NFL and AFC teams and by the NFL Super Bowl staff. Renewable energy certificates (RECs) equivalent to the electricity usage at these facilities will help to mitigate the climate impact of energy emissions.

FOOD RECOVERY: Excess food from Super Bowl events will be recovered in partnership with Second Harvest Heartland and several local nonprofit organizations to provide meals for shelters, missions, soup kitchens and other community programs. Second Harvest Heartland will be implementing Feeding America’s MealConnectTM food recovery app in time for Super Bowl. The app is expected to increase food recovery.

MATERIAL RECOVERY: Recovery of all event materials will begin immediately after most Super Bowl events. During the week following the game, there will be an intensive drive to collect and donate items left over from Super Bowl including building materials, décor, fabric, carpeting and sign materials. These items will be donated to local organizations that can reuse, repurpose or remanufacture the material. The NFL has incorporated environmental projects into the management of Super Bowl for 25 years.

The National Football League and NBC Sports announced that Tony and Grammy Award-winning performer Leslie Odom, Jr. will sing “America The Beautiful” as part of Super Bowl LII pregame festivities at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday, February 4.

The Super Bowl is annually the most-watched television program. The appearance will be the first time Odom, Jr. an original cast member of the Tony Award-winning Broadway hit “Hamilton: An American Musical,” will perform on the Super Bowl stage.

Odom, Jr. joins Vicki Carr (Super Bowl XI), Ray Charles (Super Bowl XXXV), Mary J. Blige and Marc Anthony (Super Bowl XXXVI), Alicia Keys (Super Bowl XXXIX), Faith Hill (Super Bowl XLIII), Queen Latifah (Super Bowl XLIV & XLVIII), Lea Richie (Super Bowl XLVI) in singing “America The Beautiful” at Super Bowl. In 2013, Jennifer Hudson, along with 26 children from the Newtown, Connecticut community, sang the song in advance of Super Bowl XLVII.

The NFL previously announced that Pink will perform the National Anthem, Alexandria Wailes will sign the National Anthem and “America The Beautiful” and Justin Timberlake will headline the Pepsi Super Bowl LII Halftime Show. The pregame and halftime shows are an NFL NETWORK PRODUCTION and will be executive produced by Ricky Kirshner.

About Leslie Odom, Jr.: Tony and Grammy Award-winning performer, Leslie Odom, Jr. has taken the entertainment world by storm across a variety of media – spanning Broadway, television, film, and music. Best known for his breakout role as ‘Aaron Burr’ in the smash hit Broadway musical, Hamilton, Odom, Jr. won the Tony Award for “Best Actor in a Musical” for his performance. He most recently appeared opposite Kenneth Branagh, Penelope Cruz and Judi Dench in Murder on the Orient Express for Twentieth Century Fox. Odom, Jr. is one of the stars of the forthcoming feature length directorial debut of pop music sensation Sia. He also recently returned to the New York stage in a solo concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center, which will be broadcast as an hour-long PBS special on April 24, 2018. This spring, Odom, Jr. adds the title of “Author” to his resume with the release of his book – FAILING UP: HOW TO TAKE RISKS, AIM HIGHER, and NEVER STOP LEARNING. The book is being published by Feiwel & Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers, for release March 27, 2018.

The National Football League today announced that international superstar Pink will sing the National Anthem as part of Super Bowl LII pregame festivities at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Sunday, February 4. The performance will be televised live on NBC prior to kickoff.

The Super Bowl is annually the most-watched television program. Her performance of the National Anthem in Minneapolis will be her first time appearing on the Super Bowl stage.

The American singer (whose birth name is Alicia Moore), songwriter and actress has released seven studio albums, one greatest hits album, sold over 50 million albums equivalents, over 75 million singles, over 2.4 million DVDs worldwide and has had 15 singles in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (four at #1). In addition, she is the recipient of three Grammy Awards (18 nominations), one Daytime Emmy Award, three Billboard Music Awards, six MTV Video Music Awards, two MTV Europe Awards, two People’s Choice Awards and was named Billboard’s Woman of the Year in 2013. Her seventh studio album, Beautiful Trauma, debuted at #1 on Billboard’s 200 chart and marked a career high for first week sales. The first single, “What About US” received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Solo Performance and reached #1 on the Adult Pop Songs chart earning her ninth leader on the chart, the most number-ones at the format for a female (second overall). Her 2018 Beautiful Trauma World tour is set to kick off on March 1 in Phoenix.

Pink joins the ranks of many great performers who have sang the Super Bowl National Anthem including: Luke Bryan, Lady Gaga, Idina Menzel, Renée Fleming, Alicia Keys, Billy Joel, Diana Ross, Neil Diamond, Whitney Houston, Harry Connick, Jr., Garth Brooks, Natalie Cole, Vanessa Williams, Luther Vandross, Cher, Faith Hill, Mariah Carey, Dixie Chicks, Beyoncé Knowles, Christina Aguilera and many more.

In addition, on behalf of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), actor and director Alexandria Wailes will perform in American Sign Language both the National Anthem and “America The Beautiful”.

The NFL previously announced that Justin Timberlake will headline the Pepsi Super Bowl LII Halftime Show. The pregame and halftime shows are an NFL NETWORK PRODUCTION and will be executive produced by Ricky Kirshner.