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Historically Black College and University Students Gear Up for Madden NFL 23 x HBCU Tournament Final

NEW YORK, NY (January 31, 2023) The National Football League (NFL) unveiled its plans for the HBCU student finalists who participated in the 3rd annual EA SPORTS™ Madden NFL 23 x HBCU Tournament with an exclusive experience during Super Bowl LVII week. Students will journey to Phoenix for a week filled with job shadowing opportunities and events with the NFL as well as the Madden NFL 23 x HBCU finals. Each student finalist will receive a ticket to attend Super Bowl LVII, on February 12, 2023, at State Farm Stadium.

Throughout the week, the NFL will host the student finalists to learn the business side of football at various events and activations. Students will receive valuable career advice from NFL executives and key stakeholders while participating in immersive job training. Additionally, Microsoft has expanded its sponsorship support this year and will be creating a custom networking event at the Microsoft office in Tempe where students will get a chance to connect with employees.

Leading up to the finals, EA's Next Generation Talent team is hosting enhanced career development sessions including tips for creating LinkedIn profiles, resume building, networking strategies, email etiquette, and more. These sessions are uniquely designed to prepare and equip the students with fundamental skills for life after college.

Dallas Cowboys Linebacker, Micah Parsons, ESPN Commentator, Tiffany Green, and XSET's Chief Culture Officer and Co-Owner, Erin Ashley Simon will serve as hosts of the Madden NFL 23 x HBCU tournament finals show which premieres on February 11 at 3:00 PM ET on the NFL YouTube channel. HBCU finalists will go head-to-head competing for the Madden NFL 23 x HBCU title and a piece of the $70,000 prize pool in cash and prizes.

"I am extremely excited to partner with the NFL to participate in the Madden NFL 23 X HBCU Tournament," said Micah Parsons. "Programs like this are essential to promote professional skills and competition amongst the next generation of leaders in gaming and sports."

The Madden NFL 23 x HBCU Tournament is driven by the NFL's commitment to inclusivity and accessibility in both traditional sports and esports. The program experienced significant growth in its third season, with player participation expanding by 200 percent year-over-year.

School representation increased by more than 44% to 56 schools with the finalists representing 11 HBCUs. To diversify student point of entry and participation, the NFL hosted the first all-women's bracket, to encourage more women participation, and the first Madden HBCU Showcase, where students submitted video applications to be a part of the esports production and experienceship. Kaleb Levarity from Florida A&M University and Antoine Richardson from Southern University were both selected.

This year's tournament features prizing and support from official partners of the NFL.

  • Microsoft: Microsoft to donate Xbox Series X + Surface Pro products

  • Visa: Visa will be contributing Visa Prepaid products for each of the students to use to help pay for their meal expenses during the week.

  • Other partners include Fanatics, Fan Creations, Igloo Products Corp., New Era Cap LLC, Rico Industries, Inc., SOAR (Prime Brands Group), Sporticulture, STARTER (G-III Apparel Group), Zipchair, and Zippo who have donated prize packages featuring the favorite teams of each of the students.

For the second year, Gaming Community Network (GCN) partnered with the NFL to manage the marketing, qualifiers, registration, online tournament execution, talent management, and produce the broadcast.

Finals competition to premiere on February 11 at 3 PM ET on NFL YouTube Channel with Dallas Cowboys' Micah Parsons, ESPN's Tiffany Green, and XSET's Erin Ashley Simon as hosts

 Program highlighted by 200% YoY player participation and a record number of schools competing


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