[December 16, 2013], ALEXANDRIA, VA –This football season marks the 40th anniversary of the partnership between the National Football League (NFL) and United Way. To engage fans in the celebration, the NFL and United Way teamed up with USA TODAY Sports Media Group to host a nationwide vote designed to identify the fan favorite NFL -United Way public service ad (PSA) of all time via the USA TODAY Ad Meter.
Between October 22 and November 20, thousands voted on PSAs from the 1970s through present day. The 1999 public service ad (PSA) featuring former All-Pro Linebacker and Super Bowl Champion DERRICK BROOKS of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was selected as the No. 1 fan favorite. In this spot, Brooks teaches a bus load of kids his favorite song which outlines his on-field stats. View the top ten ads at nfl.com/unitedway. The top ten finalists were:
- Franco Harris – 1974
- Archie Manning – 1975
- Walter Payton – 1982
- Derrick Brooks – 1999
- Sam Adams – 2001
- Eddie George – 2001
- Troy Brown – 2002
- Aaron Glenn – 2002
- Keith Brooking – 2005
- Nnamdi Asomugha – 2013
NFL greats FRANCO HARRIS of the Pittsburgh Steelers and ROGER STAUBACH of the Dallas Cowboys, both of whom participated in NFL-United Way PSAs, led the 40th anniversary celebration of this milestone for the partnership—the longest running collaboration in history between a major sports league and a nonprofit organization.
“Forty years later, there is a shared commitment, a joint goal to create stronger, healthier communities,” said Stacey D. Stewart, U.S. President, United Way Worldwide. “NFL clubs and players are working with United Ways across the country to help move the needle on our collective goals around youth health and education.”
Brooks was acknowledged during the Dec 15th San Francisco 49ers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers game, during the inaugural NFL Homecoming, a new, late season platform that brings together the league and clubs to highlight the accomplishments and contributions of NFL Legends. A number of other NFL greats return home to stadiums across the country including: Pro Football Hall of Famers Franco Harris and Roger Staubach, as well as former New York Giants wide receiver AMANI TOOMER and former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback RON JAWORSKI.
About NFL PLAY 60
In October 2007, the NFL launched NFL PLAY 60, a national youth health and fitness campaign focused on increasing the wellness of young fans by encouraging them to be active for at least 60 minutes a day. Designed to tackle childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL's long-standing commitment to health and fitness with an impressive roster of partner organizations. In addition to national outreach and online programs, NFL PLAY 60 is implemented at the grassroots level through NFL's in-school, after-school and team-based programs. The NFL PLAY 60 initiative is prominent during the NFL's key calendar events, including Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, Draft, Kickoff and Thanksgiving and is supported by many NFL players and coaches year round. To date, the NFL has dedicated over $250 million to youth health and wellness through NFL PLAY 60.
About the NFL & United Way Partnership
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the partnership between the National Football League and United Way. Across the country, NFL clubs and players are working with United Ways to advance health and education for America’s young people through national and local initiatives like the annual NFL & United Way Hometown Huddle and United Way TEAM NFL. The work is in support of United Way’s 2018 goals to get 1.9 million more kids active and healthy by 2018 and to cut the high school dropout rate in half by 2018.
About United Way
United Way is a worldwide movement of nearly 1,800 community-based United Ways in 41 countries and territories. It advances the common good by focusing on education, income and health – the building blocks for a good quality life. The United Way movement mobilizes millions to action – to give, advocate and volunteer – to improve conditions in their local community. For more information about United Way, please visit: UnitedWay.org.
About USA TODAY Sports Media Group
The USA TODAY Sports Media Group encompasses all sports initiatives across USA TODAY Sports and Gannett's more than 100 well-known local media brands. It also includes the sports photography wire service USA TODAY Sports Images, leading high school sports destination USA TODAY High School Sports; For The Win, the first mainstream sports media property focused exclusively on "social news," and designed specifically to resonate on social networks and non-traditional media channels and platforms; Sports On Earth, a joint venture with MLB Advanced Media dedicated to great sports writing in all its forms; and the hundreds of sites within USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties, including Hoopshype.com and mixed martial arts site MMAjunkie.com, among many others. USA TODAY is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (GCI).