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Press Release

United Way, NFL Unveil Character Playbook through Virtual Reality at Super Bowl Experience

360⁰ virtual reality booth teaches kids how to make good decisions while interacting with NFL stars like Vikings’ Stefon Diggs

Visitors have chance to win two Super Bowl LII tickets

MINNEAPOLIS (January 24, 2018)United Way Worldwide, Greater Twin Cities United Way and the NFL are teaming up at the Super Bowl Experience Driven by Genesis (SBX) to bring to life Character Playbook – an in-school program that teaches middle school students how to build healthy relationships, make good decisions and stand up when they see questionable activity. The interactive booth, “It’s in Your Hands,” is a 360⁰ virtual reality world that provides a great opportunity to reach kids and parents about Character Playbook in a fun and interactive way. As a part of the experience, a coach will invite participants to throw virtual footballs down a digital playing field at targets that represent answers to scenarios from Character Playbook. Based on the answers, participants will receive pre-recorded advice from NFL stars including Stefon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph, Case Keenum, Adam Thielen, Everson Griffen, Calais Campbell, Patrick Peterson, and Demario Davis.

SBX visitors who donate to United Way at UNITED2WIN.com will be entered to win two tickets to Super Bowl LII. People who aren’t attending SBX also can donate online for the chance to win from January 26 to February 2.

United Way and the NFL have been working together for 45 years, the longest-running partnership between a major sports league and a nonprofit organization. Character Playbook, now in its second year, has reached 200,000 youth with strong results. Of the students who received the training last year:

·         74 percent reported they were more likely to believe they deserve to be treated with respect.

·         70 percent said it raised their expectations about how to treat others.

·         66 percent were able to better define the role they can play in resolving conflict.

“Good partnerships evolve to meet the needs of a changing environment,” said Brian Gallagher, President and CEO of United Way Worldwide. “Our focus on social-emotional learning and character development gives kids the tools and resources they need to be better students and more importantly, better people.”

“It’s exciting to be the first local United Way to highlight our work with youth at the Super Bowl Experience,” said Sarah Caruso, President and CEO of Greater Twin Cities United Way. “One of our main focus areas at Greater Twin Cities United Way is removing educational barriers to help young people build bright futures, because when our kids do better, our community does better.”

The booth will be located at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Hall E, 18S, and open during SBX from Jan. 27 to Feb. 3.

The Character Playbook booth space was provided in-kind to United Way. Agency partner Haberman donated its services to develop the strategy and creative and partnered with Pixel Farm and Street Factory Media on production.

To learn more about Character Playbook and the United Way/NFL partnership, visit https://www.gtcuw.org/about-united-way/partners/nfl/


About United Way Worldwide

United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. Supported by 2.9 million volunteers, 9.8 million donors worldwide and $4.7 billion raised every year, United Way is the world’s largest privately-funded nonprofit. We’re engaged in 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide to create sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our communities. United Way partners include global, national and local businesses, nonprofits, government, civic and faith-based organizations, along with educators, labor leaders, health providers, senior citizens, students and more. For more information about United Way, please visit UnitedWay.org. Follow us on Twitter: @UnitedWay and #LiveUnited.

About Greater Twin Cities United Way

With one in four people living in poverty in the nine-county region, Greater Twin Cities United Way fights to end poverty and support long-term wellbeing by providing access to food, shelter and healthcare; education; and jobs. When we support wellbeing, we ensure everyone can reach their potential and fully contribute to our community. We do this by bringing together the public, private and nonprofit sectors to solve the community’s most pressing needs. Through partnerships, public policy work, volunteer programs, our 2-1-1 hotline, grant making and nonprofit leadership support, we take a holistic, long-term approach to help people meet their potential. That’s because we know when more of us reach our potential, our whole community benefits. For more information, visit www.gtcuw.org, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Media Contact

Kelly Puspoki, Greater Twin Cities United Way



Southerlyn Reisig, United Way
Tel. 703.836.7100 ext.321