IRVING, Texas (July 10, 2019) – As college football embarks on its 150th season in 2019, The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame today highlighted the numerous activities taking place in the coming months that will pay homage to the sport and its legacy of creating educational opportunities; building leaders; and enriching communities.
“More than 5.33 million people have played college football since the first game between Princeton and Rutgers on November 6, 1869,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “Included in that number are many of our nation’s greatest leaders who often cite their gridiron experiences as the key to their success. Additionally, the sport is annually enjoyed by tens of millions of fans, and it has grown significantly over the years with new teams constantly added and more than 80,000 student-athletes slated to play for college programs this fall.
“So, I think it’s safe to say that college football has become an integral part of our national landscape, worthy of a major celebration during the upcoming season. Many of the key leaders of our sport have worked hard to put such a plan in motion, and we want to thank everybody involved in preparing for the game’s 150th anniversary.”
The College Football 150th Anniversary (CFB150) non-profit, headed by Executive Director Kevin Weiberg, was launched to stage several initiatives to commemorate the milestone, and several organizations have announced their own plans for celebrating the 150th anniversary. Joining the effort, the NFF has established a special ceremonial committee, the NFF 150th Anniversary Team of Excellence, which is comprised of NFF Board Members who played football and have gone on to great success in life, to oversee the organization’s plans.
“The NFF has been in the vanguard of promoting the game for the past 73 years,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “And we wanted to take a leadership role in celebrating the 150th anniversary, including providing the office space for CFB150 at our corporate headquarters; staging events at the Hall in Atlanta; and incorporating the milestone into all of our key messaging whenever possible. It’s a great opportunity for us to reflect on all of the amazing opportunities college football creates for the young people and the countless regions across the country who are enriched by having programs in their communities.”
The Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, which is run by CEO Dennis Adamovich, has several initiatives. The CFB150 Specialty Exhibit, delivered by UPS, represents the most extensive project at the Hall. Open now and throughout the anniversary season, the special exhibit features dirt from the field where the first game in 1869 took place; the revised NCAA rule book after the 45 fatalities that took place between 1900-05; the first penalty flag ever used from 1941; and countless other rare artifacts covering all 150 years of college football.
Countless college and universities, conferences, bowl games and media companies have signed on to support the initiative this year. Stakeholder organizations supporting the effort include the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), College Football Playoff (CFP), Football Bowl Association, Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), National Association of Collegiate Director of Athletics (NACDA) and the NCAA, NAIA and the junior college associations.
All of the organizations have planned a variety of different activations that will amplify the anniversary messages and build overall awareness for the effort. The special CFB150 logo has been widely circulated, and it will appear on uniform patches, helmet decals, field stencils, public service announcements, TV telecasts, social media channels and numerous other places during the season.
Several neutral site games at both the FCS and FBS levels have committed to highlight the anniversary with in-stadium promotions during their games. The NCAA, the CFP and the bowl games have similar plans during their respective championship games, which will conclude the historic 2019 season.
The CFB150 worked with the NCAA to establish a special “Week Zero” for the season, and the Kickoff Week will feature four games on Aug. 24. The two games at the FBS level are the Camping World Kickoff between Miami and Florida in Orlando, Florida, on ESPN and a game between Arizona and Hawaii in Halawa, Hawaii, on the CBS Sports Network. Two more games will take place at the FCS level: the Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff between Youngstown State and Samford in Montgomery, Alabama, on ESPN and Villanova against Colgate in Hamilton, New York, on the CBS Sports Network.
The CFB150 has also planned a special celebration week to commemorate the anniversary of first game, which took place on Nov. 6, 1869, between Rutgers and Princeton in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Running from Oct. 31 to Nov. 9, the CFB150 Anniversary Week will feature a special event at Rutgers in Piscataway, New Jersey, on Nov. 6 and a tribute game between Miami (Ohio) and Ohio in Athens, Ohio.
The NFL will also take part in CFB150 Anniversary Week with a special tribute to college football during the Nov. 4 Monday Night Football Game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Celebration week will conclude with Princeton playing Dartmouth at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, on Nov. 9.
“The storied success, tradition and leadership of the Princeton Football program is of great pride to our university and our athletics community,” said Mollie Marcoux Samaan, the Ford Family Director of Athletics at Princeton. “For 150 years Princeton football teams and players have achieved at the highest levels of the sport and have helped shape the game of football at every stage of its history. We are thrilled to celebrate our 150th season – including a match-up with Dartmouth at Yankee Stadium on November 9th – and Princeton Football’s important and pioneering role in the development of college football.”
“It’s a tremendous honor to take part in this game as part of the celebration of the 150th year of college football,” Harry Sheehy, the Dartmouth Athletics Director. “Playing a traditional rival at the iconic venue of Yankee Stadium makes for a sensational experience for coaches, players and fans alike. We look forward to Dartmouth fans flooding New York City to support the Big Green.”
“The New York Yankees and the New Era Pinstripe Bowl are thrilled to be hosting Princeton University and Dartmouth College on Saturday, November 9 as part of the 150th anniversary celebration of College Football,” said Mark Holtzman, Vice President, Non-Baseball Sports Events, New York Yankees. “Given that Princeton played in the first College Football game 150 years ago and Yankee Stadium will soon be celebrating its 100th anniversary of hosting college football as well as being the host over the last century for some of the most memorable college football games ever played—It’s only right for this game to be played at Yankee Stadium, the most famous outdoor sporting venue in the world that has played host to many of the world’s greatest athletes and teams.”
- 150 NFF Facts – A series of historical milestones about the NFF that will be promoted with social media posts from July 10 to Dec. 10, the day of the 62nd NFF Annual Awards Dinner in New York City.
- 62nd NFF Annual Awards Dinner – The NFF will celebrate the 150th anniversary of college football during its Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 10 and surrounding events at the New York Hilton Midtown. The annual celebration will provide the stage for the induction of the 2019 College Football Hall of Fame Class; the presentation of the 2019 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards; the bestowing of the 30th NFF William V. Campbell Trophy® to the nation’s top football scholar-athlete; and the presentation of the NFF Major Awards, including the NFF Gold Medal to film and television star and former UCLA quarterback Mark Harmon.
- 30th Presentation of The William V. Campbell Trophy® – As part of CFB150, the NFF will conduct a special look back at the history of The William V. Campbell Trophy®, culminating with the 30th presentation of college football’s premier scholar-athlete award at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 10 at the New York Hilton Midtown.
- 35th Anniversary of the NCAA vs. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma – The NFF plans to take a special look at the effort led by the College Football Association, which was headed by Chuck Neinas, an Emeritus NFF Board Member, that resulted in the landmark 1984 U.S. Supreme Court decision that greatly expanded the number of college football games on television. As a result of that historic decision, which asserted that TV rights belong to the individual universities, virtually every college game now appears on TV.
- 65th Anniversary of the NFF Chapter Network – The NFF established its first chapter in 1954, and the organization has grown to more than 120 chapters with 12,000 members in 47 states, distributing more than $1 million a year and $22 million all-time.
- 60th Anniversary of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Program – The NFF is celebrating a major milestone for its pioneering scholarship program, which has distributed $11.5 million to 854 outstanding individuals since its inception.
- 60th Anniversary of the NFF MacArthur Bowl National Championship Trophy – Displayed at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, the iconic trophy, which is named for the famous general, enters its seventh decade, having been claimed by 24 different schools. Each year, the NFF stages a special event at the Hall with the winning coach and team.
- MacArthur Desk Display – A special exhibit at the College Football Hall of Fame featuring the desk of General Douglas MacArthur, an early leader of the NFF, on loan from the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
- CFB150 Helmet on the Helmet Wall – The Hall’s three-story helmet wall, which features helmets for all 775 colleges with football teams, includes a CFB150 helmet. Fan ambassadors in the quad encourage guests to find the helmet for a prize. If guests find it, they receive a special #ImARealFan sticker.
- CFB150 Selfie Wall – The Hall has created a “selfie” wall that includes the CFB150 logo and hashtag, plus a CFB150 helmet next to the wall for guests to put on for photos. The entire wall is covered in turf and the Hall and CFB150 logos float in 3D on top of the turf.
- The CFB150 Specialty Exhibit, Delivered by UPS – A special exhibit is on display at the Hall and will be open throughout the anniversary season. It features dirt from the field where the first game in 1869 took place; the revised NCAA rule book after the 45 fatalities that took place from 1900-05; the first penalty flag ever used from 1941; and countless other rare artifacts covering all 150 years of college football.
- CFB150 Patch on Fan Ambassador and Fumbles’ Uniforms – CFB150 official patches have been added to the sleeve of all fan ambassador polo shirts. Fumbles, the Hall’s mascot, also has the patch on his jersey.
- Turner Classic Movies Hall of Fame Hosts – In September, TCM will air four segments (one per week) filmed at the Hall that will feature a College Football Hall of Fame inductee talking about the 150th anniversary, why “Football Matters” and introducing a new movie each week with TCM’s primetime host, Ben Mankiewicz.
- Homecoming Weekend – The Hall will incorporate the CFB150 logo and theme into Homecoming Weekend Events and Kickoff.
- Fumbles Birthday – The Hall’s mascot, Fumbles, will celebrate his birthday on Nov. 6 with social media promotions that highlight his connection to the iconic first game that took place on the day in 1869.
- Developed the primary anniversary logo for 2019, which is being widely used by all of the entities involved with college football.
- Developed the CFB150 field stencil, which is being used throughout the season by colleges and neutral site games.
- Created the uniform logo patch embraced by numerous NCAA Division I programs (FBS and FCS).
- Distributed the helmet decals, which are being used by Division II, III, NAIA and junior college teams.
- Created the CFB150 Celebration Playbook, a marketing toolkit provided to athletic departments, conferences, bowl games, media companies and others with the CFB150 logos and graphics needed to promote the Anniversary and related themes.
- Manages the CFB150 digital platforms, including CFB150.org and social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- Created elements for videoboards and ribbon boards
- Distributed game program editorial features
- Developed templates for in-venue displays and visuals
- Major broadcast networks that cover college football have all pledged to support the Anniversary through use of the CFB150 logo and recognition of the Anniversary on-air and in some cases through the creation of special programming.
- ACC Network, Big Ten Network, CBS, ESPN, FOX, NBC, Pac-12 Networks, SEC Network and Stadium have all indicated they will participate.
CBS plans include:
- CBS Sports will celebrate College Football’s 150th Anniversary with a season-long, multi-platform celebration across CBS, CBS Sports Network, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports HQ and its social media accounts.
- Among the coverage planned for CBS Sports’ season-long salute to college football is special programming dedicated to the CFB150, original shows celebrating the sport’s rich history, an animated vignette series as well as memorable moments, highlights and discussion during games and studio shows honoring the first 150 years of this great game.
- CBS Sports Network will get into the action early as it kicks off the CFB150 in “Week Zero” with the first game of the 2019 college football season when Colgate hosts Villanova on Saturday, Aug. 24 (Noon, ET).
ESPN plans include:
- ESPN will launch 150 days of content on Aug. 17.
- ESPN’s 150 Greatest Coaches, Games, Players, and Teams will be unveiled throughout the season, beginning with the greatest teams in August. The greatest games will be revealed on November 6, 2019, followed by the announcement of the greatest coaches during Heisman week in December. Finally, the greatest players will precede the All-Time All-America Team announcement in January 2020 as part of the festivities surrounding the CFP National Championship.
- ESPN will carry two games on Aug. 24 as part of a specially approved “Week Zero” to kickoff the CFB150. The Camping World Kickoff, featuring Miami vs. Florida (FL), will be played in Orlando at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. The Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff, featuring Youngstown State and Samford in Montgomery, Ala., will be played at 3 p.m. on ESPN.
- As part of Week Zero, “Football is US,” will begin airing on Aug. 24 as two documentaries exploring the evolution of the sport. The first will cover the evolution of the sport from the Rutgers vs. Princeton game in 1869 and continuing to the present day. The second will focus on the evolution of the student-athletes who have played the game over its long and storied history.
- “The American Game,” an 11-episode documentary series beginning Sept. 17, that will focus on college football’s extraordinary narrative by exploring themes that have made the sport an integral component of the American landscape.
- “The Greatest,” an 11-episode documentary series beginning Sept. 19 that will rank the all-time best uniforms, rivalry games, voices and “What Ifs?” among other subjects.
- ESPN’s college football’s All-Time All-America Team will be announced in January 2020 and recognized around the College Football Playoff National Championship in New Orleans.
- Eight-part, 12-hour ESPN Films SEC Storied documentary “Saturdays in the South: A History of SEC Football,” which will debut on SEC Network in September 2019, comprising three significant films as part of the ESPN College Football 150 initiative.
- “My Story,” 150 personal anecdotes capturing one-minute testimonials that will be featured daily across multiple ESPN platforms during 150 consecutive days.
- ESPN will designate a College Football 150 Game of the Week during the 2019 season.
- ESPN.com and the ESPN App will rank the 20 greatest games that have crowned the sport’s national champions, leading into the CFP. The program began on January 2, 2019, with an opening essay on the significant role college football has played in the fabric of American life written by Ivan Maisel.
- ESPN’s “Down and Distance,” a new podcast beginning in August spotlighting different stories and perspectives from the 150 years of college football written and narrated by Ivan Maisel.
FOX Sports plans include:
- Showcasing the CFB150 logo as an on-screen bug during all college football games on opening weekend and the national celebration week from Oct. 31 to Nov. 9.
- Utilizing the CFB150 logo in all FOX college football promos on opening weekend and the national celebration week from Oct. 31 to Nov. 9.
- Airing vignettes during digital, studio and game shows of FOX talent answering the question “What college football means to me.”
- Co-branded composite logo with the CFB 150 mark
- Vault book, published by Whitman
- All-time bowl team, games and top moments
- FBA Hall of Fame inaugural class
- Speakers bureau
- Monthly newsletter
- Social media campaign
- Uniform patches and helmet decals
- CFB 150 field stencil
- Student athlete participation certificate
- Digital assets (videoboard and ribbon board)
- Game program editorial features
- In venue displays and visuals
- Social media activations
The FWAA will highlight the CFB150 throughout season as it celebrates several historic milestones, including:
- The 75th Anniversary of the FWAA All-America Team with a sponsor announced Aug. 31 at AT&T Stadium in conjunction with the AdvoCare Classic game between Auburn and Oregon in Arlington, Texas, which has been designated a CFB150 recognition game.
- The 63rd Presentation of the FWAA Coach of the Year award, which was named for College Football Hall of Fame Coach Eddie Robinson in 1997.
- The 74th Presentation of the Outland Trophy, which is sponsored by The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID).
- The 27th Presentation of the FWAA Defensive Player of the Year (Bronko Nagurski Trophy) at the Charlotte Touchdown Club Banquet.
- The 2nd Presentation of the Freshman of the Year in partnership with former Alabama First Team All-American Shaun Alexander, which will include a new sponsor for the FWAA Freshman All-America Team and two other freshman awards.
- The FWAA’s Annual Awards Breakfast, which will take place Jan. 13 in New Orleans in conjunction with CFP National Championship Game.
Official media event to kickoff 150th Anniversary at the College Football Hall of Fame (Atlanta). 1 3
Official press release announcing upcoming celebrations/events regarding 150th Anniversary. 1
Launch of “150 NFF Fun Facts” via social media. 1
Press release highlighting college football’s most historic rivalries of the last 150 years. 1
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Kickoff Luncheon (Atlanta). 2
Villanova at Colgate (Hamilton, NY). 2
Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff – Youngstown State vs. Samford (Montgomery, AL*).2
Camping World Kickoff – Miami vs. Florida (Orlando, FL*).2
Arizona at Hawaii (Halawa, HI). 2
College Colors Day: “College Colors Never Fade” CLC/CFB150 promotion. 2
UMass at Rutgers (Piscataway, NJ). 2
Chick-fil-A Kickoff – Alabama vs. Duke (Atlanta*).2
Belk College Kickoff – South Carolina vs. North Carolina (Charlotte, NC*).2
AdvoCare Classic – Auburn vs. Oregon (Arlington, TX*).2
Turner Classic Movies will air four segments (one per week) filmed at the Hall featuring a College Football Hall of Fame inductee talking about the 150th anniversary, why “Football Matters” and introducing a new movie each week with TCM’s primetime host, Ben Mankiewicz. 3
MEAC/SWAC Challenge – Bethune-Cookman vs. Jackson State (Atlanta*).2
AdvoCare Texas Kickoff – Washington State vs. Houston (Houston*).2
Texas vs. Rice (Houston*).2
Former NFF William V. Campbell Trophy® recipients profiled for the next 10 weeks (social media launch). 1
Butler at Princeton (Princeton, NJ). 2
Official start of 150th Anniversary Week.
Football Bowl Association (FBA) Football Give-A-Way. 4
NFL recognizes CFB150 – Monday Night Football, Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants (East Rutherford, NJ). 2
November 6th // College Football 150th Anniversary
Special commemoration at Rutgers (Piscataway, NJ). 2
Miami (OH) at Ohio (Athens, OH). 2
Football Bowl Association (FBA) to incorporate possible charitable tie-in to anniversary. 4
Princeton vs. Dartmouth – Yankee Stadium (Bronx, NY*).2
Official end of 150th Anniversary Week.
Cortaca Jug – Ithaca vs. SUNY Cortland (East Rutherford, NJ*).2
National Football Foundation Awards Dinner – New York Hilton Midtown (New York City). 1
December 20th – January 6th
Bowls to recognize CFB150 as part of game presentation. 4
NCAA to recognize CFB150 at divisional football championship games. 4
January 13th, 2020
College Football Playoff National Championship Game (New Orleans). 4
1 National Football Foundation event/promotion.
2 CFB150 recognition.
3 College Football Hall of Fame event/promotion.
4 CFB150 promotions from college football partners.
* Neutral-site games recognizing CFB150 during the game presentation.