NEW YORK, NY, September 14, 2022 —The National Football League today announced registration is now open for the third annual EA SPORTS™ Madden NFL x HBCU Tournament designed to reach students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that have a passion for gaming and football. This year's tournament is intended to maintain the tradition of providing students at HBCUs a chance to not only compete but to learn the intricacies of the business of sports through practical learning and job shadowing experiences at the NFL, during Super Bowl LVII week in Glendale, Arizona.
Last year, HBCU student player participation tripled from the previous year and the NFL is focused on even greater participation this year by adding additional online qualifiers and a women's bracket to reflect the growing segment of women gamers. This would be the first-ever women's bracket for an EA or Madden tournament, and it is open for anyone to opt-in to play.
"We look forward to inviting back players to the Madden NFL x HBCU tournament, which has become an incredible platform for students to compete in their favorite video game while learning the business of sports at the NFL's largest event," said Ed Kiang, VP of Video Gaming at the NFL. "We are proud to expand participation through the first-ever women's bracket and are thrilled to see so many new and returning partners joining this exciting program."
Arthur McAfee, SVP of Football Operations at the NFL also stated, "We hope the participating students in the Madden NFL 23 x HBCU Tournament can use this experience to further shape their career perspectives in the sports and gaming industry."
REGISTER TO COMPETE IN THE MADDEN NFL 23 X HBCU TOURNAMENT HERE
All registered students will receive a chance to compete in one of several online qualifiers offered with the top fourteen finalists advancing to a live finals broadcasted from Glendale, AZ, home of Super Bowl LVII. Additionally, over $70,000 in cash, travel and prizes will be awarded from the NFL and NFL partners including STARTER (G-III Apparel Group), New Era Cap LLC, FANATICS, SOAR, Igloo Products Corp., Zipchair, Fan Creations, Sporticulture, Rico Industries, Inc., and Zippo.
Online Qualifier Schedule:
- October 15 – Kickoff Qualifier
- October 20
- October 23 – Women's Bracket
- October 27
- November 5
- November 11
- November 13
Also, for the second year in a row, the NFL partnered with GCN (Gaming Community Network), a GameSquare Esports company that will be managing the marketing, qualifiers, registration, online tournament execution, and broadcast.
The finals will air on the NFL YouTube channel Saturday, February 11, 2023, at 3 PM ET.
For more information about the Madden NFL 23 x HBCU Tournament, visit HBCUTournament.NFL.com.
About the NFL HBCU Initiative
In May 2016, the NFL launched Strength of HBCUs, Impacting Pro Football Since 1948 in partnership with two prominent HBCU athletic conferences — the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). The initiative has since expanded to also include other conferences and schools to recognize and strengthen its relationships with HBCUs across the country. Through these relationships, the NFL has developed several HBCU-focused programs to educate and connect students to careers in football administration and the sports industry at large.
About Gaming Community Network
GCN, Inc. (Gaming Community Network) is the only independent media group completely dedicated to gaming and esports across community sites, content producers, influencers and tournament/event operators. Bridging the gap between traditional media and gaming with a "Gamer First" promise, GCN's aggregated & integrated proprietary media network reaches 65M+ MAU's in the US (115M+ MAUs globally) driving scale for premium content designed to provoke and share conversations. GCN builds bespoke strategy solutions from content creation to full-scale tournaments for any endpoint be it social, broadcast TV or live stream. As a GameSquare Esports Inc. (stock: GSQ, Canadian Stock Exchange) subsidiary, GCN collaborates with its partners to deliver memorable experiences for gamers and brands. To learn more, visit GCN.gg or follow on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/GamingCommunityNetwork/
About GameSquare Esports Inc.
GameSquare Esports Inc. is an international gaming and esports company headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The Company is seeking to acquire additional assets and entities serving the gaming and esports markets and, more broadly, in sports and entertainment. GameSquare owns a portfolio of companies including Code Red Esports Ltd., an esports talent agency serving the UK, GCN, a digital media company focusing on the gaming and esports audience based in Los Angeles, USA., NextGen Tech, LLC (dba as Complexity Gaming), a leading esports organization operating in the United States, Swingman LLC (dba Cut+Sew and Zoned), a gaming and lifestyle marketing agency based in Los Angeles, USA, and Fourth Frame Studios, a multidisciplinary creative production studio.