What will happen when the defending Super Bowl Champions – the Kansas City Chiefs – take on Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in Tampa? No matter the final score, Super Bowl LV will cap off an NFL season like no other. But despite the anxiety surrounding the pandemic, there has been a bright spot. A growing number of NFL players are using the power of their platform to spark hope, spur action, and create change.
With a mission to serve our communities’ greater good, TEGNA is helping to amplify these efforts with Hometown MVP. This national program shines a spotlight on 14 NFL players and their approach to community engagement. Each segment highlights a different charitable, social, or community-based initiative and the often untold stories of the significant impact these stars have on the fans and families who cheer them on.
“Hometown MVP amplifies local stories of hope and service during a very challenging time,” said Josh Weinberg, Senior Marketing Strategist at TEGNA. “This past year especially, brands have seen the power in sharing these positive stories and investing in their communities.”
As part of Hometown MVP, TEGNA’s 10 Tampa Bay worked with Bucs’ running back LeSean McCoy to highlight his efforts to improve access to literacy programs for underserved communities.
In Washington, WUSA9 showcased Jonathan Allen, a Defensive Lineman for the Washington Football Team, as he focused his efforts on mentoring through The Sasha Bruce House, an organization that helps homeless children and teenagers.
“As NFL players, we have a powerful platform and understand that our actions have the power to bring much-needed attention to critical issues in the communities where we live and work, said Jonathan Allen, a Defensive Lineman for the Washington Football Team. “I am proud to be part of Hometown MVP and help magnify the positive impact the league’s players are having on their communities.”
In other TEGNA markets, WKYC profiled Browns’ defensive back Denzel Ward and his mission to promote heart health after the death of his father due to cardiac arrest.
WFAA Dallas celebrated the Cowboys’ DeMarcus Lawrence and his pandemic response, providing meals for first responders and creating a gift card drive to help support local restaurants.
“There are so many dedicated athletes using their stardom to do incredible work in their communities, and I’m honored to play a role in helping to share these amazing stories,” stated Scott Langerman. He is the incoming Executive Vice President for media and business development for Pro Football’s Hall of Fame Village (HOFV), who partnered with TEGNA to develop the series.
It’s no secret that when brands do good in the community, they do well. According to a recent Nielsen study, 77% of respondents believe when brands partner with athletes to drive social change, the brand becomes more powerful, and 64% have an increased interest in brands that join the fight against racial inequality. Better yet, according to Weinberg, “Viewers in the markets where Hometown MVP ran tuned in to watch with those stations seeing increased ratings during the segments.”
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