The National Football League (NFL) is continuing its 2016 promise to strengthen its ties with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
The league will be hosting its second annual Madden NFL 22 x HBCU Tournament with EA alongside career development opportunities that will extend beyond the field, according to an official update from the league’s Football Operations.
The tournament will feature 48 HBCUs in the SWAC, MEAC, SIAC and CIAA conferences in hopes of inspiring students to represent their school’s pride through competition and networking opportunities.
“We are so thrilled to bring back this tournament for HBCU students and offer a once-in-a-lifetime experience to come to Los Angeles during Super Bowl LVI Week,” said Natara Holloway, vice president, football strategy at the NFL in an update.“We want to expand the league’s efforts to create inclusive opportunities for the next generation of talent with partners like EA providing not only a chance for students to compete but also the chance to learn the business of football through practical learning and shadowing experiences.”
The tournament has limited availability for a virtual single-elimination qualifier, which begins Dec. 5 and the top 16 finalists will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete in the NFL Madden x HBCU showcase, set for Super Bowl Week in Los Angeles. The finalists will also be in for an in-depth experience with the EA staff and other departments. In addition, finalists will shadow NFL leaders who will demonstrate development and networking experiences and have an opportunity to tour the new West Coast NFL headquarters located near SoFi Stadium in Hollywood Park. Then the top two finalists will compete for cash prizes at the headquarters, which will air on the NFL’s Youtube and Twitch channels on Feb. 12.
The NFL has also joined forces with the Gaming Community Network. Through the partnership, it will facilitate registration, online tournament execution, player communications, competitive integrity and a professional broadcast all during the week of Super Bowl LVI.
“We are so honored to be working with the NFL on this incredibly important initiative to capture the passion of gaming among HBCU students,” said Chris Kindt, CMO for the network. “We are confident our team with deep roots in esports and gaming will deliver an exciting tournament capped off by the exhilaration of competing during Super Bowl LVI.”
Students looking to tap in can register from now until Dec. 3.
To register for the tournament, click here.