FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Baltimore Ravens and USA Football, the sport's national governing body on youth and amateur levels, will host youth football players from various teams in the surrounding areas of Baltimore on August 28, 2008 to celebrate the "Play Football … it's more than a game" campaign. "Play Football" elements will be shown throughout the Ravens' 7 p.m. game against the Atlanta Falcons.
On Saturday, August 23, four local youth football teams played in two scrimmages at M&T Bank Stadium to celebrate the game of football and the "Play Football" Campaign. Teams included the Jarrettsville Hawks, Fallston Cougars, Stembridge Colts and Hereford Bulls. All four teams will be in attendance on Thursday to assist the cheerleaders in forming the gauntlet that Ravens players run through during pre-game introductions. These youth football players are among 100,000 youngsters who will attend preseason games nationwide as part of the "Play Football" campaign through team-donated tickets. The August 28th game also will feature in-stadium promotion through USA Football banners, public address announcements, and SMARTVISION video messages highlighting last Saturday's scrimmages.
The "Play Football" campaign will include "I Played" public service announcements featuring six everyday professionals in their respective work environments united by the leadership and strong character traits they gained by playing football – a sport that employs teamwork to attain success. The "I Played" television message invites viewers to usafootball.com to share memories of playing football and how lessons from the game have influenced them into adulthood. Christian D'Annibale, a Ravens fan who told his story through the "I Played" forum, will be recognized at Thursday's Ravens vs. Falcons game at M&T Bank Stadium. After breaking his neck in high school, D'Annibale realized that football is about more than just the game, and he shares the lessons learned from that experience in his entry. To read D'Annibale's full story, visit http://www.baltimoreravens.com/News/Articles/2008/08/USAFootballI_Played.aspx.
In addition to promoting football's values, the "Play Football" campaign also celebrates the sport's rising participation figures. According to the independent sports marketing firm The Bonham Group, 3.2 million youngsters ages 6-14 played tackle football in 2007, up from 3.0 million in 2006.
About Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens operate with the mission of winning football games, serving their fans, and being a positive force in their community. With a powerful and progressive brand that focuses on Team, the Ravens' organization prides itself on being at the forefront of NFL clubs in terms of innovative business techniques and excellent customer service. For more information on the Baltimore Ravens visit www.BaltimoreRavens.com.
About USA Football
USA Football, the national governing body of America's favorite sport on youth and amateur levels, hosts nearly 100 football training events per year offering education for coaches and game officials, skill development for players and resources for youth football league administrators. The independent non-profit manages U.S. national teams within the sport for international competitions. Endowed by the NFL and NFLPA through the NFL Youth Football Fund, USA Football is chaired by former U.S. Congressman and professional quarterback JACK KEMP.