NEW YORK -- As friends and family gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, the NFL will continue its tradition of encouraging children to be active during special NFL PLAY 60 themed games throughout Thanksgiving weekend. NFL PLAY 60 is a league wide effort to fight childhood obesity by getting kids active for at least 60 minutes a day.
A special NFL PLAY 60 television spot will debut during each of the three Thanksgiving games. The 90-second ad features Detroit Lions Coach JIM SCHWARTZ, players including QB MATTHEW STAFFORD, WR CALVIN JOHNSON and DT NDAMUKONG SUH, a special appearance by Pro Football Hall of Fame member BARRY SANDERS, as well as other players from teams around the league, joining children to take part in PLAY 60 activities to get healthy and active. The spot also will air during the Sunday and Monday Night Football games on Thanksgiving weekend. In addition, the Lions-Packers Thanksgiving game will include a United Way PLAY 60 PSA featuring Bears players, including DE ISRAEL IDONIJE. Links to the spots are posted on *www.nfl.com/thanksgiving.*
Earlier this season, the NFL debuted another new PLAY 60 television spot featuring the Carolina Panthers players encouraging local students to get active, alongside team owner JERRY RICHARDSON.
In support of NFL PLAY 60, all Thanksgiving weekend games will raise awareness of the childhood obesity epidemic and showcase the NFL and its clubs' commitment to help reverse this trend. Beginning on Thanksgiving and continuing in the coming weeks, teams will designate a home game as an 'NFL PLAY 60' game. On-field elements will include PLAY 60 field stencils, banners and goal post wraps. Teams also will invite 'NFL PLAY 60 youth ambassadors' to be recognized on-field at each PLAY 60 game. These youngsters were selected by each team for their commitment to being healthy, through NFL PLAY 60 programs like NFL FLAG Football and NFL Punt, Pass & Kick and through participation in the NFL-American Heart Association PLAY 60 Challenge and NFL-National Dairy Council Fuel Up to Play 60 programs.
On December 11, the Titans will host 11 Play 60 kids who participated in the Titans Play 60 Challenge during the season at local middle schools. One winner from each school was chosen to be the Titans Play 60 Super Kid, and they will receive two tickets to the game and sideline passes. The kids will be recognized on-field as along with representatives from the American Heart Association and the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association. In addition, on Tuesday, November 22, Titans players provided meals for 500 families for families in need and visited with children at a local community center to encourage them to get 60 minutes of exercise per day.
"Thanksgiving is a great day to encourage families to be active," said Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. "NFL PLAY 60 continues to impact more children with each passing year, and we're proud to feature the campaign on a holiday that celebrates family, food and football."
Designed to tackle childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 brings together the NFL's long-standing commitment to health and wellness with partner organizations like United Way. PLAY 60 also is implemented locally, as part of the NFL's in-school, after-school and team-based programs. Since the program was launched in 2007, the NFL has committed more than $250 million to youth health and fitness through programming, grants, and media time for public service announcements. The NFL and its teams have built more than 100 NFL Youth Fitness Zones, organized more than 1,500 PLAY 60 youth events, and integrated programs into more than 77,000 schools nationwide since the campaign launched
Starting this Thanksgiving, communities across the country can enter for a chance to receive a visit from the NFL PLAY 60 bus featured in the PLAY 60 commercials. Families can enter the "NFL PLAY 60 Bus Stops With You" contest by writing a short essay and submitting a photo on how the PLAY 60 school bus could help the youth in their town get more active and healthy. One deserving community will receive a visit from the PLAY 60 bus full of sports equipment and gear. Fans can visit www.NFLRUSH.com to learn more.
The focus on youth continues on Thanksgiving with special National Anthem performances from popular teenage musical acts. American Idol alumna Lauren Alaina will perform the Anthem at the Lions-Packers game, and hit Nickelodeon group Big Time Rush will take the stage at the Cowboys-Dolphins game. Nickelback will perform the NFL United Way Thanksgiving halftime show in Detroit and Enrique Iglesias will headline the halftime concert in Dallas as part of the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign.