NFL x HBCU Open House begins August 30

Courtesy of NFL PR/Communications

The NFL Football Operations department will host the 2nd Annual NFL + HBCU Open House on Monday, August 30, 2021. The annual event was designed to bring together stakeholders across the Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) and football landscapes to discuss the portfolio of existing NFL initiatives, areas of opportunity, and to further strengthen relationships. 

Participants will hear from various speakers from NFL leadership and personnel from departments in football strategy, development, data and analytics, talent acquisition, experienceship program and more.

In addition to the Open House, the department will host a roundtable discussion moderated by NFL Network reporter and senior writer, Steve Wyche and the four Conference Commissioners (CIAA, MEAC, SIAA, SWAC) in person in Los Angeles, CA. This discussion will be recorded and produced by the NFL Media team. 

The event will conclude with an exclusive tour of the new NFL West offices for the Commissioners.


WHAT:         2021 NFL x HBCU Open House

WHO:           NFL Football Operations and stakeholders across the HBCU and football landscape

                      CIAA, MEAC, SIAC and SWAC Conference Commissioners

WHERE:       Hybrid event – Onsite at the NFL West offices (Los Angeles, CA) and Virtual 

WHEN:         August 30 – 31, 2021

The NFL Football Operations team is excited to share this year’s NFL x HBCU programming that includes the following initiatives: 

§  Campus Connection

Campus Connection is part of our ongoing and continuous commitment to celebrating the impact HBCUs have had on the game of professional football, driving awareness around career opportunities, and providing access to the business of sport. Participating schools are: Howard University, Grambling State University, Florida Memorial University, St. Augustine’s University and Morgan State University. Programming includes: case study competition, access to NFL initiatives, and collaboration on school-specific programming with the NFL.  

§  NFL Experienceships

The NFL Experienceship program was designed to connect, develop, and assist diverse collegiate candidates at Historically Black Colleges and Universities interested in establishing a career in Football Operations with equitable opportunities to learn the intricacies of the business through practical learning and shadowing experiences. The initiative has since expanded to include various departments. 

It serves as a diversity pipeline platform for students at HBCUs to engage with NFL leadership and employees in various departments across the league and will provide several educational and experiential touch points throughout the calendar year. Students will receive a transformative learning experience with NFL business units, clubs and partners offering the opportunity to expand both their skillsets and network, and the chance to garner tangible work experience under the pillars of mentorship, experience, and access. Programming: Mentor program, seedkit challenge, virtual speaker series, shadowing opportunities at NFL tentpoles.

§  NFL Virtual Speaker Series

In continuance of developing relationships and serving as a conduit for students to receive firsthand experiences and knowledge of working in the industry, the League Office offered several virtual development sessions throughout the 2020 – 2021 season. These sessions will continue this season and provide an inside look at various fields in the sports industry, opportunities for students to engage with industry professionals, and soft skills development.

§  HBCU Careers in Football Forum

The HBCU Careers in Football Forum brings together students from HBCUs across the country with the objective of inspiring, developing, and connecting students with industry professionals and League partners. The event is traditionally hosted in Atlanta, GA during the Celebration Bowl. Participants are selected through an application-based process and have the opportunity to attend lectures and panel discussions with NFL leadership and club executives; take part in resume and skill-building workshops; and participate in networking sessions.

§  NFL + HBCU Madden Tournament

Madden NFL 21 x HBCU Tournament players representing HBCUs from CIAA, MEAC, SIAC, and SWAC, participated in the single elimination qualifiers in November 2020. The top four gamers from each HBCU conference – a total of 16 players – advanced to the Madden NFL 21 x HBCU Tournament ahead of Super Bowl LV in February 2021. The final two rounds were broadcasted live on EA Madden NFL Twitch channel.  

This year’s tournament will be open to all HBCUs. 

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