Monday, September 22, 2008

The 20th Anniversary of the Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic to Air Live on VERSUS, September 27 at 4 p.m. ET

PRNewswire/ -- The 20th anniversary of the Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic will air live on VERSUS on September 27, at 4 p.m. ET, marking the first time that the game will be televised nationally.

VERSUS, a national cable sports network in more than 73 million homes, will air the match-up between Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) rivals Tennessee State University and Florida A&M University live from the Georgia Dome. This year's game marks the 10th consecutive year in which the two teams have taken to the field for the Classic.

"We are very excited for the opportunity to televise this year's 20th anniversary game on a national platform available to more than 73 million U.S. viewers," said Marc Fein, Executive Vice President of Programming, Production and Business Operations for VERSUS. "We feel that given the tradition and historic rivalries featured in the Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic, it is truly an event of national significance."

The 100 Black Men of Atlanta, organizers and hosts for the game, commissioned Atlanta-based sports marketing agency Career Sports & Entertainment to plan the games broadcast, media and marketing strategy. A unique element -- traditionally characteristic of HBCU football games -- to be showcased will be the McDonald's Halftime Show -- an immensely popular Drumline-style battle of marching bands.

"This rivalry is absolutely drama-filled! With its highly electric marching band battle, we have a very unique sports property here with the Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic," said John T. Grant, CEO, 100 Black Men of Atlanta. "Our organization has been putting this game on for 20 years now and has witnessed hundreds of thousands of patrons flock to Atlanta to enjoy the annual festivities. We've noticed that the nature of sports programming has evolved to engage fans even more than in the past. We're very excited about adopting new elements to the production that will enhance the fan's overall experience."

The Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic has generated more than $115 million for Georgia's economy, as well as more than $5.8 million has been contributed to participating schools over the past six years. Proceeds from the game serve to fund the 100 Black Men of Atlanta's Project Success initiative -- a youth development program that stresses academic achievement and career guidance.

For more information on the Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic, visit

About the Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic

First organized by the 100 Black Men of Atlanta in 1989, the Back of America Atlanta Football Classic has evolved into the second largest recurring college sporting event in Georgia. Culminating in a sold-out college football game between rival programs, complete with a full marching band showdown, the Classic's week-long agenda of events includes a town hall meeting on African- American health issues; a collegiate symposium; health, job & college fairs; the Georgia Power Parade of Excellence; and the Friday-night Battle of the Bands.

Bringing 150,000 visitors into the city, the Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic generates nearly $30M in Georgia's economy each year and now has a permanent exhibit located in the Georgia Dome commemorating its success. A blue-chip roster of sponsors, including: Abbott, Aetna, Allstate, AstraZeneca, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta Life Financial Group, Bank of America, Coors, Delta, Ford, Georgia Power, Jack Daniels, MARTA, McDonald's, NASCAR, Russell Corp, Tyson, AT&T and UPS join title sponsor Bank of America to make these events possible.

To date, the Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic has raised more than $2.6M over the past four years to fund the organization's post-secondary preparation and tuition assistance program for at-risk youth, Project Success, and almost $7M in contributions for the participating universities.

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