NFL & United Way 40th Anniversary

Vote for your favorite NFL-United Way PSA through Nov. 19

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the partnership between the National Football League and United Way. To celebrate, the NFL and United Way are teaming up with USA TODAY Ad Meter to host a nationwide vote to identify the public’s favorite NFL-United Way PSA from the last 40 years. Vote for your favorite NFL-United Way PSA » from the past 40 years.

The promotion will reveal about 10 ads per week for four weeks. Voting begins with the annual NFL-United Way Hometown Huddle on October 22 and culminates on November 19. Each ad will be rated on a scale of 1 to 10 with new groups of ads added each week. The winning ad will be announced during NFL Homecoming on December 15.

The NFL and United Way is the longest running partnership in history between a major sports league and a nonprofit organization. Former NFL spokesmen, Roger Staubach of the Dallas Cowboys and Franco Harris of the Pittsburgh Steelers are co-leading efforts to celebrate the milestone. Both produced public service ads (PSA) for United Way in the first year of the campaign.
 

Left to right: Franco Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers; Marc Bluestein, United Way National Board Member; Stephen Perry, President/Executive Director, Pro Football Hall of Fame & United Way of Greater Stark County Board Member; Stacey D. Stewart, U.S. President, United Way Worldwide; Roger Staubach, Dallas Cowboys; Maria Heege, President & CEO, United Way of Greater Stark County.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the partnership between the National Football League and United Way. It is the most visible and longest running sports/charity collaboration in history—a shining example of the tangible good that results when America’s favorite sports league joins forces with the world’s largest nonprofit to create lasting change in communities. Across the country, NFL clubs and players are working with United Ways to advance health and education for America’s young people through national and local initiatives.

Over the years, the NFL has furnished more than $1 billion in donated advertising to United Way. By teaming up with the NFL 40 years ago, the longtime charity became a household name and engrained itself into the hearts and minds of countless Americans willing to give their time, voice and money to support their communities. In celebration of the milestone, former NFL players Roger Staubach of the Dallas Cowboys and Franco Harris of the Pittsburgh Steelers will serve as co-chairs for a season-long celebration of the 40th anniversary which begins in Canton during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Weekend.

Both Staubach and Harris appeared in the very first campaign in 1974 titled “Great Moments.” It was then that Staubach was introduced to a little girl named Gayla Vaughn who was in need of an open-heart surgery. It was a relationship that has lasted throughout the years and the campaign captured her continued success several times including her prom, her wedding and when she expected her first child.

The work continues and today the NFL and United Way are teaming up to create more opportunities for young people to get active and healthy through programs like the NFL PLAY 60 & United Way Hometown Huddle. Through United Way TEAM NFL, a core group of college-educated, civic-minded NFL players are helping United Way recruit more volunteer readers, tutors and mentors—a key strategy for cutting the high school dropout rate.