TAMPA, FL -- On Thursday afternoon, just 109 days from the kickoff of the College Football Playoff National Championship in Tampa, the Countdown to the Championship Luncheon presented by Northwestern Mutual shined in front of a sold-out crowd. The event provided special event insights, as well as several surprise announcements.
To coincide with the countdown date, 109 local school principals representing Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco county schools were invited to join other Tampa Bay community leaders at the Luncheon These teachers, along with their superintendents, were recognized as part of the College Football Playoff Foundation’s philanthropic initiative, Extra Yard for Teachers.
The program got off to an exciting start as Michael Kelly, COO of the College Football Playoff, joined Rob Higgins, Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, on stage for a virtual tour of the Championship Campus events that will be held throughout Downtown Tampa.
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Derrick Brooks addressed the audience with a personal story on the importance of education, and the influence teachers had on his own life.
“The impact of what we can do to change these young men’s lives from these universities, that have the fortune of earning the right to come play here and compete goes beyond my understanding,” said Brooks. “That one child that you save could be speaking to another group of community leaders 25 years down the road.”
The Countdown to the Championship Luncheon presenting sponsor, Northwestern Mutual, places a strong focus on providing educational opportunities through corporate internships and understands the critical importance of a college-going culture.
“When it comes to students, we look for opportunities to help them both on and off the field, to get the skills they’re going to need to be successful in life,” said Angie Leonetti, Chief Marketing Officer of the Northwestern Mutual Tampa Office. “Derrick Brooks has made a huge impact on our local education community, not only in our classrooms but in the lives of our students.”
Before closing out the formal program, event attendees were shown a special video. Four Bay area teachers and their classes were surprised with 20 iPads to enrich their students’ classroom learning experience. The flash funding was a collaboration between the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, the College Football Playoff Foundation, and each of the local school districts.
The Luncheon closed with an announcement by Higgins that emphasized the impact that the College Football Playoff will have on Tampa Bay area schools. Higgins told the audience that all 377 requests made by teachers from Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties currently listed on DonorsChoose.org would be fulfilled by the Tampa Bay Sports Commission and College Football Playoff Foundation. The projects, which totaled more than $274,000, will meet a variety of needs including technology, arts, math, sciences and special education, and will impact the lives of 37,474 Bay area students.
Additional program segments included briefings from Bruce Narzissenfeld, Secretary/Treasurer for the Board of Directors at Visit Tampa Bay and Tim Ramsberger, Deputy Director at Visit St. Pete/Clearwater. Narzissenfeld addressed the overall economic impact our region could expect as a result of hosting the National Championship. Ramsberger highlighted how his organization’s involvement will showcase one of America’s top beach destinations to visiting fans.
Information, including a complete event schedule, for 2017 Championship Campus events can be found atTampaBay2017.com. Fans can also stay on top of the latest news and events by subscribing toTouchdown Tampa Bay the official e-newsletter of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission.
About Northwestern Mutual
Northwestern Mutual has been helping families and businesses achieve financial security for nearly 160 years. Our financial representatives build relationships with clients through a distinctive planning approach that integrates risk management with wealth accumulation, preservation and distribution. With $238.5 billion in assets, $27.9 billion in revenues and more than $1.6 trillion worth of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual delivers financial security to more than 4.4 million people who rely on us for insurance and investment solutions, including life, disability income and long-term care insurance; annuities; trust services; mutual funds; and investment advisory products and services. Northwestern Mutual ranks 100 on the 2016 FORTUNE 500, and is recognized by FORTUNE as one of the “World’s Most Admired” life insurance companies in 2016.
Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI, and its subsidiaries. Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a comprehensive approach to financial security solutions including: life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability income insurance, annuities, life insurance with long-term care benefits, investment products, and advisory products and services. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS), broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company (NMWMC), federal savings bank; and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company (NLTC).