NEW YORK, March 5, 2019 – Following the announcement of the NFL serving as title sponsor of the third annual Historic Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Battle of the Brains event at South by Southwest (SXSW) Thursday, March 7 – Sunday, March 10, the league has finalized additional details surrounding the schedule of events and participants in attendance.
Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch will kick off the four-day event as a special guest of the HBCU Battle of the Brains' Opening Tailgate Party Thursday, March 7. Co-hosted by NFL Network's Steve Wyche and Gregory Gibson, Founder & Executive Director, HBCU Battle of the Brains, the reception will serve as a networking opportunity for participating HBCU students and NFL league and club representatives.
Lynch, who completed his 11th season in the NFL and recently starred in the award-winning NFL Super Bowl commercial celebrating the league's upcoming 100th season, will also be on hand during the 'Battle of the Brains' cross-discipline competition Friday.
HBCU Battle of the Brains gathers teams of the best and brightest STEM and Business students from HBCUs across the country to compete against each other for more than $50,000 in scholarship money. Each team will have 24 hours to develop a solution to a presented business challenge, and pitch live in front of a SXSW audience. Various NFL representatives will serve as coaches and advisors to teams during the development phase before the final round where teams will be judged on analysis, business/technology solution, presentation, and Q&A, with crowd participation constituting one of the final votes.
Outside of the competition, the summit will also include networking and engagement sessions where students will have the opportunity to gain insight from league and club employees across a variety of specializations including Football Operations, Business and Strategic Affairs, Communication and Government Affairs, Digital Media, Television Production, Human Resources, and Integrated Sales and Marketing.
Additionally, the NFL will also host a panel discussion at SXSW that delves into how data and analytics are revolutionizing all aspects of the game, from how teams and players prepare each week to consumer engagement and behavior.
Featured speakers include:
• Sarah Bailey – Football Statistician, Los Angeles Rams
• Bucky Brooks – Former NFL player scout and current NFL Network analyst
• Namita Nandakumar – Quantitative Analyst, Philadelphia Eagles
• Matt Swensson – NFL Vice President of Emerging Products and Technology
Hosted by HBCU Battle of the Brains, LLC, the competition is designed to support the HBCU mission of promoting the talented business and STEM students within the African American community while highlighting the benefits of SXSW, as well as the technology industry, in an engaging and dynamic way.