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ESPN Announces 2006 MEAC / SWAC Challenge Game

February 27, 2006

Birmingham , Ala. - ESPN Regional Television (ERT) announced the opponents for the 2nd Annual Ford MEAC SWAC Football Challenge. 2005 conference champions, Hampton University (MEAC) and Grambling State University (SWAC), will tangle at Birmingham’s Legion Field, September 2, 2006. This announcement was made today ( 2/27/06) at a press conference hosted by Buffalo Rock Company. These two teams shared the 2005 Black College Football National Championship, posting identical 11-1 records.

This event promises to bring more than just a game, but a tradition with planned events for the whole community. “This will be more than a football game… it is truly an event. . . [The] pageantry is a great tradition of black college football”, said Pete Derzis, Senior Vice President and General Manager, ERT. Planned activities leading up to the game include an ESPN Career Expo, Kick-off Luncheon, Step Show, and Team ESPN which is a corporate outreach program that will host a sports career panel for high school seniors.

In last year’s game, the MEAC’s South Carolina State defeated SWAC’s Alabama State 27-14 in the first Ford MEAC/SWAC challenge. The score was recalled today as MEAC Commissioner Dennis Thomas threw down the gauntlet by stating “MEAC is 1-0, we’re batting 1.000%”.

New features of this year’s game will include an exclusive showing of the new Ford Edge which is a cross between a car and sports utility vehicle. Marc Perry, Multicultural Marketing Manager for the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands stated, “Ford Motor Company continues its long standing commitment of supporting the academic and athletic pursuits of college students and their families by providing its second-annual sponsorship support of the MEAC-SWAC Challenge”.

Although there has not been a set time, tickets for the Ford MEAC/SWAC Challenge football game are available now online at ticketmaster.com, and all Ticketmaster outlets. Tickets for the step show will also be available this summer through Ticketmaster. Public tickets for the luncheon will also be available this summer through the Ford MEAC/SWAC Challenge Birmingham office at 205-733-3776.

Encouraging more community support, the SWAC Commissioner Robert Vowels stated, “The community has to come in and step up to grab the event, if you are not here on Labor Day you must not be alive. It’s about education, changing lives, and gaining long lasting relationships.”

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