DALLAS, Oct. 26, 2020 – Six NFL players and two lucky fans will take part in an online charity video game tournament benefiting the American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health. The gaming tournament will feature players going head to head in a bracket-style competition of a popular football video game that will stream live on the American Heart Association’s Twitch channel on Tuesday, November 10 at 1 p.m. ET. This tournament marks the launch of a new initiative, American Heart Association’s Revive, which aims to engage the streaming and gaming audience to support longer, healthier lives.
The competitors — all of whom played college football at the University of Southern California — will be announced soon via social media. Additional guests will make a special appearance as color commentators. All players are donating their time.
The tournament grants fans unprecedented access to players, along with opportunities to support their favorite players, stream every game and donate for unique fan prizes. Fans can make donations to players’ pages, giving them a leg up on the competition and influencing their seeding in the tournament. Players will offer fans the chance to donate to select various challenges for the players to complete during the tournament. Fans can also enter to win one of two spots to play in the bracket alongside the NFL players.
Proceeds from the tournament will support the American Heart Association’s efforts to help reduce the impact of COVID-19 and address health inequities that put people in historically excluded communities at greater risk for cardiovascular disease and COVID-19 in addition to supporting the Association’s larger mission.
“COVID-19 has hit a lot of our communities really hard, affecting folks who have already been struggling with heart and other conditions and haven’t already had access to medical care. I’m grateful to be able to give my time to support the American Heart Association’s health equity work and to bring attention to these issues. Plus, it’s always a good time to have a little friendly competition with my fellow Trojan alumni,” said Ronald Jones, former USC and current NFL running back.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 3 out of 4 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 also had a high-risk condition, including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. In the United States, people of color have disproportionate high rates of sickness and death, with Black and Hispanic people, Native People and those in rural areas experiencing higher rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations.
The American Heart Association is working with researchers, medical experts, community leaders, businesses and families to support the global fight against COVID-19 and address health inequities. Efforts include:
- Investing $2.5 million in rapid research fund to investigate the cardiovascular implications of coronavirus
- Supporting evidence-based locally-led solutions that break down social and economic barriers to health through the Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund
- Bringing fresh fruits and vegetables to families facing food insecurity through produce distributions
- Supporting the health and wellness of Black women and their faith-based communities through the EmPOWERED & Well Healthier Church Challenge, and
- Advocating for policy changes to ensure health care access for all.
“Community is a focal point of our company, and we’re excited to support the American Heart Association in its mission to foster longer, healthier lives,” said Matt Jackson, CEO & founder of Ultimate Gaming Championship. “The esports industry continues to come together to help others during this time of crisis and we’re happy to do our part keeping those at home entertained while contributing towards an incredible cause.”
To learn more and support a player with a donation to the American Heart Association, visit the Association’s Tilitify page. The tournament can be streamed live via the Association’s Twitch channel. Follow #HuddleUpWithHeart on social media for player and other tournament announcements.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
For media inquiries:
National: Kelsey Walters – Kelsey.Walters@heart.org
Los Angeles: Kristine Kelly – Kristine.Kelly@heart.org