The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) announced a new partnership to present the 2018 Outland Trophy as part of a public awareness campaign focused on the importance of influenza (flu) prevention during the 2018-2019 flu season. Selected by FWAA, the trophy is awarded annually to the top interior lineman in college football.
The announcement, made by Steve Richardson, FWAA Executive Director, and Marla Dalton, CAE, NFID Executive Director and CEO was structured by Thom Hering, EVP at PSP Sports Partner Marketing.
“This partnership with the Outland Trophy offers NFID a timely platform to promote the importance of flu prevention to college football fans all across the U.S. and remind fans that annual flu vaccination is recommended for all individuals age six months and older,” said Dalton. Influenza (flu) is a highly contagious and sometimes life-threatening disease that affects between 5-20 percent of the U.S. population annually and accounts for more than 200,000 hospitalizations and 3,000-49,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Getting an annual flu shot is the most effective way to prevent influenza.
As part of the public awareness campaign to help #FightFlu, the award will be rebranded as the Outland Trophy presented by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. The social media hashtag #FightFlu will be visible on all advertising, marketing, social media and PR materials. Branded content and advertising will promote the public awareness campaign in Touchdown Illustrated gameday programs at over 1,000 college football games.
University of Wisconsin All-American Joe Thomas, the 2006 Outland Trophy winner will serve as the Outland Trophy #FightFlu ambassador. An avid supporter of annual flu vaccines, Thomas will make media appearances on behalf of the #FightFlu public awareness campaign and announce the recipient of the 2018 Outland Trophy during ESPN’s The Home Depot College Football Awards. The official award presentation will be on January 9, at the Greater Omaha Sports Committee’s Outland Trophy Banquet.
Founded in 1973, the NFID is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to educating the public and healthcare professionals about the causes, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases across the lifespan.