ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, created the Air Force Celebration Bowl, a post-season football game between the champions of the MEAC and SWAC conferences, to showcase the tradition, legacy and values of HBCUs.
HBI was hired to publicize and promote the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl as well as engage the local community. To fulfill the community involvement, HBI utilized its relationships with local leaders in the sports, business and hospitality industries and created an executive committee to serve as ambassadors for the Bowl. HBI guided the committee by providing materials needed to help “spread the word” about the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl and its mission. HBI also served as the day-to-day contact with the committee and to make sure the members had everything they needed to promote the game in order to ensure its success.
Along with the executive committee, HBI pitched the media with stories related to the Bowl’s ancillary events leading up to and on game day. A new component to the publicity piece was added in 2016: the trophy tour. The Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl’s trophy traveled from state to state to generate excitement about the game before it ended at the Georgia Dome in December. In addition to promoting the Bowl game itself and the trophy tour, HBI helped with logistics for all executive committee events and Bowl game press conferences.
HBI secured numerous local, regional and national media coverage for the Celebration Bowl including a nationally syndicated piece in the Associated Press on the legacy of HBCUs. In 2016, HBI garnered media coverage across all platforms including print, radio and television totaling more than 980 million impressions.