New Match-up in the Dome for Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic

100 Black Men of Atlanta announced today the new match-up and sponsorship extension for the 2011 Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic, which will return to Atlanta for the 23rd year Sept. 24, 2011. For the first time in Classic history, the Florida A&M University Rattlers will take on the Southern University Jaguars, in a gridiron battle ripe with pageantry and pride. The Bank of America will extend its title sponsorship of this iconic event hosted and produced by the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, which it has supported for so many years.

As one of the largest recurring sporting events in Georgia, bringing more than 100,000 visitors to the city of Atlanta, the Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic brings together Historically Black Colleges & Universities alumni, students and fans to celebrate community, education and tradition. Proceeds from the game support the 100 Black Men of Atlanta’s Project Success, the organization’s post-secondary preparation and tuition assistance program.

“We are always exploring new ways to ensure the Atlanta Football Classic evolves from year-to-year,” said John Grant, CEO, 100 Black Men of Atlanta. “The new line-up with FAMU and Southern University will provide a fresh rivalry with schools known for excellence on and off the field.”

As the 100 Black Men of Atlanta’s largest fundraiser, the Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic provides significant support to Project Success and the participating universities. Since 2004 the Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic has raised millions for Project Success and the participating universities.

“The addition of Southern University continues the rich, tradition of highlighting Historically Black Colleges and Universities at the Bank of America Football Classic,” said William Pate, president of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau.  “Every year the game brings more than 60,000 fans to downtown Atlanta and generates $26 million in economic impact.  The 23rd installment of the Football Classic promises to be another great battle on the gridiron.”

Also known for the historic battle of the bands halftime show, the Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic promises to deliver the best battle yet with two legendary, award-winning bands: FAMU’s Marching 100 and Southern’s Human Jukebox. Both bands have performed around the world, including performances at presidential inaugurations, Super Bowls and BCS Bowls.

Each year, the Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic delivers more than a football game to fans with a weekend chock full of activities including job, health, financial fitness and college fairs, the Coors Light Cold Zone and Pre-Game Show, the Tyson Foods Band Jamboree and the McDonald’s Halftime Show. A robotics competition was added in 2009.

“From enhancing the fans’ game-day experience to seeking new opportunities with the participating schools and elevating the scholarship programs supported by Project Success, the Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic showcases the top Historically Black Colleges and Universities and emphasizes the importance of education,” said Grant.

The Atlanta Football Classic has been played annually in Atlanta since 1989. It was first hosted at Grant Field, and since 1992, has been hosted at the Georgia Dome. Only four universities have participated in the Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic: Florida A&M University, Southern University-Baton Rouge, South Carolina State and Tennessee State University. Though FAMU and Southern have both played in the Atlanta Football Classic, the teams have never faced off against each other.

For more information, visit the Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic’s website at www.atlantafootballclassic.com. Fans can also be a fan of the Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic on Facebook and follow the Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic on Twitter.

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