The National Football League will kick off its celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) with a special celebration surrounding the Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football on Sept. 15 (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN and ESPN Deportes).
Among the festivities planned for the weekend in Dallas:
» Kat Deluna will sing the national anthem at Texas Stadium. Her performance will be featured on ESPN's Monday Night Countdown pregame show (7:00 p.m. ET) as well as on ESPN Deportes' NFL Esta Noche pregame show (8:00 p.m. ET).
» Popular Latin pop duo Prima J, featuring cousins Jessica and Janelle Martinez, will perform at halftime. ESPN Deportes will cover their performance.
» The Cowboys will incorporate game-day elements dedicated to Hispanic culture including Ballet Folklorico & Mariachi from San Antonio, Texas that will welcome fans to the stadium with performances at entry gates. There will also be a ceremonial parade of flags, including flags from Latin American countries, during the pregame.
In conjunction with ESPN, the MNF game telecast will feature special graphic integrations, vignettes and audio from the ESPN Deportes Spanish-language telecast with Emmy-nominated play-by-play commentator Álvaro MartÍn and former NFL kicker RaÚl Allegre. The telecast also will kick off with a customized version of the Hank Williams Jr. opening, featuring some lyrics in Spanish.
» ESPN Deportes, the official Spanish-language television home for all MNF games, will include the broadcast team of MartÍn, Allegre and sideline reporter John Sutcliffe.
» Hispanic Heritage Month activities in Dallas begin on Saturday with an NFL Play 60 Youth Football Festival at Texas Stadium. The festival, hosted by the Cowboys, will include NFL Flag clinics with local youth from the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Dallas and The Salvation Army from predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods in the Dallas area. The clinics will be followed by an NFL Flag exhibition game between Los Diablitos from Mexico City and the Neighborhood Sports Cowboys, a local team from Austin/Cedar Park, Texas. Los Diablitos are the national champions of NFL Tochito, the NFL Flag football program in Mexico. Los Diablitos also will be honored at Texas Stadium on field during halftime of Monday's game.
» The NFL, ESPN and the Cowboys will host a MNF Chalk Talk Luncheon the day of the game for 150 invited guests in Dallas. Alumni players from both the Eagles and Cowboys will participate in the event, which will emphasize the Hispanic Heritage Celebration. MartÍn and Allegre also will be part of the panel of NFL experts, and a local Hispanic non-profit organization will be among the groups recognized for its work in the Dallas community.
"We are excited to partner with ESPN to shine a national spotlight on Hispanic Heritage Month," says Mark Waller, NFL senior vice president, marketing and sales. "The Monday Night telecast will kick off festivities across the country to honor the NFL's Hispanic players and fans."
"We are proud to officially kick off Hispanic Heritage Month with the NFL and ESPN at Texas Stadium," says Cowboys executive vice president Charlotte Jones Anderson. "The special performances and festive game elements including Ballet Folkorico and Mariachi are a salute to the rich culture, contributions and heritage of Hispanic Americans who support the Dallas Cowboys throughout the year."
In anticipation of the Eagles-Cowboys' game, the NFL will air new spots from its "We are fans!" television campaign in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month. A print ad will run in the USA Today sports section as a complement to the TV campaign, driving tune-in to the MNF Hispanic Heritage Month game. ESPN will integrate "FÚtbol Americano" messaging into its' MNF promotion across television, radio, online and print. ESPN promotional support will continue the following week in anticipation of Hispanic Heritage Celebration events planned in San Diego around the New York Jets-ChargersMNF game.
"The MNF telecasts on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, as well as surrounding coverage and promotional support across multiple ESPN platforms, will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and the passion that Hispanics have long had for the NFL," says John Wildhack, ESPN executive vice president, program acquisitions & strategy.
The National Football League is committed to serving football fans of all cultures and recognizes Hispanic Heritage Month as a special time and opportunity to celebrate the contributions of Hispanic players, coaches, front-office personnel and fans.
NFL teams across the country will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in their local communities with designated home games in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month and local community outreach.