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NFL, Verizon announce mobile gaming challenge

Thanks to its partnership with Verizon, the NFL's presence in the world of gaming received a big boost Tuesday.

The two mega-companies announced that U.S.-based game developers can now begin entering submissions for the Verizon 5G NFL Mobile Gaming Challenge. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals for a mobile game that "harnesses the power of Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband on consumer devices," per the news release.

The challenge, which is a byproduct of a two-year innovation partnership designed to expand the league's usage of cutting-edge technology meant to enhance games and fan experience, will run until August 11 when submissions will no longer be accepted.

The semi-finalists will be announced on September 5 and up to two finalists will have the chance to unveil a final, commercial-version of their game at Super Bowl LIV in Miami where a panel of judges from the technology, gaming, 5G and sports sectors will evaluate the "maturity and scalability, innovation and the tools being used in both creations."

The winning teams will have the opportunity to secure a slew of perks, including $400,000 and access to various Verizon 5G Labs and 5G technology and gaming mentors.

"Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband offers a whole new creative playground for developers to push the limits of what's possible and disrupt mobile gaming," said Nicki Palmer, Verizon's Senior Vice President of Technology and Product Development. "5G's high bandwidth and low-latency have the potential to totally transform the gaming experience.

"By putting the power of our Ultra Wideband network in the hands of the many fans of the NFL, we believe we'll see some gaming concepts we couldn't even have imagined before 5G."

Rachel Hoagland, the NFL's Vice President and Head of Gaming & eSports, also spoke strongly about the potential of the gaming challenge and what it means for the future.

"Gaming continues to be a great platform for millions of NFL fans to deepen their engagement with our sport. We're excited to untap the power of Verizon's 5G Ultra Wideband and have its potential applied to new gaming ideas that will help cultivate the next generation of our fans," she said.

The mobile gaming challenge will continue the longstanding partnership between Verizon and the NFL, which will see the continued expansion of several initiatives, including the "mobile distribution of live games and other NFL content across its massive mobile network and distributed through Verizon Media's Yahoo Sports; unique experiences for customers enrolled in the Verizon Up rewards program at key NFL events including the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, NFL Scouting Combine and the NFL Draft; and coordination with individual NFL teams and venues on stadium technology to help improve operations and connectivity for fans."

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