NFL Legends, Peyton and Eli Manning star in a new "Play Football" campaign to promote the league's youth program, NFL Play Football. The campaign comically compares past perceptions of football with what the game is like for kids today while promoting registration for youth flag and tackle football.
Created by 72andSunny, the campaign comprises three short films – "Conditioning," "Sheriff" and "Respect" – featuring the Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks alongside young flag and tackle football players. In each spot, the past perceptions of football – characterized as Peyton's era, which was about the grind, toughness and a "blood, sweat and tears" mentality – contrast with the present emphasis on creativity, inclusivity, self-expression, having fun and playing loose – embodied by Eli.
Specifically, Peyton "The Sheriff" Manning stars as a fictitious official NFL ambassador to youth football, teaching kids the game the old school way, while Eli plays the role of his way cooler younger brother. With help from the kids, Eli teaches Peyton that he may know a lot about football but understands little about "the youths" of today.
"Growing up in New Orleans and watching my dad play for the Saints, I have always been a fan of the game of football," said Peyton Manning. "Throughout my many years playing, I enjoyed everything that I learned from the sport, and I want to share that with as many people as possible, especially young players. This 'NFL Play Football' initiative allows me to be a part of something that will impact the future of the game, so kids can fall in love with the game the way I did."
"Football has played a big role in my life, and it's important to me to ensure that girls and boys of all ages get the opportunity to participate,” said Eli Manning. “Pickup games and flag football were the ways I first started playing and remain some of my best memories, so I was happy to join with the NFL in highlighting those aspects of the game in this campaign."
The NFL celebrates youth and high school football year-round. Through camps, activities, NFL Flag and tackle leagues, its Play Football initiative provides a fun, engaging experience for players of all ages and skill levels, equipping young people with key life skills that are building blocks to success on and off the field.
"Peyton and Eli are the perfect duo to star in this campaign because they bring a unique humor that effectively showcases the evolution of the game and just how fun and inclusive football has become," said Marissa Solis, SVP Global Brand and Consumer Marketing at the NFL. "An ongoing part of our strategy is to keep the image of the brand fresh, and these videos are not just meant to connect with our young fans and youth players, but really highlight how integral they are to the future of the sport."
The campaign will run throughout the upcoming NFL season in-game and on primetime, as well as on social and online across North America.
With the fall season of flag football going from August through October, youth players can register for the season now until the end of the month. The youth tackle season starts in August and runs through November. For more information, visit PlayFootball.NFL.com.