The National Football League today launched its Legends Program, the newest step in a series of programs designed to help former NFL players connect with each other, their former teams and the NFL.
Nineteen former players, including two Hall of Famers, form the first class of NFL Legends who will participate in this multi-faceted program developed by NFL Player Engagement and the league’s Marketing Department. The Legends will develop, foster and manage national and local alumni relations to deepen the relationship and communication between the league office, teams and former players. They also will participate in the league’s calendar events and fan platforms as additional ways to remain connected to the game.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Senior Vice President of Player Engagement Troy Vincent kicked off the program on Monday, the first of two days of training at the NFL office in New York City.
“Based on our peer-to-peer model, the Legends Program will reach out to our former players, and let them know that their contribution to the game we love is appreciated and their voice is welcome,” said Vincent. “We are a brotherhood, a family. We need to strengthen our relationships across the generations of our alumni, stay connected, and continue to contribute to this game and to each other.”
The Legends Program is built on a peer-to-peer model used in other NFL Player Engagement programs, fostering deeper relationships between generations of NFL players. Legends commit to a three-year term during which they will work to connect the 32 teams and the league with more former players. Legends will work closely with existing club-designated alumni directors, communicate with groups representing former players, and help develop and participate in team and league events.
The 19 former players participating in the Legends Program are:
|Lavar Arrington||Chad Pennington||Mark Bruener||John Randle|
|Mark Brunell||Ed Reynolds||Donovin Darius||Ron Rice|
|Warrick Dunn||Mike Rucker||Keith Elias||Will Shields|
|Rocket Ismail||Leonard Wheeler||Patrick Kerney||Aeneas Williams|
|Hardy Nickerson||Rod Woodson||Jay Novacek|
The NFL Legends Program is an extension of NFL Player Engagement programs designed for former players. The NFL Ambassadors program involves former players who are committed in the development of high school, college, and professional (both current and former) players and facilitate life skills and professional development seminars. In addition, the Transition Coaches program trains and certifies former players to help both current and former players in the areas of mental and behavioral health. The Legends will be the latest group of former players to continue the tradition of representing their teams at annual league events such as the NFL Draft and NFL Kickoff.
Sam Dana, a running back for the NFL’s 1928 New York Yankees team