NFL and Nike to Host Third Annual Nike Football Kickoff Classic

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The National Football League in partnership with Nike today announced the third annual Football Kickoff Classic to begin the 2024 high school football season. Hosted at Nike World Headquarters (WHQ) in Beaverton, Oregon, the Nike Football Kickoff Classic will feature two high school football games – a girl’s flag football game and a boy’s tackle football game – on Thursday, Aug. 22.

This year’s girls flag game will pair high-powered teams from De La Salle High School (Louisiana) and South Anchorage High School (Alaska).

Played by over 20 million people across 100 countries, women and girls drive some of flag football’s fastest growth. In partnership with the International Federation of American Football (IFAF), the NFL is investing in the development and growth of flag football at grassroots and elite levels around the world ahead of the sport’s official debut in the LA 2028 Olympic Games.

This year’s boys’ game will feature teams from Massillon High School (Ohio) and The NFL Academy (United Kingdom).

Massillon High School is home to one of the oldest high school football programs in the United States. The historic program dates to 1894, when Massillon played in their first organized game. Entering its 129th football season, Massillon has graduated 41 professional football players and19 collegiate All-Americans while winning 25 state titles and nine national titles. The Tigers’ 948 program wins are the second-most in high school football history. Massillon currently plays at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, named after 1925 graduate and Pro Football Hall of Famer Paul Brown, who coached the Tigers from 1932 to 1940 prior to coaching for the Cleveland Browns and later founding the Cincinnati Bengals.

The NFL Academy, based in the United Kingdom with a second location on Australia’s Gold Coast, is an elite football development program offering talented student athletes the opportunity to combine full-time education alongside intensive training in the sport. Since its inception, more than 40 NFL Academy alumni have secured college football scholarships in the U.S., with over 30 students set to play college football in the 2024 season (19 of those playing in Division 1 programs).

“The Nike Football Kickoff Classic brings fresh excitement to the start of the high school football season. For the third consecutive year, Nike has given us something to look forward to as the season begins,” said Roman Oben, vice president of NFL Football Development. “This year, we’re adding an international twist with the NFL Academy facing off against Massillon. The experience these teams will share will be unforgettable. Congratulations to all the high school football players this year.”

The collaboration between Nike and the NFL continues to amplify the kickoff of the high school season and allow each of the participating boys and girls high school teams to play in one of the most unique experiences in the country.

The experience at Nike also allows student athletes to learn about the history of Nike and its relationship with the NFL. Student athletes will get an opportunity to hear from former Nike/NFL Ambassadors about why they love football and learn about professional development from some of the best in sports, touring one of the most amazing campuses in the world.

This year, the Nike Kickoff Classic will livestream on the NFL YouTube channel on Thursday, Aug. 22with NFL Network airing the Classic on Saturday, Aug. 31. The schools participating in the Nike Kickoff Classic will also be sponsored by the NFL team in their home markets.

Nike Football Kickoff Classic at Nike World Headquarters (Beaverton, OR):

What: Girls Flag Football – De La Salle High School (LA) vs. South Anchorage High School (AK)

When: Thursday, Aug. 22 at 1:30 p.m. PT

Where: Ronaldo Field

What: Boys Tackle Football – Massillon High School (OH) vs. NFL Academy (UK)

When: Thursday, Aug. 22 at 3:30 p.m. PT

Where: Ronaldo Field

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