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HBCU Legacy Bowl Inks Exclusive Zebra Tech Partnership

Zebra’s innovative technology will give players performance insights in practices leading up to the 2023 HBCU Legacy Bowl.

The HBCU Legacy Bowl has announced a multi-year partnership with Zebra Technologies Corporation, an industry leader in tracking technology.

As part of the agreement, Zebra will provide RFID (radio frequency identification) player and ball tracking technology to bring player performance insights to the practices leading up to the 2023 HBCU Legacy Bowl and the game itself. Zebra will also donate to the Black College Football Hall of Fame. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

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​​“We appreciate Zebra Technologies’ contribution to the Black College Football Hall of Fame, and we look forward to its best-in-class technologies elevating the HBCU Legacy Bowl in 2023,” Super Bowl XXII MVP and Black College Football Hall of Fame Co-Founder Doug Williams in a release. “The data and insights to be provided by Zebra’s cutting-edge technologies will highlight the capabilities of the participating student-athletes and greatly assist NFL player personnel in their evaluation of them.”

The HBCU Legacy Bowl is a postseason all-star game that will showcase the top 100 NFL Draft-eligible football players from HBCUs. Taking place the weekend after the Super Bowl, this year’s game will be played on Sat., Feb. 19 at Tulane University’s Yulman Stadium. The game will also be broadcasted on NFL Network. 

“Zebra Technologies is proud to work with the HBCU Legacy Bowl and the Black College Football Hall of Fame,” said Bill Burns, Chief Product & Solutions Officer, Zebra Technologies in a release. “The capabilities of our RFID sports tracking system will help showcase the talent of the student athletes in a unique way as well as provide the data and performance metrics necessary for NFL coaches, scouts and general managers to evaluate prospective NFL talent.”

The game is part of a recent flux of HBCU-related events aiming to push more HBCU athletes into the league. For decades, from the 1960s to the 1990s, HBCUs produced some of the league’s best players. Hall of Famers such as Jerry Rice, Walter Payton, Willie Lanier, Shannon Sharpe, and  Michael Strahan are just a few faces that live forever in Canton, where the Pro Football Hall of Fame is located.  In recent years, HBCU prospects have fallen off NFL scouts’ draft boards. In the last two years, LaChavious Simmons, an offensive tackle from Tennessee State, was the lone HBCU player selected. Since 2000, there have been nine NFL Drafts to go without a single HBCU player taken.

The NFL has attempted to give HBCU players more exposure by having more opportunities. Outside of the HBCU Legacy Bowl, there will also be an HBCU Combine next week in Mobile, AL as well. 

Other HBCU Legacy Bowl founding partners include the National Football League, Adidas, Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes and his 15 and the Mahomies Foundation, Los Angeles Rams DL Aaron Donald, Sugar Bowl, Pro Football Hall of Fame, Riddell, Tulane University, Seattle Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner and New Orleans Saints QB Jameis Winston.

About The Author
Randall Williams
Randall Williams
Randall Williams is a Staff Writer covering sports business and music for Boardroom. Before joining the team, he previously worked for Sportico, Andscape and Bloomberg. His byline has also been syndicated in the Boston Globe and Time Magazine. Williams' notable profile features he has written include NFL Executive VP Troy Vincent, Dreamville co-founder Ibrahim Hamad, BMX biker Nigel Sylvester and both Shedeur and Shilo Sanders. Randall, a graduate of "The Real HU" - Hampton University - is most proud of scooping Howard University joining Jordan Brand nearly three months before the official announcement.