With the NFL preseason underway, so too is USA Football Month, an annual celebration that takes place throughout the nation every August. The celebration is also an affirmation of USA Football's primary goal: to teach the game's fundamentals and further instill the sport's character-building values within the youth football community.
Each year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers become involved in USA Football Month in order to reaffirm their own support of youth football. Through partnerships, donations and football camps, the team strives to maintain a strong relationship with youth leagues around the region. This past weekend, the Buccaneers made an effort to fortify their relationship with one of the largest youth football conferences in Florida.
Recently, the team agreed to serve as the presenting sponsor of the Polk County-based Mid Florida Football and Cheerleading Conference. This is the largest partnership the Buccaneers have taken on with any youth football organization.
Over the weekend, the Buccaneers kicked off this new partnership by sponsoring a major event, the MFFCC Jamboree, which was held at Simmers-Young Park in Winter Haven, Florida. The local field was painted with the Buccaneers' flag logo and cheerleaders and team representatives were on hand to distribute autographed memorabilia, raffle off game tickets, and support the local youth teams.
The MFFCC is one of the largest youth conferences in the area. The conference contains 52 programs and covers 16 Florida counties, including 14 programs in Polk County.
"This is a huge deal," said MFFCC President James Hogan. "It legitimizes us and what we've done and makes us a force in youth football. Not too many teams have support from their local professional football organization. It opens the door to so many things for us."
The partnership will benefit the conference by utilizing several Buccaneers' initiatives that will allow the MFFCC to access fundraising programs and coaching expertise throughout the upcoming season.
In addition, the league will use donations from the Buccaneers to help fund major events and travel programs, and to purchase equipment to help youth teams in need stay competitive and safe.
To learn more about the MFFCC, visit www.leaguelineup.com/midflorida.