Sunday Night Football Bus Makes Special Stop In Baltimore


Comcast and NBC Sports collaborated to bring the Sunday Night Football (SNF) Tour bus to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore to afford youth the opportunity to express their creativity through lively engagement in sports-related activity and ventures.

Part of the central mission of the Boys & Girls Club is to inspire and empower youth in various forms through robust engagement in sports and recreation, education and the arts, and the Club’s mission worked concurrently with the purpose of the SNF Bus Tour.

On the afternoon of October 12, 2018, the SNF Bus made a stop at Webster M. Kendricks Recreation Center in West Baltimore to give students an experience they would perhaps never forget.

Jessica Gappa, director of external affairs for Comcast’s Beltway region, acted as the liaison for Comcast with its Boys & Girls Club partnership. She thought the event had purpose and meaning.

“A lot of our work really focuses on the fact that, to us, success starts with opportunity so we want to give opportunity to the kids, particularly through the Boys & Girls clubs,” Gappa said.

Gappa, who is also Boys & Girls Club board member said another focus of the partnership between Comcast and the Boys & Girls Club centers on digital literacy and digital inclusion. She added that the network provider recently awarded the Boys & Girls Club of Metropolitan Baltimore a $25,000 grant for the MyFuture program, a technology initiative designed to teach Club members about the digital world and ignite their passion for technology.

The students involved in the event were mainly kindergarten through fifth grade students most of whom attend Callaway Elementary and are members of the Boys & Girls Club of the Webster Kendricks Branch.

For the duration of the event, the children remained upbeat and jubilant, decorating footballs and participating in various arts and crafts, among other hands-on activities. The day culminated with a tour of the SNF bus, something the students and counselors anticipated with glaring excitement.

The partnership between the Boys & Girls Clubs and Comcast NBCUniversal dates back nearly two decades. In 2014, the two organizations entered a five-year partnership to support the development of MyFuture, which is also designed to prepare students to compete in a digital economy and enhance digital skills and interests.

Jeff Breslin, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore said he commends the platform NBC and the NFL has bestowed to Baltimore youth for participation in sports and recreational activities.

“It’s really cool. I’m a big believer that nothing unifies like sport,” Breslin said of the SNF Bus Tour event. “To give our kids a chance to see the Sunday Night Football bus and see the power of sports— whether they’re playing or watching— it’s such an incredible opportunity. To give them that opportunity means a lot to us as an organization.”

The SNF Bus generally makes tour stops on the weekends of NFL games, but Baltimore was the first stop that SNF has ever made mid-week, according to Gappa. With the NFL season well underway, the tour bus has also made stops at Philadelphia, Green Bay, Wisconsin; Houston, Detroit; Foxborough, Massachusetts; and Pittsburgh, said Sean Martin, tour manager of the SNF Tour Bus.

The SNF Bus endeavors to provide interactive, first-hand experience for fans and visitors, with features including: a display monitor presenting premium NFL video and footage; an “On Her Turf” selfie mirror; an Interactive Players Wall showing fans how they fare against their favorite players; a map highlighting the SNF’s route and 17 tour stops, a Player of the Game wall display; a few redesigned NFL lockers enhanced with player name plates and team gloves; a “football wall”; and several other aspects to give children, parents, fans, tourists and others an indelible SNF Tour Bus encounter.

Sounds of glee and joy permeated throughout the recreation center as the children enjoyed a day off from school to participate in numerous activities some of them may not have been exposed to before.

Kaitlin Keefer, the education and STEM director of the Boys & Girls Club at the Kendricks Recreation Center location, believed the event had a profound impact based on feedback from the youth.

“I thought it was amazing,” said Keefer of the event. “There were several kids today that said that today was the funnest day they’ve ever had, that it was the greatest day they’ve had in a long time. They loved it.”