Super Bowl weekend is about so much more than the big game, even though we know it means a hell of a lot a lot of for LA Rams fans when your team wins!
As we’ve proven time and time again with our Community Impact series, the NFL — from the league and team level down to individual players — also invests in giving back to the community and honoring those who don’t receive diamond-studded super Bowl Rings for their hard work and achievements throughout the season.
Here are just a few of the events celebrating the heart and soul of the NFL over Super Bowl LVI weekend in Los Angeles:
LA Rams Super Bowl Week youth events
The LA Rams are one of the most community-driven teams in the league, as evidenced by 2021 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner Andrew Whitworth. And just because the team played in Super Bowl LVI, it didn’t mean the organization as a whole wouldn’t continue their work and give back to the community. In the run-up to Super Bowl LVI, the Rams hosted a series of Super Bowl Week activities to engage local fans and students across the LA area, such as those associated with football. Another event took place in the Watts neighborhood, where the Rams teamed up with Nike for Nike 11-On – a scholastic, team-based, character-building program that included a dance clinic where Rams cheerleaders led students from Everybody Dance LA! (top photo) and a soccer combine for girls.
NFL Alumni Legends Party
The best kind of fundraisers are the ones where you can celebrate with your NFL idols and raise money for a good cause! And it doesn’t get more exciting than celebrating with four-time Super Bowl champion Rob Gronkowski — especially when he’s bringing along fellow NFL legends Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice, Vernon Davis and Doug Flutie. That was the high-profile, multi-championship, Hall of Famer and future Hall of Famer cast who graced the stage at the Avalon in Hollywood on Friday night for the NFL Alumni Legends Party presented by USA Today.
Joining the A-list caliber was the one and only Flo Rida, who gave the VIP guests a special, high-octane performance. It’s far from the first time Gronk and Flo have shared the stage — they sailed the Caribbean together on the Gronk Party Cruise in 2016 and reunited ahead of Super Bowl LIV in Miami. “It’s been two years since Flo Rida and I hung out at Gronk Beach, so I’m really looking forward to hosting the party he’ll be performing at,” said the terse end. Flo also brought the only Flava Flav onto the stage as DJ Kim Lee DJed on the decks.
Most importantly, the Legends Party benefited real-life Legends via an online auction that raised money for NFL Alumni’s Caring For Kids program, which promotes fitness and safety programs for youth through sports by bringing together celebrities and successful Athletes are presented as role models. “Not only does the Legends Party bring an exclusive and fun level of entertainment to Big Game Week, but more importantly, it brings awareness and donations to our Caring for Kids initiative,” said Beasley Reece, CEO of the NFL Alumni Association.
“The cool thing is that last year I actually hosted the USA Today High School Sports Awards program, which honored great high school athletes, coaches and teams across the country. So hosting this party just went together,” Gronk told People ahead of the party.
Taste of the NFL
For the past 31 years, Taste of the NFL has raised money to help fight hunger and food insecurity while serving delicious bites from award-winning chefs. This year’s event was held at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles and featured the GOATs of the culinary world such as Andrew Zimmer, Carla Hall, Tim Love, Mark Bucher and Lasheeda Perry as well as local LA chefs from the PepsiCo Foundation IMPACTO Hispanic Business Accelerator and Black Restaurant Accelerator -Programs. In addition to serving championship-worthy food and beverages, the purpose of the event was to bring thought leaders from the NFL, social justice organizations and the food and beverage industry together to promote diversity, equality and inclusion. A portion of the funds raised was used to support the Los Angeles Unified School District and its Kool Kitchens renovation program, a district-wide initiative to address student food insecurity.
The PepsiCo Foundation has also partnered with GENYOUth’s End Student Hunger Fund to address child hunger nationally and provide local support to the Los Angeles community. The effort is part of Food for Good, PepsiCo’s global goal of giving 50 million people better access to nutritious food by 2030. “Frito-Lay is committed to the communities in which we live and work. Our commitment to Los Angeles through this program is to renovate kitchens in five schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District with a goal of increasing student lunch attendance by 15 percent,” said Steven Williams, CEO of PepsiCo Foods North America. “By providing balanced diet and nutrition to the students who need it most, we make a positive contribution and help lay the foundation for a better future.”
The player tailgate
You can’t throw a Super Bowl without a Tailgate party, and the annual Players Tailgate brought all your favorite big game dishes to the big stage. Chicken wings, tri-tip, mac and cheese and tacos were served alongside lobster, grilled squid and fresh oysters at the event, which took place Sunday morning on the grounds of the old Hollywood Park Casino next to SoFi Stadium. One benefit of Players Tailgate, presented by Bullseye Event Group, is that guests can simply walk straight to the game afterwards, but the real beneficiaries are non-profit partners Operation BBQ Relief and the Irie Foundation. Operation BBQ Relief responds to natural disasters and other situations to feed displaced people and emergency workers, while the Irie Foundation works year-round to improve and make a positive impact on the lives of South Florida’s at-risk youth. The Tailgate was hosted by celebrity chef Guy Fieri, who took to the stage alongside ESPN’s Sage Steele to interview a slew of NFL stars and have them predict the outcome of Super Bowl LVI. One of those NFL icons was former Raiders Super Bowl champion Charles Woodson, who (literally) poured his Intercept wines for guests.