The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame released today a logo celebrating the 70th anniversary of the organization, which was incorporated on Dec. 8, 1947, in Syracuse, N.Y., and has become a leading voice in promoting “The Good in the Game” during the past seven decades. Click here to download the logo and style guide.
“It is a true privilege to serve as the chairman of the National Football Foundation, which I always say represents everything right with our great game,” said Archie Manning, who has guided the organization since 2007. “College football is truly a part of the fabric of our society, and it has played an integral role in the education of millions of student-athletes over the years. The Foundation has always provided those who love the game a way to give back, and as we celebrate our 70th Anniversary, I want to thank the tens of thousands of members of our organization who have played a role during the past seven decades.”
Founded by a group of passionate supporters, the NFF has always garnered backing from our nation’s top leaders, including early contributors General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik and the prolific journalist Grantland Rice, who served as the organization’s first president from 1948 to 1952. The NFF has developed into a leading non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. Over the past seven decades, the NFF has inducted 987 players and 214 coaches into the College Football Hall of Fame, including the upcoming 2017 Class. The organization has also distributed more than $30 million in scholarships, including $11.1 million to 828 individuals via the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, and another $20 million through its nationwide Chapter Network.
“From MacArthur to Manning, the NFF has always attracted many of our nation’s greatest leaders in support of our mission,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “And they have all shared our strong belief that college football plays a unique role in preparing young people for success later in life. The NFF has survived the test of time with flying colors, and we wanted to note this significant milestone by paying homage to all of those who have contributed during the past seven decades with a special commemorative logo.”
The NFF’s 70th anniversary logo was created by The Marketing Arm and its Dallas office. Part of the DAS Group of Companies and a division of Omnicom Group Inc., The Marketing Arm has developed comprehensive integrated marketing programs for more than 100 blue-chip brands with offices in Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Hong Kong, London, Manchester and Sao Paulo.
“The National Football Foundation has been celebrating the impact and passion of this sport from the earliest of days,” said The Marketing Arm Vice President Kyle Oliver, who led the team in Dallas that created the logo. “We took care in understanding the personality and integrity of the brand. Since history is such an instrumental piece of the foundation’s purpose, we centralized our focus on the iconic corporate logo, and built the celebratory design around this classic and established element.”
As it prepares to celebrate its 70th anniversary, the NFF currently has an Annual Awards Dinner that will celebrate its 60th anniversary in December, a state-of-the-art College Football Hall of Fame near Atlanta’s Centennial Park, an extensive scholarship program that has distributed more than $30 million since 1959 (including its centerpiece The William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments), and a local Chapter Network with 120 outposts in 47 states, annually reaching more than 5,000 high schools and 500,000 student-athletes.
Here’s a brief look at some of the NFF milestones through the decades:
- The NFF incorporates in 1947 in Syracuse, N.Y.
- Nationally renowned journalist Grantland Rice becomes the organization’s first president in 1948.
- The NFF inducts the first College Football Hall of Fame class in 1951, staging NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes for the inductees at their alma maters.
- Chester J. LaRoche, a former Yale quarterback and top advertising executive, becomes the first NFF chairman in 1955.
- General Douglas MacArthur accepts an invitation to become chairman of the NFF National Advisory Board.
- The First NFF Annual Awards Dinner is staged in 1958 at the Hotel Astor in New York City with sitting U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower accepting the NFF Gold Medal.
- The Second NFF Annual Awards Dinner takes place in 1959 at the Waldorf Astoria, which would go onto host the event for the next 57 years.
- At the 1959 event, the NFF presents the first NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, with the first funds provided by legendary Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik, and unveils the NFF MacArthur Bowl, presenting it to Syracuse as the inaugural recipient of the national championship trophy.
- The NFF launches its nationwide Chapter Network with the first outpost established in Northern California.
- Several U.S. Presidents join Eisenhower as NFF Gold Medal recipients, including Herbert Hoover (1960), John F. Kennedy (1961) and Richard Nixon (1969).
- The NFF adds the Distinguished American Award in 1966 to its list of major awards bestowed at the NFF Annual Awards, presenting the inaugural award to Army “Lonesome End” and Vietnam War hero Bill Carpenter.
- Gold Medal recipients include future U.S. presidents Ronald Reagan (1971) and Gerald R. Ford (1972) and actor John Wayne (1973).
- Vincent dePaul Draddy becomes the second NFF chairman in 1971.
- The NFF moves into a limestone mansion on the Upper East Side of New York City, establishing the site as the first physical College Football Hall of Fame.
- The NFF partners with Taft Broadcasting to build a new Hall of Fame in Kings Island, Ohio, which opens in 1978.
- The NFF establishes the Hall of Fame Classic in 1977, a bowl game at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala., which would continue until 1985.
- The NFF presents the Distinguished American Award to actor Jimmy Stewart in 1983.
- The NFF launches a highly successful 20-year association with the Kickoff Classic in New Jersey in 1983.
- The NFF moves the Hall of Fame Bowl to Tampa in 1986, which would be played until 1995 when the game became the Outback Bowl.
- The NFF selects one member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class in 1990 as the absolute best in the nation, presenting Chris Howard from Air Force the inaugural Vincent dePaul Draddy Trophy, which was named in honor the late NFF chairman who passed away earlier in the year.
- Coca-Cola Executive Bill Pearce succeeds Draddy as chairman in 1990 and then suddenly passes away in 1994.
- Jon Hanson, a highly successful New Jersey businessman and a former chairman of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition, takes over the leadership of the organization in conjunction with former Princeton coach Bob Casciola, who is appointed as executive director.
- The College Football Hall of Fame moves to South Bend, Ind., in 1995, and the NFF extends its inductee pool to coaches and players from the divisional ranks in 1996.
- The NFF launches its Play It Smart program in 1998, training academic coaches to work with football teams in disadvantaged areas.
- The NFF assumes responsibility for tabulating and releasing the Bowl Championship Series Standings in 2000.
- Steve Hatchell, the former commissioner of the Big 12, Southwest and Metro conferences, becomes the NFF president in January 2005.
- Ron Johnson, a Hall of Fame player from Michigan and a successful businessman, becomes chairman in 2006.
- At the end of the 2006 season, the NFF stages its First Annual National Hall of Fame Salute at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl in Arizona.
- The NFF moves its corporate headquarters to Irving, Texas, in January 2007, and Archie Manning becomes chairman later the same year.
- The NFF launches the NFF Hampshire Honor Society in 2007, which has gone onto to recognize 7,743 student-athletes.
- The NFF Touchdown Club of Houston Chapter stages the first High School Showcase in 2009.
- The NFF renames the Draddy Trophy as The William V. Campbell Trophy in honor of its longtime board member and Silicon Valley icon Bill Campbell.
- The NFF partners with the Ivy League in 2010 to present the Asa Bushnell Cup as part of the festivities surrounding the NFF Annual Awards Dinner in New York City.
- Fidelity Investments becomes the first presenting sponsor in the history of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards in 2011. Also in 2011, the NFF partners with Fidelity Investments to launch the NFF Faculty Salutes with support from the 1A FARs.
- The NFF establishes the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame in 2013 as a vehicle for recognizing our country’s most influential individuals.
- The New York Athletic Club becomes the official home of The William V. Campbell Trophy in 2013, and Fidelity Investments becomes the presenting sponsor of the award in 2014.
- The College Football Hall of Fame moves into a new state-of-the-art facility in Atlanta in 2014.
- The NFF begins its Football Matters campaign in 2014, annually capturing hundreds of stories that promote the good in the game.
- The NFF partners with the College Football Playoff (CFP) in 2014 to integrate the announcement of the Hall of Fame class with the national title game.
- The NFF partners with the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) to release the FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll in 2014, ranking the top teams in college football.
- The NFF stages the first ever Congressional College Football Caucus in Washington, D.C., in 2016.
- From 2014-16, the NFF expands its Annual Awards Dinner Press Conference, which takes place in New York City, to include the announcement of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Players of the Year, the Wuerffel Trophy winner and the FWAA Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year finalists.
- The NFF announces that its NFF Annual Awards Dinner will move in 2017 from the Waldorf Astoria to the New York Hilton Midtown.