ORLANDO, Fla., March 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- APMG Sports, in conjunction with the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) and other diplomatic and business partners including the Richard Nixon Foundation, announce today that an American football game featuring professional players in China will take place at the National Olympic Stadium in Beijing on May 4, 2013 at 5 pm.
In addition to the historic "China-USA Friendship Game" exhibition football contest between teams consisting of current and former professional American football players and coaches, as well as Chinese players, the event will include a concert performance by American superstar singer and Grammy® Award-winner Darius Rucker, front man for Hootie and the Blowfish, who will perform before the game and also on a field stage following the game.
Several other significant ceremonies leading up to the game and concert will highlight the historic 1972 diplomatic meeting between Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong and US President Richard Nixon, which forever changed global people-to-people relations. A delegation from the Nixon Foundation and participating dignitaries, football players, and coaches will be hosted by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) for various events, culminating in a reception at the Great Hall of the People on May 3, 2013. Other cultural and sporting activities will be included during the period of several days leading to the event, in conjunction with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, CPAFFC, the US Department of State, World Team Sports China, the China-US Sports Friendship Association, Starbridge Media Group, and various other Chinese and American diplomatic and business entities.
The delegation will include National Football League player Ed Wang, currently under contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. Wang is of Chinese ancestry and his parents were elite athletes in China. Other leading sports and political figures (including Pro Football Hall of Fame members Art Monk, Floyd Little, and Darrell Green) will accompany the American delegation from Washington to Beijing in early May.
"It is a distinct honor and privilege to work with the NFLPA and the people of China in bringing this historic event to Beijing," said APMG Sports Founder/President John Glavin. "We look forward to exciting and lasting people-to-people exchanges of sports and culture of this type for many years to come."
Added NFLPA spokesperson George Atallah: "The NFL Players Association appreciates the opportunity that the people of China are providing our organization in welcoming us as ambassadors of professional American football in China. We are looking forward to developing many Chinese football fans and players for many years to come."
On behalf of the Nixon Foundation, the group's President, Sandy Quinn, said: "It is fitting to play an American football game during the Nixon Foundation's trip to China in celebration of President Nixon's many contributions to fostering China-US relations. President Nixon was a great fan of the sport, especially during his time in The White House. We look forward to the opportunity to continue his legacy of people-to-people exchange in this unique manner."
President Nixon's daughter, Julie Nixon Eisenhower, said: "To my father, football was a metaphor for life. He knew, as every football coach also knows, that nothing worth achieving can be accomplished without tireless effort, concentrated focus, and a clear vision of the goal. The China US Friendship Game is a wonderful metaphor for the relationship that has developed between our two countries. Over four decades we have kept our sights on building a more peaceful, more prosperous future for both the American and Chinese people. Like the score at the end of a game, the results speak for themselves."
President Nixon's brother, Ed Nixon, added: "I have never known anyone who loved football more than my brother did. He would be so pleased to know that this game is being played in China to help mark his historic visit in 1972 to the People's Republic of China."
US Colonel Jack Brennan visited China as aide to President Nixon several times. He added: "When I accompanied the President and Mrs. Nixon to China in 1972, and again in 1976 and 1979, I would never have imagined that one day Beijing would host an American football game. The effects of that historic visit in 1972 -- the week that changed the world -- are still being felt today, more than 40 years later."
Ken Hutman of Starbridge Media Group, Inc. and the China-US Sports Friendship Association, advisor to APMG Sports, noted: "The Friendship Game will highlight the best use of sports and culture as thematic backdrops to promote relevant people-to-people exchanges between China and the US. Celebrating American football on Chinese soil in conjunction with the Nixon Foundation will make for an historic event."
Superstar performer Darius Rucker added: "It is an honor to be a part of this historic celebration of American football in Beijing. I look forward to representing true American football and music fans as part of this game."
Additional details regarding team rosters, coaches, ticket sales, broadcast schedules, photo opportunities, press conferences and related events are forthcoming. Other information regarding the China-USA Friendship Game can be found on the APMG Sports website at www.apmgsports.com.
APMG Sports is a global sports marketing firm based in Florida founded by John Glavin and Tim Gaarn. APMG Sports is a licensed partner of the National Football League Players Incorporated (NFLPI) and holds the exclusive rights to promote, market, and brand the production of American football games on behalf of NFLPI outside the United States. Visit them at www.apmgsports.com.
The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) is a non-profit, professional sports union that protects the best interests and welfare of all NFL players. It serves as the exclusive bargaining agent for all NFL players in collective bargaining. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players' interests. The NFLPA is governed by a Board of Player Representatives, acting in accordance with the NFLPA Constitution and federal labor laws. The NFLPA's responsibilities include: Representing all players in matters concerning wages, hours and working conditions and protecting their rights as professional football players; ensuring that the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement are met; negotiating and monitoring retirement and insurance benefits; providing other member services and activities; providing assistance to charitable and community organizations; enhancing and defending the image of players and their profession, on and off the field. For more information, visit www.NFLPlayers.com.
The Richard Nixon Foundation is a privately supported, non-profit institution dedicated to educating the public about the life, legacy and times of the 37th President of the United States. Information on the California-based Foundation can be found at www.nixonfoundation.org.
Contact: John Glavin, APMG Sports
Jonathan Movroydis, Nixon Foundation
SOURCE APMG Sports