WEST DES MOINES, Iowa, July 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Hy-Vee, Inc. has signed on as title sponsor of the annual meeting between the University of Iowa and University of Nebraska football teams – a much-anticipated Big Ten Conference rivalry that has been dubbed "The Heroes Game."
The first "Heroes Game," scheduled for the Friday after Thanksgiving, pits conference powerhouse Iowa against the league's celebrated newcomer in what promises to become an epic battle for bragging rights in the nation's heartland. The two teams will be playing for more than a trophy, however; with the help of Hy-Vee, they will use the national stage created by the game to recognize individuals and organizations for acts of heroism in their communities.
The announcement of the Big Ten's newest "trophy game" and Hy-Vee's title sponsorship came this morning in Chicago, just hours prior to the conference's annual Kickoff Luncheon. Athletic directors Gary Barta of Iowa and Tom Osborne of Nebraska were joined by Hy-Vee President and COO Randy Edeker at a news conference where plans for the series were unveiled.
"With the Heroes Game, Hy-Vee has a truly unique opportunity to sponsor two legendary football programs and what we believe will be the new classic post-Thanksgiving rivalry game," Edeker said. "We also have the opportunity to use this great new rivalry to recognize some incredible people doing incredible good throughout the heartland."
The first "Heroes Game" between Iowa and Nebraska on Friday, November 25 at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln will be broadcast nationally by ABC. In advance of the game, fans of each school will be encouraged to nominate everyday citizens of Iowa and Nebraska who deserve to be honored for extraordinary acts of heroism. One citizen-hero from each state will be invited to attend the game as a special guest of the teams, receive on-field recognition, and have his or her name inscribed on the game trophy.
In addition, UI and NU officials are counting on the intense interest in the big game to help raise money for non-profit organizations doing heroic work in the two states. Hy-Vee stores in Iowa and Nebraska will spearhead the fundraising effort by creating activities designed to engage and excite fans of each school.
Edeker of Hy-Vee said the American Red Cross chapters in Iowa and Nebraska have been selected as the beneficiaries of the first "Heroes Game" series, which includes this fall's matchup and the teams' 2012 meeting in Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City.
"Our company's long association with the Red Cross has provided us with a first-hand view of the vital work the organization does in response to disasters and emergencies of all kinds," Edeker said. "The Red Cross exemplifies the spirit of heroism and service to others we are honoring through sponsorship of this outstanding football rivalry."
Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating 233 retail stores in eight Midwestern states. In 2010 the company recorded total sales of $6.9 billion, ranking it among the top 25 supermarket chains and the top 50 private companies in the nation. Hy-Vee's 58,000 employee-owners bring a "helpful smile in every aisle" to the company's mission of making lives easier, healthier and happier. For more information, visit the website at www.hy-vee.com.
SOURCE Hy-Vee, Inc.