ESPN Events Joins Forces with Marvel Studios and The Walt Disney Company on “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” Collaboration at 2022 Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff – Saturday in Atlanta

  1. “Black Panther” elements will be incorporated into college football kickoff game between Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Howard University and Alabama State University
  2. Andscape’s William C. Rhoden writes and narrates special Wakanda-themed tease open
  3. Game airs Saturday, Aug. 27, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN

ESPN Events is joining forces with Marvel Studios and The Walt Disney Company on a “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” collaboration this weekend at the 2022 Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff, the season-opening college football game between Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). Elements of the highly anticipated film will be incorporated into the game presentation at the stadium and during ESPN’s national primetime telecast (7 p.m. ET on ESPN) when Howard University faces Alabama State University on Saturday, Aug. 27, at Center Parc Stadium in Atlanta.

With “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” opening in U.S. theaters November 11, fans will be treated to preview clips of the film both inside the stadium on video boards and within the national ESPN telecast.

The game presentation will begin with a special tease open written and narrated by award-winning journalist William C. Rhoden of ESPN’s Andscape, connecting the spirit of Black Panther’s fictional country of Wakanda to the real-life reflection of the city of Atlanta and the importance of HBCUs within the Black community.

Inside the stadium, fans will be able to pose for pictures at a special Black Panther photo booth, and 15,000 promotional posters will be distributed at the game.

“The upcoming release of ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ provides a unique and very meaningful opportunity to work with Marvel Studios to bring this first-look engagement moment to our fans,” said John T. Grant, executive director of the Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff. “There is no better place than Atlanta, which we call Wakanda, and this game platform to integrate such an episodic moment with HBCUs.”

Annually featuring programs from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff is one of the marquee events of the HBCU football season. In addition to the game, a variety of special events will take place over the three-day weekend in Atlanta celebrating the tradition, legacy and values of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

ESPN Events 
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of collegiate sporting events nationwide. In 2022, the 32-event schedule includes three early-season college football kickoff games, 17 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events, and a college softball event, which account for approximately 400 hours of live programming, while reaching nearly 64 million viewers and attracting over 800,000 annual attendees. With satellite offices in more than 10 cities across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans. For more information, visit the official websiteFacebookTwitter or YouTube pages.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

In Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the Dora Milaje (including Florence Kasumba), fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda. Introducing Tenoch Huerta as Namor, king of a hidden undersea nation, the film also stars Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Mabel Cadena and Alex Livanalli. “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” directed by Ryan Coogler and produced by Kevin Feige and Nate Moore, opens in U.S. theaters Nov. 11, 2022.

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Media contacts:

Bill Hofheimer, ESPN – [email protected]

Derek Del Rossi, Walt Disney Studios Global Publicity [email protected]