ESPN “College GameDay” analyst Kirk Herbstreit took center stage at the College Football Playoff National Championship Monday afternoon to generate a $500,000 donation to the College Football Playoff Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers cause, the largest donation of its kind from an outside benefactor. Herbstreit completed a 20-yard throw while hundreds of onlookers cheered him on and millions watched during ESPN’s “College Football Live.”
Herbstreit, the former college quarterback and longtime Eckrich partner, had only one chance to complete the throw through a target to win a $1 million donation for College Football Playoff Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers cause. After two unsuccessful throws, the third time was a charm as Herbstreit’s perfect spiral went through the target. Despite the first missed throws, Eckrich surprised the CFP Foundation with a generous donation of $500,000.
This donation will help further elevate and support the teaching profession by providing resources, recognition, and fostering of the next generation of educational professionals. Teachers of the Year from across the country were on the sideline to cheer Herbstreit on and were thrilled to see Eckrich honor his third attempt and make the considerable half-million dollar donation.
Eckrich is completing its second year as the official smoked sausage and deli meat sponsor of the College Football Playoff. As part of the partnership, the brand launched the second year of its Road to the National Championship sweepstakes in the summer of 2017.
Kirk Herbstreit, ESPN College Football Analyst [00:01:14]
"It was so cool. You know we practice. It's very hard. It's much harder. I mean you can get right around the edges and not have a chance; only chance you have is to get it right through and before we came on air we were talking and I thought I had a chance. Came up just a little bit just to the outside and John Pauley and you guys at Eckrich were nice enough to give us one more chance for a half a million and thankfully I put it right through there and it just shows it can be done. So for next year, whoever that participant is, and that winner is, they'll have a shot to know that they can put it through."
Kirk Herbstreit, ESPN College Football Analyst [00:01:49]
"So great. I mean it's teachers are some of the, they're just kind of the heroes, the unsung heroes, often get overlooked. The importance of their job. I have four boys. So not only what teachers meant to me but to be able to witness it now firsthand as a dad to see what an important role they play in their lives because those kids they can only be home so long. They're being molded at school, learning so many life lessons so be able to have Eckrich support that cause and get behind that and be able to make this throw and give them the funds that they can use now to help them, kind of continue to give them strength to be able to do what at the end of the day what their mission statement is, which is helping children. It's a great thing."
John Pauley, Smithfield Foods Packaged Meats Division Executive Vice President [00:02:29]
"It means a lot. It means a lot for the brand means. It means a lot for the teachers that came here to see this event. We haven't had anybody win. And so we wanted to give money away. We wanted to be charitable and we had confidence in Kirk so it's a great great day."
John Pauley, Smithfield Foods Packaged Meats Division Executive Vice President [00:02:43]
"It's awesome exposure. I mean this game gets bigger and better being here in Atlanta. The weather didn't keep people away. I think they were excited to see this today."