To honor and support first responders, Verizon is launching a campaign during the NFL’s AFC and NFC Championship games that will culminate with an in-game ad during Super Bowl LIII on Sunday, Feb. 3 on CBS.

The campaign, directed by Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, Deepwater Horizon, Patriots Day), tells the story of “the team that wouldn’t be here.” That team is composed of 11 NFL players and 1 coach, Anthony Lynn of the Los Angeles Chargers, who would have lost their lives if it weren’t for the efforts of first responders.

In Lynn’s case, he was hit by a hit-and-run driver and tossed 45 or 50 feet into the air before he crashed down on the hood of another vehicle, destroying it and additionally injuring himself. One first responder managed to open Lynn’s airway while another quickly got him into an ambulance, hooked up to machines to help him breathe on the way to the hospital and surgery.

Similarly, the players — including Oakland Raiders quarterback AJ McCarron, Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews and Houston Texans defensive end Carlos Watkins — all were rescued by first responders from life-threatening situations.

When all the footage was collected, there was so much there that Verizon, Berg and agency McCann decided to make a half-hour documentary about the first responders’ back stories as well, which will premiere at Super Bowl Live—the event’s fan village that’s presented by Verizon—in Atlanta on Jan. 31.

All 12 of the short films and other content are available at Verizon is partnering with the Gary Sinise Foundation’s First Responders Outreach, which provides grants to first-response organizations to help with emergency relief, training and essential equipment.

Visitors are encouraged to use their favorite social platforms to share the videos, using hashtag #AllOurThanks. For every social share, Verizon will donate $1 up to $1.5 million to First Responders Outreach.

Verizon also is using the campaign to remind viewers that emergency calls are often made on Verizon’s network. At the end of each spot, copy appears that reads “First responders answer the call. Our job is to make sure they can get it.”


Tags: first responders mccann nfl super bowl verizon

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