Celebrate road to kickoff

Panthers fans can show their team spirit in a unique way and commemorate the kickoff of the 2010 regular season with the Back to Football Friday celebration on Friday, Sept. 10. The Panthers open the regular season at the New York Giants on Sunday, Sept. 12 at 1 p.m. EDT.

Back to Football Friday is a way for communities in the Carolinas and nationwide to show their excitement for the return of NFL football. Beginning now and continuing through Kickoff Weekend (Sept. 9-12), the NFL and United Way are teaming up to celebrate the start of the 2010 season.

Fans are encouraged to demonstrate their Panthers pride and enthusiasm for the upcoming season by planning a unique Back to Football Friday event for their communities, in the workplace, or at school - all to support youth health and wellness.

Whether they're planning a pep rally or wearing their favorite team jersey or shirt to school or work, fans can show their passion in any creative way on Sept. 10 and enter for the chance to win once-in-a-lifetime prizes from the NFL.

Schools can enter the Back to Football Friday contest at www.NFLRUSH.com/BackToFootball. They will be asked to submit photos of their Back to Football Friday event and answer brief essay questions for the chance to win a $10,000 NFL PLAY 60 grant for fitness equipment at their school and a visit from an NFL player this fall.

Thirty-four winning schools will be selected as "NFL PLAY 60 Super Schools," one in each of the 32 NFL markets, and two at-large winners. Through the contest, schools can cheer on their favorite teams, while supporting the health and wellness of children in their community

Fans can also take their team loyalties to work on Sept. 10 by wearing their favorite Panthers jersey or gear or planning a special office event to celebrate the return of football season. Working with United Way, the NFL is offering companies the chance to show their NFL passion and win a Back to Football celebration and player visit at their office. Companies can register to take part at United Way's special Back to Football website, www.UnitedWay.org/BackToFootball.

Many NFL sponsors are planning Back to Football Friday celebrations for their employees. As a supporter of Back to Football Friday, Dick's Sporting Goods is providing special retail offers for NFL fans who participate in a celebration, as well as a $500 gift certificate to each of the "NFL PLAY 60 Super Schools." NFL retail partner Old Navy also will integrate special Back to Football themes and sections within its stores and national promotion in the days leading up to the start of the NFL season.

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