On January 31, 2012, the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration held an informational press conference at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center ( NFL Media Center). Featuring concert founder and executive producer, Melanie Few-Harrison, this Super Bowl Gospel Celebration Press Conference was an awesome launch to the concert. The concert will take place today, Friday, February 1, 2013 at the UNO Lakefront Arena, boasting performances by Donnie McClurkin, Fantasia, Pastor Marvin Winans, Bishop Paul S. Morton and hip hop Christian artist Lecrae, just to name a few.
In its 14th year, the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration is the only NFL sanctioned gospel event in the country. Its a powerful testament to this event’s appeal to engage such a wide ranging audience. A sentiment not lost on Gospel Celebration co- host (along with The View’s Sherri Shepherd) and return guest, Kirk Franklin. “There are challenges of mainstream events to understand the culture of people of faith… It’s the only sanctioned NFL gospel event. That in itself is very historic. I have been apart of other professional athletic programs that have tried… and it hasn’t been able to hold on like this… I am very excited and humbled to be invited back,” said Franklin. Kirk will also direct the NFL Players Choir for tomorrow’s concert. Started in 2007, after a few renegade NFL players unexpectedly ran on stage during a Gospel Celebration performance by Patti Labelle, the NFL Players Choir has become one of the most popular aspects of the concert.
Also in attendance for the press conference was concert performer Lecrae. Lecrae has used his ability manipulate hip-hop’s rhythms and cadences to pass on his messages of faith and hope. He boast over 500,000 Twitter followers and has found a home in the lockers rooms of players of all sports. “I am able connect in a way many are not. I am like a faith based Tupac,” said Lecrae. In fact, Lecrae was named this year’s NFL Player’s Choice.
Another big component of the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration is both its corporate sponsors and charitable partners. This year’s event is sponsored by Toyota (represented by Jim Colon, VP of Product Communication) and American Family Insurance (represented by Telisa Yancy, Director of Advertising). Both Colon and Yancy spoke on what motivated their respective companies to be involved with the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration. At the forefront, was each companies’ yearning to establish relationships with organizations “associated with positivity.”
On hand were husband and wife duo, Darryn and Cherine DeWalt, as representatives of the Sharper Kids Foundation. The Sharper Kids Foundation is the charitable organization of retired NFL player of the New Orleans Saints, Darren Sharpen. It was always important to Sharper (and brother and fellow NFLer Jamie Sharper) to pay it forward in each NFL city they represented. According to Darryn DeWalt, “In each one of those cities and communities, we [the Sharper Foundation] made sure that we gave back. And when Darren ended up his career here [in New Orleans], we decided this is where we wanted to be. Simply because this city has gone through so much.” The Sharper Kids Foundation’s programs to benefit from donations of the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration concert are Hope for the Holidays and the Sharper Kids
Get Fit Program. Hope for the Holidays helps to rebuild blighted homes for needy families during the holidays and the Get Fit Program helps school age children to get fit and eat healthy through after school programs and the Sharper Kids Café.
This year’s event honoree is Baltimore Raven and Super Bowl contender, Ray Lewis. ” His accomplishment and triumphs have inspired football fans, teammates and colleagues–a true representation of what the essence of the convergences of faith and football is all about,” said Few-Harrison.
Tickets are still available for this amazing event. Please click here to purchase.
WHEN: Friday, February 1, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
UNO Lake Front Arena
6801 Franklin Ave
New Orleans, LA 70122
Ticket prices range from $48.95-100.75. Please click here to purchase.