With the ribbon cutting and ceremonies less than four months away, the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Visa U.S.A. are continuing their national fan search for the inaugural “Visa Hall of Fans” exhibit at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. As part of the new exhibit, for the first time, avid NFL fans will be honored in the hallowed halls of professional football.
The “Visa Hall of Fans” exhibit at the Pro Football Hall of Fame will celebrate the most loyal, knowledgeable and enthusiastic fans in pro football. Each NFL team will be featured in a display that recognizes its “greatest fan.”
“The Hall of Fame has welcomed more than six million visitors since opening in 1963,” said John Bankert, executive director, Pro Football Hall of Fame. “Now, the Hall of Fame can express our appreciation to these avid NFL fans through the ‘Visa Hall of Fans’ exhibit.”
In a celebration befitting the NFL’s most passionate followers, the “greatest fan” from each of the NFL’s 31 teams (including Cleveland) will be honored at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in January 1999. During a ribbon- cutting ceremony, the exhibit will be unveiled and the NFL’s greatest fans will be recognized.
Walter Payton, Hall of Fame running back and the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, kicked-off the search for the NFL fans in New York last month. “The league would not exist without the fans,” said Payton. “When I played with the Bears, we had some of the most devoted fans in the league, and it’s great to see the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Visa paying tribute to the fans throughout the NFL.”
The “Visa Hall of Fans” exhibit will capture fan spirit and emotion through displays of well-known fan groups and famous fan mementos. The exhibit will also include a historical perspective on the importance of NFL fans, tracing how fans have impacted the league and NFL teams.
“Visa is proud to create this new and much deserved exhibit at the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” said Michael Lynch, vice president, Event and Sponsorship Marketing, Visa U.S.A. “The ‘Visa Hall of Fans’ is a perfect vehicle to acknowledge the fan dedication and passion that makes football America’s most popular spectator sport.”
Grand prize winners representing each NFL football team will be announced in December 1998 and honored at the “Visa Hall of Fans” grand opening in January 1999. Each winning fan will receive a two-day, two-night trip for two to Canton, Ohio, to be honored in pro football’s ultimate shrine.
Contest entrants are asked to provide a photograph of themselves and a 50- word essay explaining “Why I Should Represent My Team’s Fans at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.” Fans should log on to http://www.visa.com or call 1-800-VISA-511 prior to entering for complete rules, including entry requirements and judging criteria. Entries then must be sent by mail to: “Visa Hall of Fans” at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Contest, P.O. Box 4632, Blair, NE, 68009-4632. Entries must be postmarked by 10/23/98 and received by 10/30/98.
The winning fan from each of 31 NFL teams will be selected by a panel of representatives from the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the NFL and Visa. Judging will be based on knowledge of the sport/team, enthusiasm, team loyalty and creativity.
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