Introducing the 4th Annual Madden NFL x HBCU Tournament

Introducing the 4th Annual Madden NFL x HBCU Tournament

Today we're excited to announce our partnership with the NFL to host the fourth annual EA SPORTS™ Madden NFL 24 x HBCU Tournament.

NEW YORK, NY, September 21, 2023 — The National Football League today announced registration is now open for the fourth annual EA SPORTS™ Madden NFL 24 x HBCU Tournament, an event designed for students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that have a passion for gaming and football. The tournament aims to maintain the tradition of providing students at HBCUs a chance to compete and explore the business of sports through practical learning and job shadowing experiences at the NFL Pro Bowl Games in Orlando, Fla., on February 4, 2024.

Students will have three paths to qualify for the HBCU Championship during the NFL Pro Bowl: Open Qualifiers, Women’s Qualifiers, and HBCU Video Applications. All undergraduate and graduate students attending an HBCU school are eligible to participate. The qualifiers will beheld in October, November and December, and students can compete in Madden NFL24 on PC, Xbox Series X or S, or PlayStation 5 systems. The top three players from both the Open and Women’s Qualifiers will advance to the HBCU Championship in Orlando.  


HBCU students can also participate by submitting a video application explaining why they should attend the HBCU Championship. Submissions are now open and will be accepted until December 1. The top two winners will be selected based on NFL criteria.  


The top eight players selected from the qualifiers and video applications will experience the NFL Pro Bowl Games on a whole new level. Students will participate in onsite media interviews before, during and after competitive play, as well as shadow NFL executives to learn about the business of sports. They will tour Camping World Stadium, interact with NFL players and receive a media pass for field access to the game. They will also have a chance to win cash and prizes throughout the tournament.




●     Qualifier 1: October 28, 2023 [Top 2 advance Qualifiers Finals]

●     Qualifier 2: November 4, 2023 [Top 2 advance Qualifiers Finals]

●     Qualifier 3: November 11, 2023 [Top 2 advance Qualifiers Finals]

●     Qualifier 4: November 18, 2023 [Top 2 advance Qualifiers Finals]

●     Open Qualifiers Finals: December 2, 2023 [Top 3 advance to Pro Bowl]

●     Women’s Qualifiers Finals: December 9, 2023 [Top 3 advance to Pro Bowl]

●     Video Applications Open: Now through December 1, 2023  


“Each year, the Madden Tournament showcases the top gaming talent within the HBCU community and provides students access to industry experts and career opportunities,” said Arthur McAfee, SVP of Football Operations - Pipeline Development at the NFL. “We are excited to provide this platform with new avenues for student involvement via the expanded women’s qualifier and HBCU video applications and look forward to exposing the top talent to a more in-depth look into the business of sports.”


"The Madden NFL x HBCU tournament continues to grow every year by leaps and bounds, driving us to deliver a competitive program for HBCU students and discover new ways to educate them on the business of sports," said Ed Kiang, VP of Video Gaming at the NFL. "We can’t wait to give the students access to all the behind-the-scenes action at the NFL Pro Bowl Games in Orlando."  


The NFL will partner with Rally Cry, a gaming technology company that builds inclusive gaming experiences for players of all ages and skill levels, who will be managing the marketing, qualifiers, registration, tournament execution and broadcast. The Rally Cry platform supports crossplay on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation. The highlights from the tournament will be broadcasted on the NFL YouTube channel ahead of the NFL Pro Bowl Games and Super Bowl LVIII.

For more information about the Madden NFL 24 x HBCU Tournament, visit

About the NFL HBCU Initiative
In May 2016, the NFL launched Strength of HBCUs, Impacting Pro Football Since1948 in partnership with two prominent HBCU athletic conferences — the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and Southwestern Athletic Conference(SWAC). The initiative has since expanded also to include other conferences and schools to recognize and strengthen its relationships with HBCUs across the country. Through these relationships, the NFL has developed several HBCU-focused programs to educate and connect students to careers in football administration and the sports industry at large.

About Rally Cry  

Rally Cry powers community-focused gaming experiences for players of all ages and skill levels. Founded by esports industry veterans, the company is creating organized ways for gamers to connect, play, and compete with each other. Rally Cry's world class competitive platform powers epic community gaming experiences for premier game publishers in addition to youth, collegiate, military, and amateur communities. Rally Cry partners with organizations such as the US Air Force, Riot Games, LEARFIELD, and the National Football League.