The NFL kicks off the league’s second century with “2020 NFL Kickoff Presented By EA Sports Madden NFL 21” at 7:00 PM ET on Thursday, September 10. Welcoming fans back to football for the 101st season, coverage begins with the NFL Kickoff Special at 7 PM ET on NBC. Super Bowl LIV Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs will host the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium beginning at 8:20 PM ET.
The season opener will feature two of the best young quarterbacks in the game, Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl LIV and Houston’s Deshaun Watson, who have both led their respective teams to division titles in each of the past two seasons. In the 2019 AFC Divisional Round, Kansas City defeated Houston, 51-31, after trailing 24-0, becoming the first team in NFL history to win a playoff game by at least 20 points after trailing in that game by at least 20 points. Last season, Kansas City overcame a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to win Super Bowl LIV.
The 2020 Kickoff will celebrate the return of football and will also recognize an unprecedented offseason and honour the historic social justice movement and community engagement of our players and clubs across the country. Through the Inspire Change platform, the NFL will continue its long-term commitment to working in communities to bring about positive change.
On Thursday, September 10, the NFL produced Kickoff Livestream “It Takes All Of Us” Presented By EA Sports Madden NFL 21 will celebrate the start of the season and consist of features of the Kansas City Chiefs community impact, Inspire Change and a 2020 season preview. The livestream will run across NFL social channels including – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, NFL.com, Twitch and TikTok beginning at 7:05 PM ET.
A special rendition of LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING will be featured during NBC’s pregame coverage and will be celebrated throughout Kickoff Weekend. These features will serve to educate on the history of the song and highlight the work of NFL players in their communities. “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a song of inspiration and unity, was first written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson in 1900, and performed in Jacksonville, FL by a chorus of 500 children in honour of President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. The poem was set to music by Johnson’s brother, John Rosamond Johnson, and soon adopted by the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) as its official song and a celebration of faith and hope to become known as the Black National Anthem.
To honour the kick-off of an extraordinary season, the league’s newest brand campaign, “It Takes All Of Us” will leverage the scale and power of the NFL to unite our country. “It Takes All of Us” will debut with a :90-second film that will air before a special performance of the National Anthem. The season-long campaign will connect all league causes beginning with social justice and honouring those on the frontlines of COVID-19. For the duration of Week 1, all NFL fields will feature end zone stencils with the words “It Takes All of Us” and “End Racism.”
This season, NFL players, coaches, and officials can honour victims of systemic racism, victims of police brutality, and social justice heroes with helmet stickers and patches. Over 1400 players and 300 coaches and officials selected names or phrases, which included It Takes All of Us; End Racism; Stop Hate; and Black Lives Matter. Additionally, players have the option to wear a warmup tee with the unifying messages Injustice Against One of Us, Is Injustice Against All of Us (front of tee) and END RACISM (back of tee).
In addition to the live telecast of NFL Kickoff on NBC, the game will be streamed live across all devices via NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, NFL.com, and the NFL app. Additionally, fans on mobile devices can stream the game via the Texans and Chiefs mobile properties, Yahoo Sports, and other Verizon Media and NFL properties. Audio coverage of the game will be provided by Westwood One Radio, SiriusXM and the TuneIn app.
Al Michaels will call the action alongside Cris Collinsworth. Michele Tafoya will report from Arrowhead Stadium. Three-time Super Bowl referee Terry Mcaulay is the Sunday Night Football rules analyst.
2020 NFL Kickoff Presented BY EA Sports Madden NFL 21 will be executive produced by Emmy Award winning, Ricky Kirshner.
In addition to presenting sponsor EA Sports Madden NFL 21, top-tier sponsors for NFL Kickoff include Bose, Bud Light, Microsoft, Pepsi, Pizza Hut, SNICKERS and Verizon.
Sponsors including Pepsi and Microsoft are getting involved in enhancing the at-home fan experience. Wednesday, September 9 at 10 PM ET, fans can tune in to “Kickoff Eve Presented by Pepsi” on NFL Network. Microsoft Teams is working to power Fan Mosaics that will integrate live fans into the broadcast of select games throughout Kickoff Weekend.