NBC Sports’ Coverage of Grambling-Southern Rivalry Extended Through 2012

The NBC Sports Group, Southern University System, and Grambling State University have announced that the NBC Sports Group will continue to broadcast the State Farm Bayou Classic, a Thanksgiving weekend tradition, through the 2012 contest. As part of the agreement, State Farm has extended its title sponsorship of the event.

NBC Sports has been the home of the Bayou Classic, a classic matchup of the Southern University Jaguars and the Grambling State University Tigers that takes place annually on Thanksgiving weekend, since 1991.

“The Bayou Classic is a slice of Americana, and at the end of this agreement we will have broadcast this iconic event for 23 straight years,” said Jon Miller, president, programming, NBC Sports and VERSUS. “We look forward to continuing to broadcast this Thanksgiving weekend tradition to college football fans across the country.”

“Southern University, the nation’s only HBCU System, is pleased to continue our partnership with State Farm and NBC for the State Farm Bayou Classic,” said Ronald Mason, Jr., president, Southern University System. “The NBC Sports broadcast and the title sponsorship help us spread our Jaguar pride into millions of households nationwide. Bayou Classic is more than a football game, it’s a tradition of family fun and camaraderie that we look forward to every Thanksgiving weekend.”

“The State Farm Bayou Classic is much more than a wonderful football game between two of America’s distinguished universities; it is the largest athletic signature event for HBCU’s in the world,” said Dr. Frank G. Pogue, president, Grambling State University. “Its success has been a commitment to bringing people together.”

“We are proud to continue to be title sponsor of an event as rich in history as the Bayou Classic. State Farm has always had a strong commitment to higher education and the communities in which we live and work. The State Farm Bayou Classic is another way to demonstrate that commitment,” said Pam El, marketing vice president for State Farm. “Working with NBC has given the Classic and State Farm the ability to share this event with people across the country and become a part of Thanksgiving weekend traditions. We are thrilled for the opportunity to continue working with NBC.”

One of the highlights of the NBC Sports broadcasts is the renowned “Battle of the Bands” halftime show, during which the marching bands of both Southern University and Grambling State University put on an exciting display of talent.

The first ever Bayou Classic, won 21-0 by Grambling, was played in New Orleans’ Tulane Stadium in 1974.

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