Nerjyzing Diversity in the Video Gaming Industry

Company CEO takes HBCU football to next level

What other hurdles did you have to overcome to produce the video game?

The process for obtaining licenses from the schools took a little bit longer than what we would have really liked. Those institutions are very accustomed to licensing their brands for t-shirts and cups but licensing for a video game was very new. So we had to spend a little bit more time in educating them and getting them comfortable with the entire video game industry model. Once we got to that point the processes for getting the licenses and closing contracts went a little bit faster.

How much in sales do you need to make in order to consider the project successful?

Success for us is going to be achieved [by reaching] $14 million in revenue. Now we are in the process of making sure that everybody is set, ready, and prepared for the Christmas push on marketing and promotions, and making sure we have enough inventory in the [retail] channel, which is why I’m spending direct time with retailers like Walmart.

What role did HBCUs play in getting the game launched?

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities have supported the roll out of the product. They have participated with us in some of our TV show airings, and allowed us to come on their campuses and promote the game. Their bands got involved in recordings, and we recruited their cheerleaders and band members to do motion capture [to create animation in the game]. So they were an integral part in not just creating the product, but helping to promote it and drive sales and we’re providing royalties [from the game back to them].

Why is the game called the “The Doug Williams Edition”?

He’s been the first in so many categories — first African American quarterback to not only start in and win a NFL Super Bowl but then to be named MVP [of the game].  Doug is a huge proponent and spokesperson for Black college football. He and James Jack Harris, [who both played for Grambling State University,] just announced the formation of the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame.

There are so many greats that came from these institutions—like  Jerry Rice and Walter Payton — and a lot of people really don’t know that they did. We want to pay respect to all of these individuals that have made an enormous impact on not just collegiate football, but on the entire game of football, even at the NFL level.

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