(StatePoint) Service members stationed or deployed away from home often put the treasured Sunday NFL football game-watching ritual on pause because of work responsibilities, time zone differences or lack of access to the game broadcasts.
Fortunately, more service members can get this “home away from home” experience thanks to the generosity of the NFL, which donates NFL Game Pass to the USO’s overseas centers, where they can access the games through an app called DAZN. This partnership between the USO and the NFL’s Salute to Service initiative makes it possible for the people who serve to watch the game live on Sundays, and join in the shared moments that bring millions of Americans together.
Being stationed abroad can be isolating, making Sunday viewing parties more than just a fun weekly event. Watching the games live is also a way for service members to stay connected to family and friends back home. They text and call during the game, sharing the moments in real time. And like much of USO’s programming, these events also provide service members with professional connections and a sense of normalcy under difficult circumstances, helping build a sense of camaraderie among attendees.
Bringing live games to those overseas is just one aspect of the USO-NFL partnership, which began over 55 years ago. Through its support of USO Center expansions, holiday programming and a variety of other events, the NFL helps deliver sports, entertainment and gaming to service members across the world. Continuing the advancement of USO centers around the world, the NFL is supporting a new USO center aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). This center includes many of the amenities of a land-based center, such as comfortable seating, TVs, video and board games, USO program kits and snacks.
Another example of the partnership is the USO-NFL Mobile Gaming Trailer, which complements brick-and-mortar USO centers by bringing gaming stations to remote locations. Additionally, the annual Salute to Service Showdown, an EA SPORTS Madden NFL 24 tournament that began in 2021, brings military members together over a shared love of football and gaming. Each year, the winners of the tournament score two tickets to the Super Bowl.
Speaking of the Super Bowl, attendees will have a chance to visit the USO exhibit, get a firsthand look at a mobile gaming center, and show their support for service members.
To learn more about USO programming that strengthens the well-being of the people serving in America’s military and their families, visit uso.org.
Watching football on Sunday is something that most Americans take for granted. Thanks to USO programming, more members of the military are able to share in the experience.