JOHN MELENDEZ – “TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO” ANNOUNCER
BART SCOTT – PRO BOWL LINEBACKER
LAMARR WOODLEY – SUPER BOWL CHAMPION LINEBACKER / “TACKLE MY RIDE” (NFL NETWORK) HOST
JAMES HARRISON – 2X SUPER BOWL CHAMPION LINEBACKER / PITTSBURGH STEELERS ALL-TIME SACK RECORD
MARSHAWN LYNCH – SUPER BOWL CHAMPION RUNNING BACK / 5X PRO BOWL SELECTION
GUEST HOSTS: MICHAEL BISPING – UFC MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION
PAIGE VANZANT – UFC / “DANCING WITH THE STARS”
CHARITABLE PARTNERSHIP WITH:
THE GIVING BACK FUND
THE SHOWS ALSO FEATURE PLAYERS PARTICIPATING IN EVENTS AROUND LAS VEGAS IN CONJUNCTION WITH:
KÀ BY CIRQUE DU SOLEIL AT MGM GRAND / TOP GOLF AT MGM GRAND / BROOKLYN BOWL / POLE POSITION RACEWAY
For Immediate Release May 15, 2017
Las Vegas, NV – The 2017 Inaugural Pro Football Armwrestling Championships, featuring 32 professional football players competing for charity in a thrilling arm wrestling tournament, will air nationally in a television series on CBS. The high-intensity event will air in three parts – two Preliminary Rounds shows will air during Memorial Day Weekend, on May 27 & 28 at 2-3pmET/1pmCT. The Final Rounds / Championship Show will air on Saturday, June 3 at 2-3pmET/1pmCT, which will include the crowning of the 2017 Heavyweight & Light Heavyweight Pro Football Armwrestling Champions! Each Champion will be awarded $100,000 in prize money, $50,000 of which will be donated to the charity/charities of their choice.
The Pro Football Armwrestling Championships, produced by Encinal Entertainment Group, were filmed live on April 5-9, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The shows are emceed by John Melendez (“Tonight Show with Jay Leno” announcer) and hosted by: Bart Scott (show co-host), Pro Bowl linebacker; LaMarr Woodley (show co-host), Super Bowl Champion linebacker & host of “Tackle My Ride” on NFL Network; James Harrison (Team Coach), 2x Super Bowl Champion linebacker & Pittsburgh Steelers All-Time Sack Record Holder; and Marshawn Lynch (Team Coach), Super Bowl Champion running back & 5x Pro Bowl Selection. Guest Hosts include: Michael Bisping, UFC Middleweight Champion and Paige VanZant, UFC Fighter and “Dancing With The Stars” celebrity.
The 2017 Pro Football Armwrestling Championship is presented in partnership with the Giving Back Fund (GBF), to provide current and former players with professional philanthropic guidance and advice. GBF representatives will present the Champion in each weight class with a Fund, from which each player can make the $50,000 donation in their name, to a charity or to charities of their choice. The GBF will also donate consulting services in order to help facilitate that process.
Cameras were rolling as players interacted throughout the five days of energy-filled filming, as: Teams were announced; Players competed in side events around Las Vegas, at the: Top Golfgolfing range; Brooklyn Bowlbowling lanes & entertainment venue and at the Pole Position Raceway go-kart track. Cameras continued to capture all of the Armwrestling action, as brackets were narrowed down through several rounds of competition.
Prior to the competitions, Travis Bagent, Professional Armwrestling Super Heavyweight Champion and Devon Larratt, Professional Armwrestling Heavyweight Champion provided players with Arm Wrestling Training & Safety Sessions.
Preliminary Rounds were held at the KÀ Theatre at MGM Grand, whereCirque du Soleil permanent residence performances are held. The staff and performers from KÀ were integrated into the filming of the show. The Final Rounds Show was taped with a live, public audience at Hakkasan Night Club at MGM on Saturday, April 8.
Fans can follow the Pro Football Armwrestling Championship at www.profootballarmwrestling.comand by using the username: @PFArmWrestling on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat and by using the hashtag: #ProFootballArmWrestling.
The Giving Back Fund (GBF) is a national public charity, founded in 1997, that creates and professionally manages charitable foundations and other philanthropic programs for athletes, entertainers, business entrepreneurs, and corporations. Now celebrating our 20th Anniversary year, GBF has created an important niche in expanding and diversifying philanthropy, particularly among young people, women and people of color. Our unique structure allows donors to direct more of their charitable dollars to causes they care about and less to administrative overhead. To date, The Giving Back Fund has provided philanthropic consulting, management and programming to more than 250 athletes, entertainers, entrepreneurs, and other high net worth individuals, including Yao Ming, Ben Roethlisberger, Doug Flutie, Arian Foster, DeMarco Murray, Steve Gleason, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Elton Brand and Jalen Rose. GBF has overseen the distribution of more than $50,000,000 in charitable grants within the United States and other countries, and has developed dozens of unique scholarship, mentoring, medical, arts, and other philanthropic programs. The Giving Back Fund's core principals are innovation and integrity in philanthropy. Collaboration is a hallmark of our work and in this regard, GBF has convened three international medical Summits bringing together the top 100 stakeholders from Big Pharma, entrepreneurial Bio-tech and academic medicine in the fields of ALS, Lung Cancer and Parkinson's disease. GBF also convenes an annual Sports and Entertainment Philanthropy Best Practices Summit featuring world class nonprofit experts as our way of giving back to our community. For additional information, please visit www.givingback.org.
About KÀ and Cirque du Soleil
KÀ by Cirque du Soleil captivates audiences with its heroic journey of love and conflict set within a dynamic theatrical landscape that conjures an entire empire on stage. KÀ performs at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas Saturday through Wednesday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is now a major Quebec-based organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. The company has close to 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from close to 50 different countries. Cirque duSoleil has brought wonder and delight to more than 160 million spectators in 400 cities in sixty countries on six continents.
In Las Vegas, Cirque du Soleil has seven permanent resident shows. In addition to Michael Jackson ONE, these productions include Mystère at Treasure Island, “O” at Bellagio Resort & Casino, Zumanity at New York-New York Hotel & Casino, KÀ at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, The Beatles™ LOVE™ at The Mirage Hotel & Casino and MINDFREAK® LIVE! at Luxor Hotel and Casino. For more information, visit the Cirque du Soleil website at https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/las-vegas. Like on Facebook or Tweet: @Cirque.
Pro Football Arm Wrestling Championship
Taping LIVE at the MGM Las Vegas April 5-9
Airing on CBS Network: May 27 & 28 and June 3; 2-3pm ET