As the NFL gear flies off of the shelves and Super Bowl 50 party planning goes into full effect, Verizon has something special up its sleeve to make the historic football experience that much greater. For their latest campaign, #Minute50, Verizon teams up with New York Giants Rashad Jennings to be the gift that just keeps on giving to loyal customers.
Earlier this week (January 28), the 30 year-old athlete made an appearance at the kick off event for the text-to-win promotion at a Verizon store, located in the bustling city of New York City. Giants and NFL fans / customers had the chance to meet and greet the running back.
VIBE chatted it up with Jennings about partnering up with the telecommunications company for #Minute50, his own personal Super Bowl 50 prediction, and what he’s looking forward to the most heading into next season.
VIBE: Super Bowl is always the best day for football fans and this promotion makes it that much more of an exciting experience for all. How exactly did this partnership come about?
Rashad Jennings: Verizon is one of the sponsors of the NFL, so obviously we travel around the world with what we do from city to city. And having service is very important so since we’re everywhere then we might as well be everywhere with Verizon. Their coverage is outstanding and their customer service is outstanding and this is a company that I align myself with.
With Super Bowl 50 being right around the corner, you’ve teamed up with Verizon for their #Minute50 national promotion. How has it been working with them?
It has been awesome. I’m here with Verizon to kick off their Minute 50 campaign, which is exclusive offers to the loyal Verizon customers. They get to win rewards every 50 minutes so on every 50th minute of each hour such as 1:50pm, 2:50pm, etc. Verizon is going to pick loyal customers to give rewards. They’re giving out one-on-one experiences with celebrities and football players, free data, gift cards, and cool accessories. And how you enter to win, is that you text message the word “Minute50” to 502016, for Super Bowl 50 in 2016, in order to win and this is Verizon’s way of saying thank you so much to all their loyal customers and that they appreciate their services.
You play alongside a Manning and know first hand the greatness that runs through that family. You also know what Cam Newton brings to the table after the Giants faced the Panthers this season. Who do you believe will be the last team standing?
It’ll be nice, if true, to see Peyton go out with a win. But I think those Panthers are tough, so I kind of see the Panthers taking this victory. It’s always tough as a player because you know so many athletes from each team that you don’t just want to root for one. But I think the Panthers definitely have the advantage on this game.
We’re very familiar with Rashad Jennings, the football player. But your avid social media followers have seen #ShadThePoet, #ShadCouture, #ShadThespian, and so much more. Is there anything that you can’t do? And what is the drive behind your versatility?
I love learning and it’s ironic because I had 0.6 GPA when I was growing up so it keeps me in tune. It’s a lot of things that inspire me. I started off in psychology and sociology because I eventually want to become a marriage counselor, but that’s going to be down the road. I’ve always been intrigued by the masterminds behind things and I’ve always wanted to be that cool granddad that can just do a little bit of everything. So it keeps me entertained, it keeps me going, and you’re able to teach and do a lot of public speaking engagements and interact with different cultures to understand why people think the way that they think when you’re in tune to everybody’s hobbies.
A new chapter is on the horizon for you and the Giants next season with head coach, Ben McAdoo, taking over. How do you feel about the coaching change and the direction you guys are taking going forward?
I’m excited! I think we hit it on the head. I really appreciate the fact that we didn’t go outside of in-house for a coach because we’re close; we’ve been a really great team. We have somebody that understands the details of what’s going on and also he’s a great coach. Like I said before, he can command a room. He’s smart, he’s poised, he’s savvy and he knows how to motivate everybody on an individual level so I’m excited to have him up front.
You’re very active in giving back to the community, whether it’s in the local New York or New Jersey area to your hometown in Virginia. Is there anything that the people should look forward to from the Rashad Jennings Foundation?
Yes! We’re doing a launch of the mentoring program out at the Super Bowl on Feb. 2. I’m holding another Camp 180 in Virginia along with the family fun day along with the reading challenge seminar that’s going to be in Lynchburg, Virginia. I’m looking to do another Camp 180 here in New Jersey and the rest, I’m just traveling around doing public speaking. Oh, and I’m going to be doing some Shad the Poet stuff, too.
What is the biggest thing you’re looking forward to from both a football and personal perspective?
For football, I really look forward to making the playoffs next year. From a personal standpoint, I’m really looking forward to falling into alignment with everything that God has set for me. I’m excited to see what that looks like.
Before you go out and rack up on your brand new Cam Newton jersey or possibly prepare to say your final farewell to the legend that is Peyton Manning, make sure that you don’t miss out on winning from prizes from Verizon. Winners and their prizes, including signed NFL merchandise, technology products, data, NFL Store gift cards and tickets to Super Bowl 50, will be announced at the 50th minute of every hour, every day until game day (for a total of 336 rewards).
A San Francisco edition of the promotion begins January 30. Fans can enter into hourly drawings and winners receive a text alert to claim their prize at minute 50 of every hour at the Verizon Access Zone in Super Bowl City. To enter, Verizon customers can simply text “Minute50” to 502016 or if in San Francisco, text “SFMinute50” to 502016.