Bills, Giants & Jets partner with NY State on vaccine incentive program


Governor Kathy Hochul today announced an integrated media and vaccine incentive program in partnership with all three New York professional football teams to support vaccinations among currently unvaccinated New Yorkers. The multiscale marketing effort and #VaxandWin Football Sweepstakes includes the Buffalo Bills, the New York Giants, and the New York Jets who join the State in urging all unvaccinated New York adults and eligible school-aged adolescents to get vaccinated this fall as New Yorkers return to school, work, and football.

"As we heard from the players themselves, the best defense is a good offense. New York State has made tremendous progress in vaccinating eligible New Yorkers - but there is still work to be done. As a new football season begins, I am proud to announce this unique vaccine incentive program with all of New York's professional football teams to continue this work on a new playing field," Governor Hochul said. "I thank New York's teams—the Buffalo Bills, the New York Giants, and the New York Jets—for kicking this creative program off with us, and joining the State in spreading the message on the importance of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. If you've been waiting, now is the time to get vaccinated."

Working with all three New York football teams in one of the most expansive vaccine activations to date, the integrated marketing campaign includes new vaccine encouragement videos and radio segments with alumni players from each team who have each received the COVID-19 vaccine themselves. The campaign also includes the integration of the State's vaccine messaging across each team's media channels including television, radio in English and Spanish through the New York Giants, podcast, digital, and social media to reach all New York families through a voice they can trust - their favorite football teams.

The new vaccination program expands on the State's commitment to ensure no stone is left unturned in our effort to vaccinate all eligible New Yorkers. To date, over 80% of New York adults have received at least one vaccine dose (CDC), while 59.3% of 12 - 17-year-olds and 68.9% of 16 - 25-year-old's have received at least one vaccine dose. Complimenting the State's multi-prong #VaxtoSchool strategy, activating trusted messenger networks that can speak to parents and school-aged New Yorkers about the importance of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine remains crucial to the State's efforts.

"The State's work to ensure all eligible New Yorkers receive the COVID-19 vaccine continues," said Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. "Our partnership with New York's professional football teams across a multitude of mediums will help expand our reach during a critical moment, and as the fall season begins. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our greatest protection against the virus - and I thank the Buffalo Bills, the New York Giants, and the New York Jets for joining us as we continue to reach New Yorkers of all ages in inspiring and effective ways."

Bruce Smith, Former Buffalo Bills Player and Hall of Fame Defensive End: "I'm proud to be a part of this dynamic initiative to get New Yorkers vaccinated. We're all players on the same team in the fight against COVID-19. Together we can win."

Kim Pegula, Buffalo Bills Owner and President: "We are proud to support the efforts of Governor Kathy Hochul and New York State in the continued fight against COVID-19. By joining with the Giants and Jets, we are all hopeful we can help improve our vaccination rate in our state."

"The New York Giants are proud to partner with New York State and the Department of Health on this very important initiative to encourage people to get vaccinated," said Ronnie Barnes, Senior Vice President of Medical Services, New York Giants. "Every vaccinated individual will help us save lives and move beyond this pandemic that has impacted so many of us. The vaccines have shown to be extremely effective in slowing the spread and keeping people safe. Anybody who has questions about the vaccine should speak with their personal physician."

"The health and safety of our community is our number one priority," said Dr. Damion Martins, Chief Medical Officer of the New York Jets. "As New Yorkers continue to get back to school, work, and events, we encourage all who are eligible to get vaccinated to do so. On behalf of the New York Jets organization, we are proud to partner with the State on this important work and spread the message to all New Yorkers so we can protect ourselves and protect each other. "

As part of the program, the State has launched the #VaxandWin Football Sweepstakes, a new vaccine incentive program featuring all three football teams. Entries for the sweepstakes are open today for all New Yorkers who received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose September 9 through October 24, providing yet another compelling call for New Yorkers to get vaccinated.

Eligible New Yorkers 18 and older can enter to win prizes for the whole family from the Buffalo Bills, the New York Giants, and the New York Jets including up to four game tickets, special in-game experiences, stadium tours, signed team gear, FaceTime calls with alumni players, and more. Parents or guardians can enter for their eligible 12 - 17-year-old children. The first winners will be announced September 29, with new drawings taking place each week following for the next four weeks.

New Yorkers can visit, text their ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find a nearby vaccine location and get vaccinated against COVID-19 today.

To learn more about New York State's #VaxandWin football sweepstakes, interested New Yorkers can visit the site here and eligible New Yorkers can enter the sweepstakes here.

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and school-aged children, New Yorkers can visit our dedicated website or follow @VaccinateNY on Instagram.

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