* HOUSTON –*In a press conference today, it was announced that Round Rock, Texas-based computer company Dell will sponsor the 2007 East-West Shrine All-Star Game. The game will be called the Dell East-West Shrine Game, and will be nationally televised on ESPN2.
The game will be played in Houston, on Saturday, January 20, with a scheduled kickoff time of 6:00 p.m. CST. The television agreement with ESPN2 is a four-year deal, ensuring that the network will carry the game through 2010.
"Dell's commitment to health care extends beyond the information technology work we do with hospitals in the U.S.," said Linda Rebrovick, vice president of Dell's healthcare business. "Our long-standing relationship with the Shriners and our support of this event is an example of how a global corporation such as Dell can drive local benefits for communities. We couldn't be more proud to support the Shriners in their efforts to help children in need."
The annual college all-star game has raised more than $14 million since 1925 to help support the Shriners Hospitals for Children. This year will be the 82nd edition of the Shrine Game, which makes it the second-oldest post-season college football game. Only the Rose Bowl, which will enter its 93rd year of existence, has been around longer.
Hundreds of East-West Shrine Game alumni have gone on to play in the National Football League, including current Houston Texans DE Jason Babin, who played in the game in 2004, and C Drew Hodgdon, who played in the 2005 game. 57 Shrine Game alumni have gone on to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including Doak Walker, John Elway and Bob Lilly. Other notable alumni include President Gerald Ford, Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy and Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre.
The game will bring together over 100 of the top collegiate players in America, hundreds of NFL personnel and more than 5,500 Shriners from the Houston area for a week of activities. One of the annual highlights of the East-West Shrine Game is the players' visit to local Shriners hospitals.
Over 770,000 children have been helped in the 83-year history of the Shriners Hospitals for Children. The hospitals serve patients under the age of 18 that need spinal cord, orthopedic and burn care and are unable to pay. The Shriners provide $1.7 million in free medical care each day at 22 hospitals nationwide.