The NFL and Microsoft Surface have partnered together on the inaugural “Anything But Ordinary” Player of the Year award that highlights the passions and innovations of players throughout the NFL.
The Buccaneers’ nominee is wide receiver Mike Evans for hosting annual celebrity golf tournaments and partaking in non-profit video game tournaments. His innovative efforts are intended to give back to graduating high schoolers coming from low-income households.
You can learn more about Evans’ nomination (and vote) here.
On Saturday, Feb. 1, the “Anything But Ordinary” Player of the Year award will be presented at NFL HONORS, the League’s annual award show. While innovation has fueled players’ physical performance and record-breaking statistics on gamedays, this award will honor players pushing the envelope through entrepreneurship, technology, and literary or creative arts in their day-to-day lives.
The Surface “Anything But Ordinary” Player of the Year will be announced alongside the League’s most prestigious awards, such as the Most Valuable Player, Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, as well as the introduction of the newest members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“At Microsoft, empowering every person and every organization to achieve more is our number one goal. And innovation plays a critical role in that,” said Eli Friedman, GM of Integrated Marketing at Microsoft. “Through our partnership with the NFL, we’ve worked closely with the League, coaches and players to provide Surface devices on the sidelines to help improve the performance and efficiency of the game, as well as the speed of instant replay. We’ve also witnessed the unique talents and creative and entrepreneurial endeavors that the players are pursuing off the field, where technology can play a critical role in helping them to achieve their goals. Being able to recognize those players and their passions is a tremendous opportunity, especially if it inspires the next generation of creators and innovators to stand out from the crowd and pursue their own ideas.”
Given that no one knows the players and their interests better than the fans of the League’s 32 teams, the finalist of the Anything But Ordinary Player of the Year award will be determined by fan voting. Microsoft will also send one lucky fan to Miami as part of the fan voting sweepstakes. One grand prize winner will receive two tickets to Super Bowl LIV and two tickets to NFL HONORS in addition to hotel, and airfare.
A full list of nominees and their stories can be found at anythingbutordinaryaward.com.
(Parts of this report comes from the official press release.)