ESPN SportsCenter anchor Jay Harris and actor Mel Jackson will team up to serve as emcee and keynote speaker at the 2007 MEAC-SWAC Challenge Kick-Off Luncheon Friday, August 31 at 12 p.m. CT at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel (Grand Ballroom). The luncheon will spotlight the schools, players and coaches participating in the third annual MEAC-SWAC Challenge college football game. This year’s event, which is owned-and-operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT), will feature a matchup between Florida A&M University (MEAC) and Southern University (SWAC). The game will be nationally televised live on ESPN Classic Saturday, September 1 at 2 p.m. CT from Birmingham, Alabama’s Legion Field.
About Jay Harris
Jay Harris joined ESPN in February 2003 as an ESPNEWS and SportsCenter anchor. In fall of 2006, Harris was named anchor of the 5 p.m. CT edition of SportsCenter, ESPN’s flagship sports news and information program.
Harris came to ESPN from WPGH-TV in Pittsburgh, Pa. where he was a news anchor/reporter. With more than 14 years experience in television and radio news, Harris was a morning anchor at WAMO-FM in Pittsburgh and at WOWI-FM in his hometown of Norfolk, Va.
About Mel Jackson
Mel Jackson is a Hollywood leading man on the rise. Discovered in Chicago, Ill, with no formal training, Jackson landed the leading part in the film Scenes for the Soul. Most noted for his performance in the box office hit Soul Food, Jackson has also appeared on the FOX sitcom, Living Single and on the UPN sitcom, In the House.
Jackson has showcased his comic talents as a series regular on NBC sitcom DAG. His television guest starring appearances include NYPD Blue, The Jamie Foxx Show, The Steve Harvey Show and For Your Love. His film credits include Uninvited Guest, Dancing in September, Deliver Us from Eva, Built for Speed – The Little Richard Story, Motives and The Temptations (mini-series).
Currently, Jackson is starring in Motives 2 and the soon-to-be released A Good Man Is Hard to Find (Oct. 2007). In the upcoming year, he hopes to take on the challenge of directing.
2007 MEAC-SWAC Challenge
In addition to the Kick-Off Luncheon, the following events will take place during the third annual MEACÂ·SWAC Challenge week (Aug.30—Sept. 1): VIP Welcome Reception (Aug. 30), High School Career Panel 101 presented by Team ESPN and Bright House Networks (Aug. 31) MEAC-SWAC Step Correct Step Show Challenge and The Great Tailgate (Sept. 1).
Tickets for the game and step show are available online at tickemaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, including select Publix Supermarkets, FYE Music Stores and Coconuts Music & Movies locations, or by phone at 201-715-6000 or 800-277-1700.
For more information, please visit www.meacswacchallenge.com.
ESPN REGIONAL TELEVISION
The nation’s largest syndicator of collegiate sports programming, ESPN Regional Television (ERT) annually produces more than 900 sporting events. Programming includes football, basketball, NCAA events, golf and NHRA events accounting for more than 2,200 live and/or original hours of programming. In addition to event ownership, ERT is the production headquarters for ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network; syndication rights-holder and producer of national, regional and local shows for college conferences (e.g. – Big East, Big 12, Mid-American, Sun Belt, Western Athletic).
ESPN Regional Television markets and/or owns several other sporting events, including the Bell Helicopter Armed Forced Bowl; the Papajohns.com Bowl; the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl; the Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl, the New Mexico Bowl; the MEAC-SWAC Challenge; the National Golf Challenge presented by Callaway; and collegiate basketball events including the O’Reilly ESPNU BracketBusters; the Spartan Clash (Auburn Hills, Mich.); the O’Reilly Auto Parts All-College Classic (Oklahoma City, Okla.); the Old Spice Classic (Orlando, Fla.); ESPNU Women’s Basketball Invitational (Tampa, Fla.); O’Reilly ESPNU Puerto Rico Tip-Off and the Anaheim Classic (Calif.).