News Releases


IRVINE, Calif. (September 19, 2019) – Mazda announced today a three-year partnership with the National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame to support the William V. Campbell Trophy® presented by Mazda, college football’s premier scholar-athlete award.

“For three decades, the William V. Campbell Trophy® has recognized individuals who best reflect humility, dedication and inventive approaches to overcoming challenges. These individuals have a strong commitment to their teammates, academics and community,” said Dino Bernacchi, chief marketing officer for Mazda North American Operations. “Born out of Hiroshima, Japan, Mazda holds dear that same philosophy: pushing past boundaries, realizing potential and inspiring others to do the same.”

This college football season, Mazda is proud to launch its Power of Potential Platform, a program developed to honor individuals making a difference, pushing to their potential and inspiring others.  The platform will kick off by sponsoring The William V. Campbell Trophy® presented by Mazda, which ranks as one of college football’s most sought after and competitive awards, recognizing an individual as the best in the country for his combined academic success, football performance and community leadership. Past recipients have gone on to impressive careers, ranging from doctors to corporate executives, with gridiron greats such as Peyton Manning (Tennessee) and Christian Wilkins (Clemson).

Other past winners include John Urschel, a standout player at Penn State. Following a successful professional football career, he retired to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics from MIT and is now a published mathematician. Urschel recently penned a New York Times op-ed, “Math Teachers Should Be More Like Football Coaches,” citing a lack of academic encouragement during his own childhood. He even works to inspire the next generation to drive their interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

“At the heart of the National Football Foundation is the nation’s premier scholar-athlete award, The William V. Campbell Trophy® presented by Mazda – a distinguished honor bestowed to those who meet the highest standards of on-field performance, academic excellence and community leadership,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “That same pedigree is required of our partners, which is why we are proud to work with Mazda, who shares our common mission of inspiring others to reach their full potential.”

First awarded in 1990, the trophy is named in honor of the late Bill Campbell, the former chairman of Intuit and a former player and head football coach at Columbia University. His impact and success was recently chronicled in the “Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell,” co-authored by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

This year’s finalists will be announced on October 30th and the 30th William V. Campbell Trophy® presented by Mazda will be awarded during the 62nd NFF Annual Awards Dinner in New York City on December 10th.

Click here to learn more.

About The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame

Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include Football Matters®, the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, The William V. Campbell Trophy® presented by Mazda, annual scholarships ofmore than $1.3 million and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments, Goodyear, Herff Jones, Mazda, New York Athletic Club, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, the Sports Business Journal, SportsManias, Under Armour and VICIS. Learn more at footballfoundation.organd follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @NFFNetwork.

About The National College Football Awards Association

The William V. Campbell Trophy® presented by Mazda is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.orgto learn more about the association.

About Mazda North American Operations

Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, California, and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City. For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at

Follow MNAO’s social media channels through Twitter and Instagram at @MazdaUSA and Facebook at


Emily Taylor, Mazda North American Operations, 949-727-6182
Drew Cary, Mazda North American Operations, 949-727-6525