Why NFL Legends Are Tackling Killer Drug At Las Vegas Super Bowl

by | Jan 19, 2024 | Business Development

Huddle up agency owners, marketing consultants, and entrepreneurs with lofty goals. It takes a team to accomplish greatness. 

Let me let you in on a powerful marketing secret: If you are going to tackle an opponent as big as fentanyl, you will need the power of relationships.

For those headed to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl, I recommend you check out the 3rd Annual Legends and Leaders Super Bowl RSVP Celebration event presented by Bimini Hydrotherapy at the Virgin Hotel in Las Vegas on Friday, February 9.

The Legends and Leaders Celebration is part of a weeklong series of events led by Roman Gabriel III and his Sold Out Youth Foundation, a charity that offers drug and alcohol abstinence programs in public and private schools, and Scott Hamilton’s Executive Next Practices Institute, a nationwide forum of business leaders. Similar gatherings were held in 2022 prior to the Los Angeles Super Bowl and in 2023 prior to the Super Bowl in Phoenix.

Benefiting the Sold Out Youth Foundation, Super Agent Lee Steinberg will keynote the event along with many current and former NFL players and coaches. The participants share a commitment to solving our country’s current youth fentanyl, alcohol, and mental health crisis. 

As one former NFL linebacker said at last year’s celebration, those 330-pound in-shape running backs have nothing on fentanyl.

“People just don’t know about the grave dangers this drug poses,” said Gabriel III when I interviewed him at the last Legends and Leaders event.

For more than 30 years this former pro football player, college coach and now radio and TV broadcaster has delivered stories featuring high-profile athletes and entertainers. Like me, he grew up in Southern California in the late 1960s, but he was the son of one of professional football’s top quarterbacks, Roman Gabriel II of the Los Angeles Rams.

According to Gabriel III, those in attendance at the Legends and Leaders event share a commitment to defeat the country’s current youth drug, alcohol, and mental health crisis. Gabriel knows fighting fentanyl is going to take a strong team effort.

Fentanyl is arguably the number one killer of 18- to 45-year-olds in the United States today. In that age range it is estimated that the drug kills twice as many young people as COVID-19, cancer, car accidents and suicide.

“Our Sold Out Youth Foundation equips schools, parents and students with a comprehensive program that includes fentanyl understanding and awareness to educate parents and students,” says Gabriel.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. It is a major contributor to an epidemic of fatal overdoses cutting down America’s youth.

In addition to the fun of bidding on collectibles at the event, attendees will learn there are two types of fentanyl: pharmaceutical fentanyl and illicitly manufactured fentanyl. Pharmaceutical fentanyl is prescribed by doctors to treat severe pain, especially after surgery and for advanced-stage cancer. However, the CDC says most recent cases of fentanyl-related overdose are linked to illicitly manufactured fentanyl, which is distributed through illegal drug markets for its heroin-like effect. It is often added to other drugs because of its extreme potency, which makes drugs cheaper, more powerful, more addictive, and more dangerous.

Today Gabriel III leverages his many relationships—such as media celebs, retired NFL stars, business leaders, elected officials, and even super-sports agent Steinberg, the real-life Jerry Maguire—to team up to fight the fentanyl crisis.

Gabriel III has spent the past 22 years building a foundation that spreads the warning about the illicit killer to a younger audience than ever. “Every parent of a 19-year-old knows just how difficult talking about the dangers of drugs can be,” said Gabriel. “We start our program with children as young as 4th grade to high school. It is amazing the difference you can make in saving lives when those warnings hit the mark early. Our messaging becomes part of their understanding of the world. It is a message that works.”

Gabriel is bringing NFL football greats and experts in the field of drug dependence and mental health together to Las Vegas in the days leading up to Super Bowl LVIII to raise funding and awareness that there are in fact answers, proven methods, to steer kids away from drug use, particularly fentanyl, by making warnings and knowledge available in a manner that students from kindergarten to seniors in high school can understand and embrace.

Sold Out Youth Foundation’s programs during Super Bowl week include:

Free Youth Football Camp powered by Sold Out Youth Foundation and Take Back the Neighborhood on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 8:30 a.m. at Charlie Frias Park, 4801 S. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas. The day camp is completely free and includes a chance for boys and girls from 6th to 12th grade to train with some of the best in football today. Gabriel III will present a drug and alcohol abstinence program at the camp.

Henry DeVries

Henry DeVries is the editor of Agency Owner News and the CEO of Indie Books International. He is the host of the Agency Rainmaker TV Show, editor of the Agency Rainmaker Newsletter, and the author of 20 books including Marketing With A Book For Agency Owners.