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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
January 9, 2023 GMT
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ESPN’s Marty Smith and Kirk Herbstreit took center stage outside SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA., to participate in the Eckrich $1 Million Challenge for teachers
1 of 4
ESPN’s Marty Smith and Kirk Herbstreit took center stage outside SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA., to participate in the Eckrich $1 Million Challenge for teachers

Marty Smith Successfully Completed the 15-yard Throw Through a 24-inch Target to Earn a Donation for CFP Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers

INGLEWOOD, Calif., Jan. 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Earlier today, multifaceted ESPN sports journalist Marty Smith and Emmy Award-winning ESPN/ABC college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit took center stage outside SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA., where Smith participated in the Eckrich $1 Million Challenge in support of classroom resource projects across the nation, while Herbstreit coached and supported Smith as he completed his throws.

Smith successfully made the winning 15-yard throw, resulting in a donation of $500,000 from Eckrich to the College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation and its Extra Yard for Teachers initiative.

Smith was given 10 attempts to throw a football through a set of three targets. Successfully making a throw through the first, and largest, target would generate a $250,000 donation and would allow him to move onto a second, smaller target, valued at $500,000. If Smith successfully made it through this target, he would graduate to a third and final target, in which a successful throw would prompt a $1,000,000 donation. Fortunately, Smith made the 15-yard throw generating a $500,000 donation to the CFP Foundation and its Extra Yard for Teachers program on behalf of Eckrich.

For the fourth consecutive year, Eckrich – the Official Smoked Sausage and Deli Meat Sponsor of CFP – joined with the CFP Foundation to celebrate educators across the country for their honest work and tireless commitment to ensure their students have the tools to succeed. Throughout the season, fans nominated their favorite educators to participate in the $1 Million Challenge for a chance to win a donation in support of classroom resource projects. Although there wasn’t a winning throw this season, Eckrich recognized the six selected teachers for their dedication and commitment to their communities by providing $2,500 to the CFP Foundation at each local game, as well as $500 in groceries to participating teachers.

“I’m so grateful to play a small part with Eckrich in how they continue to honor and support teachers,” Smith said. “Resources are needed throughout the education system and these teachers deserve all of our support as they continue to help develop and mentor our kids. I’m so happy we were able to participate in this Challenge and want to thank every teacher out there for what they do.”

“It’s always a privilege and an honor to participate in the Eckrich $1 Million Challenge for Teachers and I look forward to it every year,” Herbstreit said. “Having the opportunity to be alongside of all these teachers and fans to earn funds for educational initiatives is a huge thrill and it is great to be able to give back.”

“It’s been a pleasure working with Eckrich to help give students an opportunity for a better education,” said Britton Banowsky, Executive Director of the CFP Foundation. “Through our partnership, we’re able to stay connected with local communities and give educators across the country the spotlight they deserve.”

“Working with the CFP Foundation and its Extra Yard for Teachers initiative for another year has allowed us to further expand on our goal to give back and share our appreciation to so many dedicated educators,” said Bethany Gurecki, senior brand manager for Eckrich at Smithfield Foods. “Thank you again, Marty and Kirk, for your continuing participation in our annual $1 Million Challenge, and congratulations to Marty for making the 15-yard throw for a $500,000 donation.”

For more information about the $1 Million Challenge for Teachers, please visit For more information about Eckrich, please visit and follow Eckrich on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Eckrich
Founded by Peter Eckrich in 1894, Eckrich has a rich heritage starting from a small meat market in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to one of the most recognized regional premium deli and meat brands on the market today. Through it all, Eckrich meats have been recognized for their great taste and supreme quality, craftsmanship, care, and pride. For more information, visit Eckrich is a brand of Smithfield Foods, Inc.

About Smithfield Foods, Inc.
Headquartered in Smithfield, Va. since 1936, Smithfield Foods, Inc. is an American food company with agricultural roots and a global reach. Our 63,000 team members are dedicated to producing “Good food. Responsibly.®” and have made us one of the world’s leading vertically integrated protein companies. We have pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including our industry-leading commitments to become carbon negative in U.S. company-owned operations and reduce GHG emissions 30 percent across our entire U.S. value chain by 2030. We believe in the power of protein to end food insecurity and have donated hundreds of millions of food servings to our communities. Smithfield boasts a portfolio of high-quality iconic brands, such as Smithfield®, Eckrich® and Nathan’s Famous®, among many others. For more information, visit, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

About College Football Playoff
The College Football Playoff matches the No. 1 ranked team vs. No. 4, and No. 2 vs. No. 3 in semifinal games that rotate annually among six bowl games – the Goodyear Cotton Bowl, Vrbo Fiesta Bowl, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Capital One Orange Bowl, Allstate Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl Game presented by Prudential. This season’s Playoff Semifinals took place Saturday, December 31, 2022 at the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. The Los Angeles region will host the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday, January 9, 2023, at SoFi Stadium.

About the College Football Playoff Foundation
The College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation is the 501(c)3 non-profit organization serving as the community engagement arm of the College Football Playoff and works in partnership with institutions of higher education, sports organizations, corporations and non-profits to support educators and improve student outcomes. The purpose of the CFP Foundation lies in supporting PK-12 education by elevating the teaching profession. The CFP Foundation inspires and empowers educators by focusing its work in four areas: recognition, resources, recruitment and retention, and professional development. To learn more, visit and follow Extra Yard for Teachers (@CFPExtraYard) on social media.

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SOURCE Smithfield Foods, Inc.