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Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs announced today that the club has signed a partnership agreement with Park University that will make the local 143-year old institution the club’s first-ever Official Higher Education Partner. “We are very excited to announce this partnership with Park University,” Chiefs President Mark Donovan said.

CHIEFS AND PARK UNIVERSITY

ANNOUNCE HIGHER EDUCATION PARTNERSHIP

 KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City Chiefs announced today that the club has signed a partnership agreement with Park University that will make the local 143-year old institution the club’s first-ever Official Higher Education Partner.

“We are very excited to announce this partnership with Park University,” Chiefs President Mark Donovan said. “In addition to being able to offer a valuable benefit to our Chiefs employees, we are especially excited to support and enhance Park University’s commitment to our military.”

Through the partnership, Chiefs employees will be offered a Tuition Assistance Program. Any eligible Chiefs employee, coach, or player will be qualified to receive reimbursement per any 12-month period for tuition while enrolled at Park University. The new partnership will offer students of Park numerous professional development opportunities, as executive members of the Chiefs organization will visit the campus for speaking engagements each quarter.

As part of the partnership, Park will become the presenting partner of the Chiefs Seasonal Assistant Program. The club will work with Park to create new concepts to further the program at the organization while giving Park students the opportunity to interview for a position in the Seasonal Assistant Program.

Park University has a long-standing tradition of honoring military members and supporting veterans. The university has 33 campuses on military installations throughout the country. Park will be this year’s presenting partner at the Chiefs Draft Day III event. This will be the third-year that the event will be hosted at a military base, and the first at Fort Riley. In addition, the Chiefs will recognize a Park student or graduate that is a veteran during the club’s annual Salute to Service game this season.

“I believe that Park University’s partnership with the Kansas City Chiefs will help increase public awareness of the University’s academic programs,” Park University’s Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Shane Smeed said. “We also look forward to Park students having opportunities to be involved with one of the most successful professional sports franchises in the country.”

Founded in 1875 in Parkville, Mo., Park University is a nonprofit, private institution that is a national leader in higher education. In 2000, Park achieved university status and currently serves 16,500 students annually at 41 campuses in 22 states, including Parkville, Independence, and Kansas City, Mo., and Lenexa, Kan., as well as an extensive online program. The University also serves the nation’s armed forces with 33 campuses on military installations across the country. Park University’s degree programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. For more information about Park University, visit www.park.edu.

Collegiate Varsity ESports Program

Park University has announced its intentions to offer a varsity esports program starting in Spring 2019. According to the Kansas City, Mo., based National Association of Collegiate Esports, Park is the first college/university in the Kansas City area to offer a varsity esports program.

Park University has announced its intentions to offer a varsity esports program starting in Spring 2019. According to the Kansas City, Mo., based National Association of Collegiate Esports, Park is the first college/university in the Kansas City area to offer a varsity esports program.

Initially, when Park’s coed esports program begins, it will compete in one of seven currently offered esports through NACE, League of Legends, with additional esports games to be offered in Fall 2019 along with scholarship opportunities. Teams typically consist of seven individuals from each school for each game.

“By initiating this program, we are positioning Park University’s athletics program for the future of digital competition,” said Shane Smeed, vice president and chief operating officer. “The investment Park is putting toward this program is in line with the University’s innovative foundations.”

In addition to competitive gaming, Park’s esports program will provide support for educational and intramural opportunities not only for students at the University’s flagship Parkville Campus, but also for Park students at the University’s 40 other campuses nationwide and online worldwide, according to Ben Zibers, director for student engagement, who will lead Park’s esports program. Tie-ins to for-credit courses and leveraging connections for professional play will also be possible.

The University plans to build a state-of-the-art gaming area — “Parkade” — in the University’s Mabee Learning Center/Academic Underground. Parkade will serve as the home for the varsity esports program for matches and practices, as well as provide a central location for students to watch and participate in gaming-related activities. Park is also in the midst of a national search for its first esports coach.

Park University partnered with NACE to provide the competitive framework for Park’s esports program. Housed within the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national office, NACE oversees rules and competition for its more than 80 member institutions, which includes not only NAIA schools, but also NCAA and NJCAA colleges/universities.

For more information about the program, contact Zibers at bzibers@park.edu or visit parkathletics.com/.

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