In a commendable move, the NFL Players Association is contracting with Uber for the 2013-2014 season in an attempt to keep intoxicated athletes from getting behind the wheel. Each player will receive a personalized keychain card that contains $200 credit for the on-demand ridesharing service, which will complement an existing telephone-based service that's offered by the union. Uber currently operates in 17 of the NFL's 31 cities, which isn't ideal, but the service is expanding at a respectable pace. The agreement stands as Uber's biggest deal with major league sports to date, which previously provided a trial service to the San Francisco Giants. Naturally, we'd like to see other players' organizations and teams get on board with similar programs, which could help prevent tragedies such as the one that took the life of a Dallas Cowboys player last year.
Uber, NFLPA Establish Partnership on Uber Rides Program
WASHINGTON and SAN FRANCISCO – Uber Technologies and the NFL Players Association are proud to announce a new partnership that will provide professional football players with safe and convenient transportation during the 2013-14 NFL season. The innovative alliance between Uber, a company that connects riders to drivers in more than 40 cities around the globe and the NFLPA, the union that represents NFL players, is the first for Uber in professional sports.
Uber Rides allows NFL players to leverage smartphone technology to connect to reliable drivers in a matter of minutes. The partnership underscores the NFLPA's ongoing commitment to ensuring its members have access to safe, discreet and professional transportation when they need it and highlights Uber's dedication to providing high-quality service to people all over the world who desire reliable rides without sacrificing style.
Beginning this month, NFL players will be able to summon a ride in any of Uber's international locations, including nearly 20 U.S. NFL team cities and Pro Bowl host Honolulu. Once a ride is requested via Uber's smartphone app, the software will display the car's location on a map and an Uber will arrive within minutes.
NFLPA Player Representative Zak DeOssie of the New York Giants said, "We wanted to partner with a company that could not only provide a service but also provide a technology and messaging platform that makes it easy to promote responsibility to our players and fans."
Uber and the NFLPA will distribute personalized keychain cards containing ride credits to every active NFL player. The partnership will also provide players with new rider gift cards for friends and family to promote responsibility to those closest to them. NFLPA Player Representatives will be sharing the details of the program with all active players during the month of September.
"Uber prides itself on finding creative solutions to difficult challenges and being able to use our platform to create a safer environment for players and their communities was a natural fit," said Uber co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick. "Many professional athletes love and have used Uber organically so this was a great opportunity to help raise awareness about our technology while helping the NFLPA tackle a serious issue."
"The NFLPA is committed to serving our membership both on and off the field," said NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith. "We view the partnership with Uber as an innovative way for players to have access to professional transportation while also pledging to each other, to their families and to the community to make responsible decisions."