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The HBCU All-Star Battle of the Bands Returned to Mercedes Benz Stadium with Support from French | West | Vaughan

by | Feb 8, 2023

French/​West/​Vaughan (FWV), one of the nation’s leading independently held public relations and integrated marketing agencies, was in Atlanta to provide public relations support for The HBCU All-Star Battle of the Bands, the original and largest Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) marching band and dance team showcase in the world.

For the 18th year, the HBCU All-Star Battle of the Bands welcomed over 35,000 attendees to Mercedes Benz Stadium. FWV provided strategic PR planning, message development and targeted media relations to promote this event-packed, family friendly day featuring marching band performances from six premier HBCUs. In addition to the thrilling showcase event, FWV also promoted messaging around HBCU education through the HBCU All-Star Battle of the Bands College Fair, which served as an opportunity for thousands of attendees to learn about more than 45 HBCUs and their academic and band programs.

“The HBCU All-Star Battle of the Bands is not only about showcasing the top marching bands and drumlines in the country, but it is also about bringing students, families and fans together to celebrate HBCU culture,” said David Gwyn, president of FWV. “Our PR efforts were focused on amplifying both students’ and band directors’ stories and getting the word out about this electrifying event.”

FWV has a long history of supporting HBCUs and their conference leadership, as well as promoting their marquee events unique to black college sports and entertainment. In addition to supporting The HBCU All-Star Battle of the Bands, FWV has previously served as agency-of-record for the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), including leading the marketing efforts for the CIAA Tournament for over 15 years and promoting the SWAC Football Championship for over 5 years.

“We’re excited to partner with French West Vaughan, who we’ve established a long-time partnership with over the past 20 years,” said Tom Grabowski, HBCU All-Star Battle of the Bands founder. “Just to show how top-notch these performers are, Tennessee State University went on to win a Grammy the day following the showcase, for the Best Roots Gospel Album, making them the first marching band to win in the category!”

FWV also coordinated strategic partnerships with sponsors such as iHeartMedia and Allstate, and drove awareness for AspireTV, a network that celebrates and reflects Black culture and urban lifestyle, that premiered the event’s coverage through its limited series, 6 Minutes to Glory: The HBCU Band Experience.


About French/West/Vaughan

Headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., FWV is the most decorated agency in the history of the Southeast region, amassing 25 National Agency of the Year awards and more than 1,500 PR, advertising and digital marketing awards on behalf of its blue chip roster of clients. It employs more than 130 associates across its six offices. It is a partner in IPREX, a global network of independent PR and communications agencies with offices in more than 100 markets across the globe. For more information, visit fwv-us.com.

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