ATLANTA, GA (December 15, 2020) - The Yard: HBCU Esports Alliance (HEA), a newly formed esports league for HBCU students, CSL Esports (CSL) and grooming brand Gillette today announced a presenting-level “Groomed to Game” partnership to support HBCU students as they enter the esports and gaming ecosystem. Gillette will provide holistic support to HEA/CSL’s growing platform that includes 20 HBCU member schools and a recent partnership with the 12-member Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA).

“HBCU students are playing video games daily but are not a part of the broader esports and gaming ecosystems. Gillette’s partnership will provide support to help educate them on how to engage and advance in many aspects,” stated Rod Chappell, General Manager/Associate Commissioner of HEA and CEO of HBCU Direct in Atlanta, GA. “As they learn to stream and broadcast, Gillette will also help them feel confident by being well-groomed on camera.”

Students from HEA member schools will play EA SPORTS Madden NFL 21 during the league season, beginning in February, for a chance to win scholarships and prizes from Gillette. Matchups will be played in Madden’s ‘The Yard’ mode that features a ‘Gillette Style Zone’ which allows gamers to customize their avatar’s facial hair and hairstyle in the game. In addition to supporting HEA league competition, Gillette will support the HEA and CSL as they work closely with HBCUs to provide students education about the esports and gaming industry and access to opportunities within it.

“Our partnership with HEA will allow Gillette to support the nation’s HBCUs and help provide access to the esports ecosystem that hasn’t existed previously,” said Greg Via, vice president of sports and esports at Gillette. “Gillette is dedicated to helping men look and feel their best, and with the ‘Groomed to Game’ initiative we aim to help HBCU students feel prepared to bring their ‘A’ game each and every day.”
Gillette is a long-standing esports and gaming supporter, as one of the first non-endemic brands to get involved in the space. Throughout the ‘Groomed to Game’ initiative, Gillette will feature its SkinGuard razor that was specifically designed to help men whose skin is prone to razor bumps and irritation, a shaving concern particularly prevalent among Black men.

About The Yard: HBCU Esports Alliance
The Yard: HBCU Esports Alliance (HEA) is a diversity and inclusion initiative designed to significantly increase the participation of HBCU students, alumni and fans in the $150B+ gaming and $1.5B+ esports industries. Built as a replicable model for on-campus or virtual HBCU campuses, HEA features four distinct pillars (Competition, Education, Research and Pipeline) that will drive continued access to current and future aspects in gaming and esports. The Initiative will live at the intersection of HBCU campus life including esports, traditional sports, music, entertainment, fashion and more. Through its robust network of supporting alliance partners, HEA will offer great experiences for its HBCU member schools while developing the next generation of HBCU leaders and entrepreneurs through esports.
For more information on HBCU Esports Alliance, please visit or follow @hbcuesportsyard

About CSL Esports
CSL Esports provides life-changing opportunities in education through esports. Working directly with High Schools, Universities, and Alumni associations, CSL Esports provides turnkey solutions for schools and students to compete and learn valuable skills in the rapidly expanding esports industry. Since 2009 CSL Esports has been North America’s largest collegiate esports business, providing over $1 million in scholarships while partnering with over 1,800 educational institutions under its premier tournament series, Collegiate StarLeague.

About Gillette
For more than 115 years, Gillette has delivered precision technology and unrivalled product performance – improving the lives of over 800 million consumers around the world. From shaving and body grooming, to skin care and sweat protection, Gillette offers a wide variety of products including razors, shave gel (gels, foams and creams), skin care, after shaves, antiperspirants, deodorants and body wash. For more information and the latest news on Gillette, visit To see our full selection of products, visit Follow Gillette on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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