nfl players care foundation

As a Sunday Night Football fan, I’ve always enjoyed watching the game with my family, sharing food and camaraderie while admiring the dedication and hard work of the players. But until a few years ago, I never really thought about what happens to these athletes once they retire from the game.  

That changed in 2020 when Atrium began collaborating with the NFL Player Care Foundation (PCF), a non-profit independent organization dedicated to helping retired players, known as Legends, improve their quality of life. The collaboration began with resume-building consultation for NFL Legends as part of PCF’s Career Program services. Even in these early stages, I realized the immense potential in the program as I worked with these highly skilled former players to highlight their transferable skills, such as teamwork, leadership, competitiveness, and grace under pressure.  

Over the next four years, my team and I worked hard to strategically prove the need for a full transition program. As we added each new component to the career program, we saw positive results, fulfilled Legends, and enthusiastic employers. What started as resume-building consultation has now grown to include holistic career coaching and talent consulting services. Today, it is a privilege to support these exceptional athletes in their job searches by providing them with career strategy advice, predictive index sessions, interview coaching, and job matching.  

Most recently, the NFL PCF and Atrium collaboration expanded into the upskilling space with support from Microsoft Leap, a global program designed to accelerate job readiness for careers in technology. The inaugural Microsoft Leap NFL Legends Cohort is a unique opportunity for NFL Legends to leverage their transferable skills in immersive training covering a range of topics related to Technical Program Management. The program also includes a real-life skilling segment working on high-value projects. Legends were offered an opportunity to apply this past February at the 6th Annual Super Bowl Career Fair in Las Vegas, as well as online.  

I was excited to lead the Legend selection process for the Cohort and to see the strong level of interest in the program. Each interview was a unique and interesting experience highlighting the diverse backgrounds of the Legends that applied. The Cohort starts April 22, 2024, just in time for the Draft.  Now that the first cohort has been chosen, my role is to offer support with “Touchdown Talks,” career coaching, and mentorship. I’ll also assist them in connecting with career opportunities after they complete the program. 

The Super Bowl Career Fair itself was an awesome experience. It had the highest Legends attendance since its inception, so it is gratifying to see how much the event has grown since we began supporting it four years ago. The response, engagement, and proactiveness of the younger generation of retired players was also fantastic. To top it off, there was a significant amount of interest in the Leap program, which speaks to the innovative work the NFL PCF does. 

The collaboration between NFL PCF and Atrium has had a significant impact on the lives of Legends, and I’m proud to be a part of its continued evolution. Now, when it’s time for Sunday Night Football with my family, I see beyond the touchdowns, field goals, and penalties. I see a talented group of men for whom the NFL is just the beginning. 

Joanna Chavers
Joanna Chavers

Joanna Chavers is Executive Director, Talent Strategy at Atrium. With a decorated track record placing top talent in permanent roles across various industries and disciplines, Joanna used her skill set to organically grow Atrium’s first-ever Internal Talent Management department. Today, she delivers consulting services that cover every aspect of the employee life cycle. She has been featured in several leading business and trade publications.

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