In December of 2022, Disney on the Yard headed to Atlanta, GA as a corporate partner of the Cricket Celebration Bowl! The Cricket Celebration Bowl is an annual nationally televised, post season championship event showcasing a team from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), the prominent conferences of HBCU athletics and NCAA Division I schools. The game honors unique heritage, legacy, pageantry, and tradition of HBCUs. Disney on the Yard celebrated HBCU culture and excellence as North Carolina Central University took on Jackson State University for the championship. And of course, our pal Drum Major Mickey Mouse joined in on all the action.
The Disney on the Yard team hosted career exploration sessions for students of the participating schools featuring a panel HBCU alumni and Black employees ranging from recent graduates and entry level employees to executives representing businesses across The Walt Disney Company. They all shared insight on their Disney journeys and how HBCU alumni continue to advance the company in a variety of areas.
New to this year’s event was a two-day fan zone, kicking off on Friday night with a Divine Nine stroll off. Local area Greek organizations were invited to attend and put on a showcase just as if we were on the yard! This was also an educational opportunity for guests to learn about the culture and history of each organization.
Now for gameday! Ahead of the game, the fan zone excitement continued where guests received Disney on the Yard giveaways. Drum Major Mickey even made a pre-appearance giving everyone a taste of what was to come at halftime.
To open the halftime show, Drum Major Mickey was accompanied by a local drum line from Stephenson High School as he brought new moves and his signature backbend to the field. We even had the opportunity to share a special employee story on this national stage. North Carolina Central University alum and Disney Live Entertainment costume designer, Ida Muldrow, lent her expertise as the designer of Drum Major Mickey’s uniform!
Lastly, we were excited to recognize the winners of the 2022 Disney on the Yard Innovation Challenge. The challenge offers students enrolled at HBCUs the unique opportunity to showcase their skills and talents to The Walt Disney Company. Each team collaborates and innovates to deliver a concept that offers relevant solutions to today’s challenges. The 2022 Disney on the Yard Innovation Challenge first place team from Philander Smith College – Team Panther – was presented with a $10,000 for their school and an individual scholarship for each team member.
It is always our pleasure to support and engage with HBCUs across the country. To learn more about Disney’s commitment to HBCUs, visit DisneyOnTheYard.com to sign up for the latest news and updates from us. Be sure to follow us on Instagram @DisneyOnTheYard.