NEW YORK, Jan. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) announced today that after an extensive search actress Amber Zion has been selected to bring the beauty of American Sign Language (ASL) to one of the most popular sports and entertainment events of the year – Super Bowl Sunday.
Earlier today the National Football League and FOX announced that Zion will be joining world-renowned soprano Renee Fleming who will sing the National Anthem live on FOX during the Super Bowl XLVIII pregame festivities on Sunday, February 2, 2014.
"The Super Bowl is one of the most-watched events of the year," said NAD CEO Howard Rosenblum. "Integrating American Sign Language into the performance of the National Anthem during the pregame not only raises awareness of ASL, it also helps to ensure that this iconic event is inclusive for all Americans."
PepsiCo's sponsorship of Amber Zion as the ASL artist at Super Bowl XLVIII is the latest effort in an on-going partnership with the NAD that started with the broadcast of a :30-second "silent ad" filmed entirely in ASL that debuted during the pregame show of Super Bowl XLIII in 2008 and has continued with annual sponsorship of the American Sign Language anthem performer. Last year's ASL artist John Maucere was lauded by some entertainment outlets as one of the highlights of Super Bowl XLVII.
The NAD appreciates and commends PepsiCo and its EnAble group for their extraordinary support of the deaf and hard of hearing community. PepsiCo has broken barriers in how society perceives the community with its innovative portrayals of the beauty of American Sign Language through various mediums, including this Super Bowl weekend experience.
About the National Association of the Deaf
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is the nation's premier civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States of America. Established in 1880, the NAD was shaped by deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at the national level. These beliefs remain true to this day, with American Sign Language as a core value. The advocacy scope of the NAD is broad, covering a lifetime and impacting future generations in the areas of early intervention, education, employment, health care, technology, telecommunications, youth leadership, and more – improving the lives of millions of deaf and hard of hearing Americans. The NAD is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization supported by the generosity of individual and organizational donors, including corporations and foundations. www.nad.org.
PepsiCo is a global food and beverage leader with net revenues of more than $65 billion and a product portfolio that includes 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales. Our main businesses – Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay and Pepsi-Cola – make hundreds of enjoyable foods and beverages that are loved throughout the world. PepsiCo's people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth by investing in a healthier future for people and our planet, which we believe also means a more successful future for PepsiCo. We call this commitment Performance with Purpose: PepsiCo's promise to provide a wide range of foods and beverages from treats to healthy eats; to find innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment by conserving energy and water and reducing packaging volume; to provide a great workplace for our associates; and to respect, support and invest in the local communities where we operate. For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com.
About Amber Zion
Amber Zion was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Penn., and has always had a passion for acting. She started performing in school plays and continued acting through college theatre. Amber's passion led her to New York City, where she made her professional debut off Broadway in Shakespeare's, "The Tempest", while graduating college with a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts at Rochester Institute of Technology. After moving to Los Angeles , she got a guest starring role on CBS's CSI:NY in the episode "Silent Night" on network television. Amber also made her debut in a national commercial for Kay Jeweler's Christmas campaign. She continued performing at Deaf West Theatre, winning much acclaim for her role as Lea in Wendy Kesselman's, My Sister In The House. Amber also had great success on stage in Lee Hall's adaptation of The Adventures of Pinocchio as Pinocchio. She has continued to hone her craft in independent films, her most recent one, "Wasted Beauty," directed by Martin Paves. Amber is very excited and honored to be part of Super Bowl XLVIII!
Video with caption: "National Association of the Deaf and PepsiCo Tap Amber Zion to Bring ASL to Super Bowl XLVIII. Note: This video is closed captioned for all to enjoy. Click "cc" button to turn captions on." Video available at: http://youtu.be/wm5nc-zBdUE
Image with caption: "The NAD and PepsiCo announced today that after an extensive search actress Amber Zion has been selected to sign the National Anthem at Super Bowl XLVIII." Image available at: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140121/MM50222
SOURCE PepsiCo; The National Association of the Deaf (NAD)