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  • Derek D. Ross

2021 Cracker Barrel National Battle of the Bands Raises the Bar and Its Impact

Event draws over 43,000 attendees and delivers $217,500 in scholarships

HOUSTON (November 5, 2021): The 2021 Cracker Barrel National Battle of the Bands (NBOTB) presented by Pepsi Zero Sugar raised the bar and its impact during this year’s event creating jobs, scholarships, recruitment opportunities and lasting memories.

“The National Battle of the Bands is so much more than an event. It is a beacon of hope and inspiration for so many, a source of employment for small business owners, an opportunity for students to play in the band and receive an education through the scholarships we’re able to raise,” says Derek Webber, CEO, Webber Marketing & Consulting, LLC & Creator of the National Battle of the Bands. “After everything we’ve all been through over the past 18 months, we wanted to make sure our return in 2021 created as many opportunities and as much impact as possible, and I believe we did just that with the support of our partners and corporate sponsors.”

NBOTB By the Numbers

The power of the NBOTB’s influence was felt amongst the bands, fans and business owners throughout the city of Houston and communities at large. In addition to nearly 2,200 band members representing the eight HBCU bands featured in this year’s lineup at NRG Stadium, which drew in over 43,000 attendees, other official ancillary events engaged over 10,000 attendees with initiatives and experiences created to focus on youth and community engagement, college recruitment, Esports and entrepreneurship.

A record-breaking $217,500 in scholarship monies were generated during this year’s event; a few of those areas included:

  • $160,000 divided amongst this year’s participating college and university bands which included Bethune Cookman University, Marching Wildcats; Langston University, “Marching Pride” Band; North Carolina A&T State University, The Blue and Gold Marching Machine; Norfolk State University, The Spartan “Legion” Marching Band; Southern University, Human Jukebox; Jackson State University, The Sonic Boom of the South; Talladega College, Great Tornado Band, and Tennessee State University, Aristocrat of Bands.

  • $5,000 in band instruments was awarded by H-E-B across five local Houston-area high school bands through the instrument scholarship initiative totaling $25,000. Those bands/schools included Calvin Murphy All-Star Band; Greater Houston All-Star Band, Inc.; James Madison High School, Ross Shaw Sterling High School, and Westbury High School.

  • $3,000 was awarded to the winning Greeks organizations of the Stroll Off Competition.

  • $3,000 in S.T.E.M. scholarships were award to two local college students: $1,500 each.

  • $3,000 was awarded to each participating band on behalf of Cricket for a total of $24,000.

Students from the Houston Independent School District and surrounding districts attended the HBCU S.T.E.M. College Fair and gained direct access over 12 HBCUs from around the country who were recruiting for both undergrad and graduate admissions for S.T.E.M. and Non-S.T.E.M. programs.

Our Esports Masterclass powered by HTX Sports and Esports Tournament presented by Rockstar Energy Drink led discussions and raised the awareness and visibility of the growing industry amongst youth and HBCU students.

The Pepsi Zero Sugar Emerge Experience Entrepreneur Conference presented by PNC Bank served minority entrepreneurs and small business owners with its theme: ‘The Business of Technology, Sports and Culture’ which curated powerful conversations, connections, and collaborations with top industry leaders while learning practical business hacks through a series of panel discussions.

For more information about the NBOTB visit and stay updated on social media at @NationalBattleOfTheBands (Facebook/Instagram) / @NationalBOTB (Twitter).


Cracker Barrel National Battle of the Bands presented by Pepsi Zero Sugar

The event’s mission is to enhance the exposure of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their marching bands, the roles they play in educating aspiring musicians and developing our future leaders. Event organizers have generated more than $500,000 in scholarships for the participating colleges and universities.

Webber Marketing and Consulting

Webber Marketing & Consulting (WMC), LLC is based in Charlotte, North Carolina and is the largest marketing agency of record for HBCUs specializing in strategic outreach program development, on-site event execution, experiential marketing, and media. WMC provides their clients with focused programs that deliver measurable results, improve market position, and build for future successes.

Harris County - Houston Sports Authority

The Harris County-Houston Sports Authority maintains the facilities and services the debt of the world-class, professional sports venues it was created to build. To support this primary mission, Houston Sports serves as a leading proponent for attracting sporting events to Houston and for promoting the city as a home for sports-related activities, to ultimately enhance Houston’s economic development and bring better quality of life for its residents. Houston Sports also created the annual Houston Sports Awards to honor the area’s outstanding athletes.

Lone Star Sports & Entertainment

Lone Star Sports & Entertainment is an event management company founded in 2003 that is closely affiliated with the NFL’s Houston Texans. Since its founding, LSSE has established itself as the leading sports event promoter in Houston. In addition to the Texas Bowl and the Texas Kickoff, LSSE has emerged as a premier promoter for international soccer matches, including Copa America Centenario, the 2010 MLS All-Star Game featuring Manchester United, the 2006 FC Barcelona U.S. tour, 2003 and 2008 matches between the United States and Mexico, and the 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2019 and 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cups. LSSE has also reinvigorated the “Battle of the Piney Woods” rivalry between Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State and has promoted major concerts featuring country superstars including George Strait, Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney.



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