The public relations staff of the Minnesota Vikings is one of five finalists for the Pro Football Writers of America's 2015 Pete Rozelle Award.
A total of 19 of the 32 NFL clubs were nominated for this year's Rozelle award, which was established in 1990 in honor of the former NFL Commissioner (1960-89) who began his league career as PR director of the Los Angeles Rams from 1952-55.
Balloting for the PFWA's offseason awards is scheduled to end Friday, and the Rozelle winner is scheduled to be announced June 19. The Rozelle award is presented annually "to the NFL club public relations staff that consistently strives for excellence in its dealings and relationships with the media."
Minnesota's PR staff — Bob Hagan, executive director of public relations; Tom West, assistant director of public relations; Jeff Anderson, executive director of communications; Jon Ekstrom, public relations manager; Sam Newton, public relations assistant — was joined by staffs from Cincinnati, Houston, Miami and Pittsburgh as finalists.
"It's an honor for our department to be up for such a prestigious award," Hagan said. "I'm proud of the people in our department for the work they do with our local and national media."
Hagan said the Vikings consider building relationships with media as very important because of the way those outlets can connect fans to players.
"That's what we do every day, to try to bridge back to our fans through all of our different media, and writers are a very important part of making that happen," Hagan said.
Vikings Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Stadium Development Lester Bagley said selection as a finalist is well-deserved recognition for the group.
"The Vikings public relations staff is the best in the NFL, and we are grateful for the way they represent the Vikings organization, locally and nationally," Bagley said. "Fans and media are crucial to the success of the NFL, making the job as conduit between the two essential to the NFL's and Vikings success. The Vikings staff takes that job very seriously and they are very deserving of this honor."