Tag Archives: Memphis

Varsity Acquires Spirit Festival

Spirit Festival is the latest competition to join Varsity All Star and the Varsity Family Plan.

Memphis, Tenn., (August 2011) – Varsity has announced its acquisition of Spirit Festival, effective immediately.

Spirit Festival LogoBased in Hamden, Connecticut, Spirit Festival was founded 16 years ago by Robin Norko, and its World Bid event, Spirit Fest Cheer & Dance Nationals, attracts teams from all over the Northeast region. This year on March 3-4th, 2012 in Hartford, CT, Spirit Festival will award two Full Paid bids and 6 At-Large World Bids at this event.

Varsity All Star is proud to team up with Spirit Festival with this merger. “Robin has built an incredible reputation over the past 16 years, and we know that Spirit Festival will fit right in with our other top quality brands,” says John Newby, Executive Vice President of Varsity All Star.

“There are so many benefits to being part of a strong team,” says Norko. “I’m looking forward to a collaborative relationship with Varsity, and extending the benefits of the Varsity All Star group to our current customers.”

Varsity All Star LogoAbout Varsity

Varsity is the source for all things related to cheerleading and dance team. With a rich heritage and traditions dating back to 1948, Varsity is an innovative global leader comprised of the leading spirit brands and organizations including its educational camps, clinics, competitions and uniforms to teams around the world. Varsity’s National Championships, which are held at the Walt Disney World® Resorts, have been televised on ESPN Networks for more than 25 years. Web-based Varsity TV features thousands of cheerleading and dance team videos and has become a favorite cheer destination for cheerleaders and coaches alike. Varsity has led the way in cheerleading safety as a supporter of the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators since 1987 and as a camp leader training more than 300,000 cheerleaders per year in cheerleading fundamentals with an emphasis on safety. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Varsity employs 5,000 employees nationwide. For more information about Varsity, please visit http://www.varsity.com.

Varsity Acquires Spirit Festival

Varsity Campers Help Raise Funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

In all, 350,000 cheerleaders and dancers will participate in the “Team Up for St. Jude—Spirited by Varsity” program.

Memphis, TN (June 8, 2011) – Beginning this May, Varsity’s summer cheerleading camp season will kick off in all 50 states. The 350,000 cheerleaders and dancers that will head to Varsity summer camps will learn cheerleading basics like crowd leading and cheers, and the safest techniques for stunting, pyramid building and spotting.

Varsity LogoThis year Varsity, the leader in instructional cheerleading and dance team camps, is teaming up with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® to support its mission of finding cures for children fighting cancer and other catastrophic diseases.

All incoming campers have been asked to bring five donation letters with them to camp to send to family and friends in the hope of raising essential funds for the world renowned children’s hospital. All campers that bring their five letters to camp will receive a special Team Up for St. Jude pin.

“I can’t think of a better partnership than St. Jude and Varsity. We are thrilled to team up with them to raise the funds that are so crucial to treating children with life-threatening illnesses,” said Nicole Lauchaire, Vice President of Corporate Marketing and Communications. “Cheerleaders have prominent roles in their schools and communities, and we know they will put their all into making this initiative a success for St. Jude and for its patients.”

“The Varsity camps are an ideal place for us to educate young and enthusiastic athletes about the lifesaving mission of St. Jude,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising organization of St. Jude. “The energy of the cheerleaders and dancers will not only help us spread our message of hope to their networks but also raise critical dollars so that we can continue to search for cures for these precious children.”

All donations will be tracked and the team that raises the most money for St. Jude will be awarded an all expense paid trip to Memphis, Tenn., to visit St. Jude, meet St. Jude patients and their families, attend a recognition dinner and a Team Up for St. Jude photo shoot, and visit the Varsity headquarters for a tour and a press conference.

About Varsity

Varsity is the source for all things related to cheerleading and dance team. With a rich heritage and traditions dating back to 1948, Varsity is an innovative global leader comprised of the leading spirit brands and organizations including its educational camps, clinics, competitions and uniforms to teams around the world. Varsity’s National Championships, which are held at the Walt Disney World® Resorts, some of which have been televised on ESPN Networks for more than 25 years. Sponsors of Varsity events include Gatorade and Nike. Web-based Varsity TV features thousands of cheerleading and dance team videos and has become a favorite cheer destination for cheerleaders and coaches alike. Varsity has led the way in cheerleading safety as a supporter of the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators since 1987 and as a camp leader training 350,000 cheerleaders per year in cheerleading fundamentals with an emphasis on safety. The Varsity camp brands include Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA), National Cheerleaders Association (NCA), United Cheerleading Association (USA) and American Cheerleading Association (ACA). Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Varsity employs 5,000 employees nationwide. For more information about Varsity, please visit http://www.varsity.com.

About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. St. Jude is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family’s inability to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fundraising organization. St. Jude was named the nation’s top children’s cancer hospital in the 2010-11 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings published by U.S. News & World Report. For more information, go to www.stjude.org and follow St. Jude on www.facebook.com/stjude and www.twitter.com/stjude.

Varsity Campers Help Raise Funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Louisville Powers to First Stunt National Champion Title at Inaugural Stunt National Championship in Daytona Beach

Six collegiate teams competed in the first-ever STUNT National Championship; Next step for new sport is NCAA Emerging Sport Status application.

Memphis, Tenn. (April 13, 2011)- The University of Louisville emerged victorious at the inaugural STUNT National Championship this past weekend, with a score of 48 points followed by NC State with 32. USA Cheer, the national governing body for all forms of cheerleading, hosted the first STUNT National Championship this past weekend in Daytona Beach, FL. The STUNT National Championship capped off the first season for the new sport, which will be applying for NCAA Emerging Sport Status this June.

The six collegiate teams that competed in the final event of the season were Framingham State College, Georgia Southern University, Morgan State University, North Carolina State University, University of Louisville and Cal Poly. Full coverage of the event can be seen on http://collegestunt.org.

“STUNT was an excellent addition for the University of Louisville sports roster this year. We were thrilled to be a part of the inaugural National STUNT Championship and to take home the first National Champion title,” says Misty Hodges, coach of the winning University of Louisville STUNT team. “Our school has been incredibly supportive and we hope this will indeed reach emerging sport status with the NCAA.”

A new competitive team sport that has derived from traditional cheerleading, STUNT removes the crowd-leading and focuses on the technical and athletic components of cheer, which include the partner stunts, pyramids, basket tosses, jumps and tumbling skills. STUNT has been designed with the goal of being considered for NCAA Emerging Sport status and to ultimately satisfy Title IX’s requirements for intercollegiate sport.

A total of 22 teams participated in the inaugural season of STUNT this year and plans are already underway for the 2012 season. The STUNT season began in January 2011, and culminated with the National Championship in Daytona Beach following the NCA Collegiate Cheerleading Championship. Additional teams that participated in games this season include Methodist University, Adams State College, California Baptist University, University of Central Oklahoma, Morehead State University, Oklahoma State University, Sam Houston State University, San Diego State University, Slippery Rock University, Stonehill College, Temple University, Texas A & M University, University of Georgia, University of Florida, University of North Carolina and West Virginia University.

USA Cheer plans to present STUNT to the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics this June to be considered an official NCAA emerging sport. “The first STUNT season has been a huge success, well received by teams, schools and fans. The competitive spirit and fan support at the events is evidence that STUNT is becoming increasingly popular and important in communities across the country,” said USA Cheer Executive Director, Bill Seely.

There are several additional schools considering the addition of STUNT to their sports rosters for 2012. STUNT provides new opportunities for the more than one million traditional and all star cheerleaders of high school age in the United States that are looking to utilize their talents and skills at the college level in a varsity sport format.

Cheerleaders, coaches, and parents can visit www.collegestunt.org to learn more about STUNT, the College STUNT Association and its initiatives.

About the Format

STUNT follows a game format with four quarters, including a short half time. These quarters include Partner Stunts, Group Jumps & Tumbling, Pyramids & Tosses, and Team Performance. Players wear uniforms that identify them by number.

Within each quarter, teams perform skill sequences of varying levels of difficulty, technical execution and synchronization. The fourth quarter is the “Team Performance” which allows teams to incorporate their entire team’s arsenal into a choreographed routine. Two to six teams compete simultaneously in head-to-head competition.

About USA Cheer

The USA Federation for Sport Cheering is a not-for profit organization and is the national governing body for all disciplines of cheerleading. USA Cheer exists to serve the entire cheer community, including club cheering (All Star), traditional school based cheer programs and the new sport of “STUNT.” USA Cheer has three primary objectives: help grow and develop interest and participation in Cheer throughout the United States; promote safety and safety education for cheer in the United States; and represent the United States of America in international cheer competitions.

For more information, contact Sheila Noone at 901-251-5959.

USA Cheer – Stunt Championship Press Release

USASF Announces Age Grid Changes

Over 700 Coaches weigh in on the cheer age grid for the 2011-2012 competition season.

Memphis, Tenn., (March 16, 2011) – The USASF has announced cheer age grid changes for the 2011-2012 competition season. The new cheer age grid outlines the divisions, age guidelines, team sizes and crossover restrictions that are relevant to cheer teams for the upcoming season.

For the USASF, this marked a new procedure for cheer age grid changes. In an unprecedented process of rules meetings and discussions, the USASF met with more than 700 all star coaches during five regional meetings nationwide to develop rules and age grid proposals for the 2011-2012 season. With over 50 proposals on the slate, coaches and event producers worked tirelessly to come to consensus on each topic.

Elaine Pascale, owner of World Cup All Stars and Chairperson of the National All Star Coaches Congress of the USASF, is optimistic about creating ways to include coaches in the decisions that are crucial to their businesses. “I’m so proud of the coaches who volunteered their time to help make our sport better. “It’s great that we can test these rules for one, short competition season. Next year, we’ll have more information and statistics help us make the right decisions, especially as far as crossovers and team size.”

Many coaches appreciated the new approach towards transparency of the decision-making process. “The process was a great compromise between the coaches and the event producers in what each group thinks is best for the continued growth of the all star world, which is our shared goal,” says Happy Hooper, owner of the Ace All Stars and member of the USASF Board of Directors. “And I think next year, it will be even better.”

“The decisions we made together were a compromise to help address the needs and wishes of the gyms, the coaches and the athletes,” says Courtney Pope, owner of Cheer Extreme and member of the USASF Rules Committee. “I’m excited by any steps we can take to increase both competition and participation at any level.”

“Having voted and participated in the process, I am confident explaining the new rules to parents and my staff,” says Cherokee Greendeer of the Green Bay Elite All Stars. “As a smaller gym owner, making sure my voice is heard is so important. We represent a lot of this industry, and I’m happy to be a part of the decisions going forward.”

The USASF and its committees will be re-addressing the cheer age grid for the 2012-2013 season, and welcome feedback from coaches, gym owners and event producers. Cheer level rules and the glossary of terms for the upcoming season will be forthcoming. A copy of the 2011-12 cheer age grid can be found at www.USASF.net.

About the USASF

The U.S. All-Star Federation (USASF), based in Memphis, Tennessee, is the not for profit governing body for all star cheer and dance. The mission of the USASF is to maximize the number of participants benefiting from the positive life experiences of all star cheerleading and dance by developing competition rules and training guidelines consistent with the best known safety, educational and ethical practices. To learn more about the USASF, visit www.USASF.net.

USASF Announces Age Grid Changes Press Release

Varsity and the NFHS to Offer Free Safety Courses to Coaches in Honor of National Cheerleading Safety Month

Varsity will cover the cost of the AACCA Safety Certification Course for the first 200 coaches in March.

Memphis, Tenn., March 1, 2011 – Varsity, the leading organization in cheerleading camps and education, today announced that it will provide free safety certification courses to the first 200 coaches to log on to the National Federation of State High School Association’s website to take the course in March. This initiative is part of National Cheerleading Safety Month and Varsity’s ongoing mission to raise awareness about the importance of coaches’ education in keeping cheerleading safe for all participants.

“Athlete safety is of paramount importance to us,” said Founder and CEO Jeff Webb. “We want every school’s cheer program to take advantage of the best resources available, and are excited to provide this opportunity to coaches nationwide.”

More than 22,000 coaches have already completed the comprehensive risk management course on site and online. For school employees at least 21 years of age serving as the cheer coach, AACCA certification includes $1,000,000 of additional liability coverage.

The course was created by the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators (AACCA), the leading safety certification and risk management organization, founded in 1987. Varsity, which includes the Universal Cheerleaders Association, National Cheerleaders Association and United Spirit Association, has worked with AACCA for more than 20 years, providing a comprehensive safety training curriculum for coaches, advisors and students of school-based programs. Last summer alone, more than 300,000 cheerleaders completed a Safety Awareness Program at camps across the country.

AACCA has been endorsed by the NFHS and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and is seen as the standard of care in cheerleading safety nationwide. “As a parent and a coach, I am keenly aware of the importance of safety education and certification,” says Paige Johnson, coach of the Mount Paran Christian School in Kennesaw, Georgia. “For me, I like to start my school year at camp by making sure my AACCA certification is up to date so that I stay on the cutting edge of safety. I know coaches will appreciate a chance to get certified for National Cheerleading Safety Month.”

Coaches can complete the AACCA Cheerleading Safety Course online by following the steps at aacca.org/safetycourse.

For more information about Varsity, please contact Sheila Noone at (901) 251-5959 or snoone@varsityspirit.com .

About Varsity

Varsity is the source for all things related to cheerleading and dance team. With a rich heritage and traditions dating back to 1948, Varsity is an innovative global leader comprised of the leading spirit brands and organizations including its educational camps, clinics, competitions and uniforms to teams around the world. Varsity’s National Championships, which are held at the Walt Disney World® Resorts, have been televised on ESPN Networks for more than 25 years. Web-based Varsity TV features thousands of cheerleading and dance team videos and has become a favorite cheer destination for cheerleaders and coaches alike. Varsity has led the way in cheerleading safety as a supporter of the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators since 1987 and as a camp leader training more than 300,000 cheerleaders per year in cheerleading fundamentals with an emphasis on safety. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Varsity employs 5,000 employees nationwide. For more information about Varsity, please visit http://www.varsity.com.

About the National Federation of State High School Associations

Since 1920, The National Federation of State High School Associations has led the development of education -based interscholastic sports and activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets directions for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS, from its offices in Indianapolis, Indiana, serves its 50 member state high school athletic/activity associations, plus the District of Columbia. The NFHS publishes playing rules in 16 sports for boys and girls competition and administers fine arts programs in speech, theater, debate and music. It provides a variety of program initiatives that reach the 18,500 high schools and over 11 million students involved in athletic and activity programs.

Varsity and the NFHS to Offer Free Safety Courses to Coaches in Honor of National Cheerleading Safety Month

Varsity Brands and Pac West Announce Alliance

Pac West is the latest member of the Varsity Family Plan and International All Levels Championships.

Memphis, Tenn., February 16, 2011 – Varsity and the Pac West Spirit Group have announced a strategic alliance that will extend the Varsity Family Plan rebates and bids to the west coast All Levels Championships to customers of Pac West. As part of the alliance, both Varsity and Pac West have agreed to coordinate scheduling of their events to avoid hosting competitions on the same day.

Varsity Family Plan is made up of some of the leading all star event organizers, and offers incentive plans to coaches and all star programs that participate in multiple events.

“We recognize Pac West as a regional leader and support the positive atmosphere they inspire at competitive events” said Varsity All Star Executive V.P. John Newby. “It’s a win-win for all customers to have added value at Northwestern VBI and Pac West events.”

“Not only are coaches now eligible for Family Plan rebates,” added Pac West C.E.O. Kiki Bittner, “but they also can earn bids for All Levels and Worlds without having to travel outside their region, which is something highly prized in these sensitive economic times. Bittner continued; “Varsity is the world’s leading spirit industry provider, and we are proud to partner with them.”

For more information, please visit http://www.varsityallstar.com or http://www.globalspiritnow.com.

About Varsity

Varsity is the source for all things related to cheerleading and dance team. With a rich heritage and traditions dating back to 1948, Varsity is an innovative global leader comprised of the leading spirit brands and organizations including its educational camps, clinics, competitions and uniforms to teams around the world. Varsity’s National Championships, which are held at the Walt Disney World® Resorts, have been televised on ESPN Networks for more than 25 years. Web-based Varsity TV features thousands of cheerleading and dance team videos and has become a favorite cheer destination for cheerleaders and coaches alike. Varsity has led the way in cheerleading safety as a supporter of the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators since 1987 and as a camp leader training more than 300,000 cheerleaders per year in cheerleading fundamentals with an emphasis on safety. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Varsity employs 5,000 employees nationwide. For more information about Varsity, please visit http://www.varsity.com.

About Pac West

Pac West Spirit Group is the largest provider of cheerleading and dance events in the Pacific Northwest. A Five Star-rated USASF Company, the goal of Pac West is to provide world class service with local flavor. Nominated for the Best Coaches Conference by Inside Cheerleading Magazine 2010, Pac West’s CEO has sat on the USASF Sanctioning Committee & National Advisory Board, OSIP Board of Directors, All Star Cheer Magazine Board of Advisors, and has received the WSCCA’s highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.

Varsity Brands and Pac West Announce Alliance

Varsity TV Announces its Exclusive Cheerleading and Dance Team Coverage

The largest online cheerleading and dance entertainment source releases its schedule of 2011 competitions.

Memphis, Tenn., January 2011 – Varsity TV has announced its schedule of competition coverage for the 2011 cheerleading and dance season. Viewership of cheerleading and dance videos is expected to top 3 million streams per month during the cheerleading and dance peak season.

Varsity.com is the most comprehensive online cheerleading and dance team video site, with exclusive Varsity TV original programming, as well as the largest collection of cheerleading and dance team performance videos. Fans of Varsity TV can choose from thousands of cheerleading and dance team videos from the largest events in the country and featuring the top performances from college, high school and all star teams.

“Varsity TV is the ultimate destination for fans of cheerleading and dance team videos. We have more than 20,000 videos available on demand for our viewers, including programs that can’t be seen anywhere else,” says Nicole Lauchaire, Vice President of Corporate Marketing and Communications. “We’re thrilled to provide top quality original programming and videos for everyone passionate about cheerleading and dance.”

For more information on Varsity TV, visit http://varsity.com.

SCHEDULE OF EVENT COVERAGE

  • NCA Senior & Junior High School National Championship
    • Jan. 8 & 9 – Dallas Convention Center
  • UCA/UDA College Cheerleading & Dance Team National Championship
    • Jan. 14, 15 & 16 – Walt Disney World® Resort
  • Athletic Championships
    • Jan. 22 & 23 – Providence, Rhode Island
  • UDA National Dance Team Championship
    • Feb. 5 & 6 – Walt Disney World® Resort
  • UCA National High School Cheerleading Championship
    • Feb. 12 & 13 – Walt Disney World® Resort
  • USA All Star Championships & USA Collegiate Championships
    • Feb. 26 & 27 – Anaheim Convention Center
  • NCA/NDA All-Star National Championship
    • Feb. 26 & 27 – Dallas Convention Center
  • NCA High School Open National Championship
    • March 5 – Kentucky International Convention Center
  • NDA National Championship
    • Mar. 12 & 13 – Hard Rock Live at Universal Orlando
  • UCA National All Star Cheerleading Championship
    • Mar. 12 & 13 – Walt Disney World® Resort
  • USA High School Spirit Nationals/Dance/Drill Nationals
    • Mar. 25, 26 & 27 – Anaheim Convention Center
  • NCA and NDA Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship
    • April 7, 8 & 9 – The Bandshell/Ocean Center/Peabody Auditorium Daytona Beach, Florida
  • International Cheer Union World Cheerleading Championships
    • April 29 – Walt Disney World® Resort

About Varsity

Varsity is the source for all things related to cheerleading and dance team. With a rich heritage and traditions dating back to 1948, Varsity is an innovative global leader comprised of the leading spirit brands and organizations including its educational camps, clinics, competitions and uniforms to teams around the world. Varsity’s National Championships, which are held at the Walt Disney World® Resorts, have been televised on ESPN Networks for more than 25 years. Sponsors of Varsity events include Gatorade and Nike. Web-based Varsity TV features thousands of cheerleading and dance team videos and has become a favorite cheer destination for cheerleaders and coaches alike. Varsity has led the way in cheerleading safety as a supporter of the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators since 1987 and as a camp leader training more than 300,000 cheerleaders per year in cheerleading fundamentals with an emphasis on safety. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Varsity employs 5,000 employees nationwide. For more information about Varsity, please visit http://www.varsity.com.

Varsity TV Announces Competition Coverage