Champions Challenge Coaches (L-R): Kevin Rose, Bob Jones; David Faulkner, Enterprise; Trent Taylor, Straughn; Jeff Smith, Walter Wellborn; John Holladay, Walker; Danny Horn, Benjamin Russell. (Robert Noles photo)
AHSAA Signs Long-Term Agreements With Russell, Raycom;
Six Champions Challenge Coaches Address The Media
The AHSAA announced long-term corporate agreements with Russell and Raycom Thursday during the annual Media Day at the AHSAA office. Executive Director Steve Savarese made the announcement.
A press conference for the al.com Champions Challenge preseason high school event August 23-24 followed.
Russell Extends Partner Contract
The contract will extend one of the AHSAA’s longest running corporate partnerships for an additional five years through the 2020-21 school year.
“We are extremely happy about extending this important partnership,” Savarese said. “Russell has provided tremendous support for the AHSAA championship events and our member schools.
“We appreciate the investment this valued partner is continuing to make in the youth of our state and what this means for all our member schools. I also want to thank our marketing partner, the Alabama Sports Foundation, for its important role in managing our corporate partner program.”
With this arrangement, Russell will continue to serve as the official uniform and cloth wear partner of the AHSAA.
“Russell Athletic is excited to continue our partnership with the Alabama High School Athletic Association,“ said Senior Vice President Gary Barfield. “Our partnership has been very important to our past and will continue to be important in the future.” Company representative Danny Moore was also present.
With its affiliation with the AHSAA, Russell is directly supporting the children, schools and communities of Alabama through the AHSAA’s Revenue Sharing Program. Over the last four years, $5 million in corporate support has been returned to AHSAA member schools through this program.
Raycom Becomes ‘Live’ TV Partner
The agreement with Montgomery-based Raycom Media, Inc., owned by the Retirement Systems of Alabama, makes the company the AHSAA’s live television partner beginning in 2014.
Raycom will broadcast the AHSAA’s Tier 1 events--Super Six state football championships and Final 48 state basketball championships--over its extensive TV network plus the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Game and the Champions Challenge.
With the contract running through June 30, 2019, Raycom will broadcast all semifinal and final games (boys and girls) at the Final 48 beginning with the 2014 state basketball tournament.
The agreement, developed by the AHSAA with assistance from the Alabama Sports Foundation (ASF), solidifies the AHSAA broadcast package that also includes the recently-announced digital live-streaming partnership with PlayOn! Sports and the NFHS TV Network.
Raycom Media and the AHSAA recently completed a two-year contract that provided live television or web-streaming of more than 60 Tier 2 events each year.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Raycom once again,” said Savarese. “This partnership is important to us and will take us into the next decade with one of the best broadcast packages anywhere. The Raycom Network in Alabama includes some of the state’s strongest television stations and covers basically the entire state. It will no doubt provide enormous exposure of AHSAA championship events for our member schools and help promote our message of education-based athletics.”
Raycom vice president Pat LaPlatney said the company is proud of its relationship with the AHSAA.
“Raycom Media, an Alabama company, is very happy to be working hand-in-hand with the AHSAA to bring the Super 6 and Final 48 to our viewers across our great state,” LaPlatney said. “We salute the young men and women in Alabama’s high schools who work very hard every day to make themselves better students and athletes, and we are pleased to recognize our wonderful teachers, coaches and parents as well. We look forward to working with Coach Savarese and his team in building a great package of events that will benefit our schools and citizens.”
Alabama television stations in the Raycom Media Group include WSFA NBC TV-12 in Montgomery (www.wsfa.com), WBRC Fox TV-6 in Birmingham (www.myfox6.com), WAFF NBC TV-48 in Huntsville (www.waff.com), and WDFX Fox TV-34 in Dothan (www.myfox34.net).
Champions Challenge Coaches Meet The Media
Coaches for the six teams participating in the seventh annual al.com Champions Challenge preseason high school football triple-header August 23-24 at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery addressed the state’s media during the press conference following Media Day.
All six said their schools were excited to be a part of the 2013 event and introduced several of their players.
Coaches were John Holladay of Walker, Danny Horn of Benjamin Russell, Trent Taylor of Straughn, Jeff Smith of Walter Wellborn, David Faulkner of Enterprise, and Kevin Rose of Bob Jones.
The game schedule:
Friday (April 23)
7 p.m., Benjamin Russell vs. Walker
Saturday (April 24)
5 p.m., Walter Wellborn vs. Straughn
7:30 p.m., Bob Jones vs. Enterprise