Cellular South, a leader in wireless solutions and innovation, today announced plans for “Y’all vs. Us,” an integrated sports programming initiative that showcases the drama, passion, community pride and human interest stories around five of the South’s biggest high school football rivalries.
The program, which begins next month, will feature live, professional-caliber prime-time television broadcasts of the five biggest rivalry games, a 10-episode television reality series following two rival high school football coaching staffs throughout the 2009 season and a five-episode documentary series telling the story behind each featured rivalry game.
As one of the single largest and most comprehensive sports-related customer engagement initiatives undertaken by a company, the “Y’all vs. Us” program also will feature a wide variety of user-generated content, contests, games, new sports and education-related mobile web applications and interaction with social networking sites. Much of the program content will be housed in the “Cellular South Originals” section of the company’s online Discover Center, including video highlights of the rivalry games, the documentary series, the coaches’ reality show, user-generated videos, photos, blogs and more.
“From marching bands, intense coaches and dedicated young players to cheerleaders, dance teams and pep squads, the “Y’all vs. Us” program will explore the drama, passion and community pride associated with these rivalries and capture the many compelling human interest stories that come from this competition,” said Jim Richmond, director of corporate communications for Cellular South.
Richmond said two key objectives of the program are to give parents, student-athletes, teachers and fans new and creative ways to interact with Cellular South and celebrate these famous high school football rivalries and to raise awareness of Cellular South’s Gameplan education initiative for junior high and high school student-athletes.
Rivalries to be featured this fall include the following five matchups:
Clinton Arrows vs. Madison Central Jaguars – Sept. 25 at Clinton.
“University” of South Panola Tigers vs. Olive Branch Conquistadors – Oct. 2 at South Panola.
Oak Grove Warriors vs. Meridian Wildcats – Oct. 9 at Oak Grove.
West Jones Mustangs vs. Wayne County War Eagles – Oct. 23 at Wayne County.
Gulfport Admirals vs. Biloxi Indians – Nov. 6 at Gulfport.
To bring the action to high school football fans across the region, games will be aired on NBC affiliates WLBT in Jackson, WDAM in Hattiesburg and WMC in Memphis along with ABC affiliates WLOX in Biloxi, WABG in Greenville and WTOK in Meridian. Fox affiliate WLOV in Tupelo rounds out the broadcasting team for the rivalry games. Regional television broadcasts of the live games and five-episode documentary series will be managed through Raycom Media Inc., a Montgomery, Alabama-based media firm that owns or operates 42 television stations in 18 states.
- more -
“We’re excited to partner with Cellular South to bring this rich, compelling content to high school football fans,” said Leon Long, senior vice president of Television for Raycom Media, broadcast partner for the program. “The South has a long, rich tradition of being a hotbed for more than its fair share of gridiron rivalries.”
The 10-episode television reality series will feature Wayne County Coach Marcus Boyles and West Jones Coach Scott Pierson along with members of their respective coaching staffs and focus on key players, weekly game preparation and strategy, school activities related to game preparation and personal story lines.
Boyles is one of the most successful high school coaches in football-rich Mississippi during the last two decades and came off a stint as wide receivers coach earlier this month for Team USA in the 2009 International Federation of American Football Junior World Championship in Canton, Ohio. Pierson has been head coach at West Jones since 2002 after a stellar seven-year stint as head coach at 2A powerhouse Bay Springs.
Cellular South got its inspiration for selecting the teams in the program from Jackson attorney X. M. Frascogna, Jr., who along with his sons Mike Frascogna, III and Marty, published a book in 2008 called “Y’all vs. Us” about 15 of the biggest high school football rivalries.
The company then partnered with the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) to identify and recruit the 10 high school football teams that will be featured in the rivalries program. “Some of the biggest grudge matches aren’t always played on Saturday or Sunday in college and professional football games,” said Dr. Ennis Proctor, executive director of the MHSAA. “They’re played in high school football games and pit the collective community pride of entire towns and cities against one another for regional bragging rights.”
Proctor has worked with Cellular South to promote the Gameplan, a statewide education initiative designed and funded by the company to inspire, prepare and inform the state’s 90,000 high school student-athletes about the possibilities of reaching their dreams through academic excellence. Several elements of the Gameplan will be featured in the “Y’all vs. Us” program.
Richmond said “Y’all vs. Us” also will feature a pilot program where Cellular South will create and host a mobile version of each school’s website, including logos, basic content like a calendar of events, club schedules, announcements and a special section to sign up for alerts in various categories, including parents, students, faculty and staff, football, basketball, performing arts, school booster clubs, bands and more. “Each school will have the ability to send alerts via mobile phone, text messaging or e-mail to individuals who opt-in from the mobile website or online via computer,” he added.
In addition, Cellular South customers also will be able to access entertaining and dynamic user-games, contests, treasure hunts, quizzes and other exclusive content, Richmond said.
The mobile section will be integrated with Cellular South’s online Discover Center, which will have sections under “Cellular South Originals” dedicated to all of the game match ups, the coaches show and user-generated content where individuals can upload their own videos and pictures. “We also plan to make available for download applications for Windows Mobile and BlackBerry device users, including rival fan pages and noisemakers,” Richmond said. The link for the “Y’all vs. Us” section of Cellular South’s online Discover Center is www.cellularsouth.com/yallvsus.
- more -
Richmond said Young & Rubicam (Y&R), the company’s New York-based advertising agency since 2008, was instrumental in helping create the “Y’all vs. Us” concept and will be executive producer of the program and develop an integrated campaign to drive awareness and engagement among customers and prospective customers.
“We’re very excited about helping Cellular South engage their consumers in this dramatically different way,” said David Haughey, account managing director for Y&R. “The television programming and all the related online and social networking media combine seamlessly to give Cellular South’s customers new awareness of their deep involvement in the community and a new way to interact with the brand.”
About Cellular South
Cellular South is a privately-owned diversified mobile communications company passionately committed to helping customers get the most out of their wireless devices and services. The nation’s largest privately owned wireless communications provider accomplishes this goal by providing the most reliable and advanced 3G nationwide wireless voice and data network, offering industry-leading family and unlimited flat rate voice, text and mobile web plans, and through its online and in-store Discover Centers, which give customers easy, simple and convenient tools, tips, advice and information on how to get the most out of their mobile phone. For more information, visit www.cellularsouth.com.
Additional information about Cellular South, Inc. and its products and services is available at http://www.cellularsouth.com. This Cellular South news release and other announcements are available at http://www.cellularsouth.com/news/. Or follow our news on Twitter at http://twitter.com/cellularsouth. Find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ridgeland-MS/Cellular-South/39645673822 to learn more about our wireless services
About Raycom Media Inc.
Raycom, an employee-owned company, is one of the nation’s largest broadcasters and owns and operates 46 television stations in 18 states. Raycom stations cover more than 13 percent of U.S. television households and employ 3,500 individuals in full and part-time positions. In addition to television stations, Raycom owns Raycom Sports (a marketing, production and events management and distribution company in Charlotte); Raycom Post (a post production facility in Burbank, California), Broadview Media (a post production/telecommunications company based in Montgomery), and CableVantage (a cable advertising sales group based in Columbia, South Carolina). For more information, visit www.raycommedia.com.
The Mississippi High School Activities Association is a non-profit, nondiscriminatory association operated by the state’s secondary schools. The Association is responsible for academic and athletic competition among the 530,000 students in the state’s public and private schools, including debate, drama, speech, writing, music and 14 different types of sports. The MHSAA also is responsible for 4,000 officials and referees, who are registered and certified through association clinics. For more information, visit www.misshsaa.com.
About Young & Rubicam
Y&R is one of the world’s leading marketing communications companies. Founded in 1923, Y&R was the first agency to be founded by a creative, Raymond Rubicam. Today, the agency’s work spans the communications spectrum, including viral, interactive and ambient marketing, to build brands that are irresistible to consumers. Y&R has 186 offices in 90 countries around the world. Our clients are some of the world’s most prestigious global corporations, including Accenture, Bacardi, Campbell’s Soup Company, Colgate-Palmolive, Danone, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Land Rover, LG, Xerox and Virgin Airlines, to name a few. Hamish McLennan is Global Chairman and CEO of Y&R. For more information, visit www.yr.com.