The tournament-style competition kicked off a six-city tour on March 19 in Charlotte, N.C. with teams from across the country competing for two $100,000 grand prizes in scholarships.
Regional event competitions also will take place in Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Houston, with the winning teams advancing to the national championship in Washington D.C. on May 21.
This 2011 Sprite Step Off officially kicked-off with an online application submission which began Feb. 10 and concluded on March 13.
Interested fraternities and sororities entered the competition by submitting a short performance video that showcased their step talents and highlighted their positive contributions to their community. Sprite Step Off breaks the mold of traditional step competitions by creating a platform that focuses on scholarship, education and community service.
“Sprite Step Off gives college students an outlet to showcase creative self-expression through the art of step while promoting the importance of higher education and being active,” said Augusto Elias, Sprite Brand director, Coca-Cola North America. “Sprite sees stepping as a vehicle to empower this innovative generation to spark their creativity and fresh thinking while giving back to the community.”
Sprite will enlist the National Step Show Alliance to oversee and manage the scoring and judging during all phases of the competition. The selected teams will compete at venues in cities nationwide, including:
* Charlotte, N.C. – March 19
* New York, N.Y. – March 26
* Atlanta, Ga. – April 2
* Los Angeles, Calif. – April 9
* Houston, Texas – April 16
* Chicago, Ill. – April 30
The first place fraternity and sorority winners from each regional event will receive travel to the championship event in Washington D.C. on May 21. The event will feature the top 12 teams – six fraternities and six sororities – as they compete to see who will bring home the Sprite Step Off II crown. Tickets for the regional events are $20 and are available at www.spritestepoff.com.
DJ Rock-T from the “Rickey Smiley Morning Show” will be the official MC of the Regional and National Championship events, and DJ Mr. Quick will perform on the turntables alongside appearances by local celebrities and guest musical performances to be announced.
Community service will once again be an important part of the competition. Each participating step team will participate in service activity at a local Boys & Girls Club in each host city. Sprite will also present each participating Boys & Girls Club with a $4,500 check and book donations. The Boys & Girls Clubs participating include:
* Charlotte, NC – The Salvation Army Belmont Boys & Girls Club
* New York, NY – Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club
* Atlanta, GA – Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta
* Los Angeles, CA – Challengers Boys & Girls Club
* Houston, TX – Boys & Girls Club of Greater Houston
* Chicago, IL – Boys & Girls Club of Chicago
“We’re so grateful to Sprite for making Boys & Girls Clubs such an integral part of the Step Off Competition,” said Frank Sanchez, Vice President, Sports, Entertainment & Alumni Relations for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “Our Club members need inspiration from high achievers like these step competitors to graduate from high school with a plan for their future.”
Supporting community service initiatives has been a core element of the National Pan-Hellenic Council’s nine organizations since their founding. These organizations include: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
“Stepping has a uniquely positive impact on the college experience of our youth and we commend Sprite for its continued commitment to the National Pan-Hellenic Council and for partnering with the Greek community to build the art form in the right way,” said Jennifer M. Jones, NPHC National President. “Sprite is showcasing the art of step and the creativity of our students to a national audience. The program’s emphasis on service to our local communities is particularly important, with much needed outreach that promotes the benefits of physical fitness and education to the next generation of students.”
Background on College Greek Stepping
College Greek “Stepping” is a mix of foot movements, handclaps and voice chants performed by historically African-American Greek letter organizations. This form of self-expression has transcended African-American Greek letter organizations and is now shared by many multicultural fraternities and sororities, including both Hispanic and Asian groups. Sprite created the tournament to celebrate the uniqueness and manifestation of stepping and to recognize the leadership, service, loyalty and perseverance that make the multicultural college Greek system a source of empowerment.
About Sprite Step Off
Championed by Sprite, the leading lemon-lime sparkling beverage, Sprite Step Off is a national competition that celebrates the creativity and originality of the multicultural college experience through stepping, scholarship and service. Sprite Step Off will make it possible for a broader audience to experience an iconic form of self-expression that has been shared by multicultural college students for decades and encourage young people nationwide to get involved in community service to improve their communities. For more information on Sprite Step Off, visit www.spritestepoff.com.
About The Coca-Cola Company The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola®, the world’s most valuable brand, the Company’s portfolio features 14 billion dollar brands including Diet Coke®, Fanta®, Sprite®, Coca-Cola Zero™, vitaminwater®, Powerade®, Minute Maid®, Simply® and Georgia®. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverages at a rate of 1.7 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (www.bgca.org) has changed and saved lives, enabling young people to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, some 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs serve some 4 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in neighborhoods throughout the country and on U.S. military installations worldwide, providing young people 6-18 years old with guidance-oriented character development programs conducted by trained, professional staff. Key programs emphasize leadership development; education and career exploration; community service; technology training; financial literacy; health and life skills; the arts; sports, fitness and recreation; and family support. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta.