NEW YORK, Aug. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Throughout the 2012 High School Football season SPORTS ILLUSTRATED will profile 10 programs from across the United States, selected for having overcome obstacles that include dilapidated facilities, crime-ridden communities, severe funding deficits and disasters, both personal and natural. SI editors have selected nine of the schools and together, SI and POWERADE have launched a nationwide search for the 10th school that has persevered through hardship. The 10 programs will be unveiled throughout the season as a part of one of the largest High School Football editorial initiatives in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's history.
Starting today players, coaches, parents, teachers, classmates and fans can log on to www.Facebook.com/SportsIllustrated to enter an Underdog team in their community. Submissions will be accepted through October 23 after which a 10th finalist school will be selected. Fans will be able to vote for which team receives the grand prize, a $25,000 program grant and a trip to New York City and SI's annual "Sportsman of the Year" awards gala.
"The genuine teamwork, perseverance and sportsmanship we've found at these high schools are remarkable and make for extremely compelling editorial content," said BJ Schecter, executive editor of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's SI.com. "This series illustrates that the most inspirational sports stories don't always come from the pros or big budget programs."
On SI.com each Underdog school's story will be told though video of extensive first-person interviews with coaches, players and administrators. Two inspirational athletes, who embody perseverance, were interviewed for the video series on SI.com -- POWERADE partner, NBA champion and recent Olympic gold medalist LeBron James and paralyzed retired NFL football player Eric LeGrand.
"Every athlete and every team has obstacles they have to power through, and POWERADE stands for the hard work and belief it takes to overcome those adversities," said Yolanda White, Group Director, Marketing, POWERADE. "This series is a way to shine a light on some of the teams that have succeeded in doing so and celebrate others that are on the journey."
About SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is a multimedia sports brand that takes the consumer into the heart and soul of sports. The SPORTS ILLUSTRATED franchise is anchored by the weekly magazine -- the most respected voice in sports journalism, reaching a weekly audience of nearly 22 million adults -- and www.SI.com, the magazine's 24/7 sports news website that delivers more than 300 original stories to its users each week. The franchise also includes SPORTS ILLUSTRATED KIDS (www.sikids.com), a monthly magazine targeted to kids age 8 and up; GOLF Magazine and www.GOLF.com; www.FanNation.com, a social networking and sports-news aggregation platform; SI Presents, the magazine's specialty publishing division; as well as SI Books, SI Pictures, SI Productions, SI Digital and SI Events. Founded in 1954, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is a division of Time Inc., the world's leading magazine publishing company and a subsidiary of Time Warner.
About POWERADE and the Coca-Cola Company
POWERADE, with its ION4 advanced electrolyte system, helps replenish four electrolytes lost in sweat. POWERADE is a brand within The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO), 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, our Company's portfolio features 15 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, POWERADE, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.8 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. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system employees. For more information, please visit www.thecoca-colacompany.com or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo. For more information about POWERADE, please visit www.us.powerade.com
SOURCE SPORTS ILLUSTRATED