Florida Classic to Remain in Orlando

Florida A&M University and Bethune-Cookman University released the following statement regarding the Title Sponsorship of the Florida Classic that draws well over 60,000 people from all over the nation to participate in the largest historically Black college or university (HBCU) Classic. 

In a joint statement, Dr. James H. Ammons, President of Florida A&M University, and Dr. Trudie Kibbe Reed, President of Bethune-Cookman University, declared, “This Classic is more than a game. It is a family reunion that has evolved into the greatest competition between two historic universities in the state of Florida.  The football game, the band competition, the tailgating, the display of school pride, as well as the student recruitment and educational fairs now attract individuals as far away as New York City and deliver a near $30 million economic impact to the Central Florida economy.”

Presidents Ammons and Reed stated that in spite of just learning yesterday, February 28, 2008, that Walt Disney World would no longer serve as Title Sponsor, they are confident the Florida Classic would continue as the # 1 HBCU Classic in the nation.

           Steve Hogan, Executive Director of the Florida Citrus Sports, the non-profit organization engaged by the school to manage the game, stated, “Upon hearing that Walt Disney World was pulling out as the Title Sponsor of the Classic,  our office has received numerous calls from major  fortune 500 companies eager to discuss the vacant title sponsorship.  He further stated that, “the Florida Classic is a powerful brand with passionate fans ready to support companies associated with the event.  We believe the Classic will enjoy a new partner ready to move with the universities to the next level of excellence.”

Ammons and Reed expressed appreciation to Walt Disney World for a long and successful partnership in the development of the Classic.   “While Walt Disney World has decided to discontinue their relationship with the Classic as Title Sponsor, we hope that neither Walt Disney World, or any other organization  will  encroach on the Florida Classic brand by bringing other HBCU teams into Orlando to replicate, or to engage in activities that would diminish the Florida Classic.” 

Toward that end, both universities have agreed not to play other teams in Orlando.

Representatives of the National Alumni Organizations of both universities stated that, “This is not just a game, but a meaningful gathering of our alumni, supporters and friends and one of the strongest matches in Black college sports where the universities control the revenue and the destiny of the game.”

Both presidents are elated that companies are now lining up to compete for the Title Sponsorship of the Classic.  “We are looking forward to the Classic staying in Orlando, and being bigger than ever!”

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