Cellular South unveils plans for


Cellular South announced plans for the second year of its award-winning “Y’all vs. Us” integrated original sports program that showcases the drama, passion and community pride around high school football in the South.

The program, which is coming off a inaugural season in 2009, will feature live, primetime telecasts on FOX Sports South (FSSO) of five of the oldest and biggest high school football rivalries in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. Select game telecasts will reach up to 12.9 million cable and satellite households in seven Southeastern states.

Rivalries to be featured in the program this fall include an Aug. 27 Rankin County grudge match between perennial powers Brandon High Bulldogs and the Pearl High Pirates. This often bitter rivalry dates back to Thanksgiving Day in 1949, a game that ended in a tie. The two schools put aside their animosity, however, for a poignant match up in 2001, three days after the 9/11 attacks. Bands for both schools joined together to play familiar patriotic favorites – “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America.”

Other featured match ups this year include:

•South Panola High Tigers at Tupelo High Golden Wave – Oct. 15 in Tupelo, Miss.
•Memphis University School Owls at Christian Brothers – Oct. 22 in Memphis, Tenn.
•Murphy High Panthers at McGill-Toolen High Yellow Jackets – Oct. 28 in Mobile, Ala.

As one of the single largest and most comprehensive sports programming and 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-related game applications and interaction with social networking sites. All 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, 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 continue to 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 Suzy Hays, senior vice president of marketing for Cellular South.

Hays said two key objectives of the program are to give parents, student-athletes, teachers and high school football fans new and creative ways to interact with 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.

To bring the action to the most high school football fans, games will be aired on FOX Sports South in selected markets reaching more than 12.9 million cable and satellite households across the Southeast.

“FOX Sports South strives to serve the interests of local sports fans,” said Jeff Genthner, SVP/GM of FOX Sports South and SportSouth. “Our commitment to local coverage is reflected in our partnership with Cellular South to televise these exciting high school gridiron rivalries.”

All five games will be televised in primetime with top broadcast talent and production quality, Genthner said. “FOX Sports South will bring network-quality production values to these high school football telecasts.”

The games also will feature NFL-caliber pyrotechnics, aerial video and the world’s largest mobile Jumbotron video messaging and display board as well as musical entertainment before each game.

Young & Rubicam (Y&R), Cellular South’s AOR since 2008, will be the executive producer of the 2010 program while FOX Sports South will produce and televise the high school football rivalry games.

“We’re looking forward to building on a very successful first year of programming as Cellular South engages consumers in new and exciting ways,” said John Morris, managing partner for Y&R. “We’ve assembled an outstanding broadcast, film and production team to showcase this dynamic content and give football fans in the South an opportunity to enjoy some of the most spirited high school football rivalries around.”

Part of that inaugural season success was some international attention and recognition for the “Y’all vs. Us” program with Cellular South and Y&R winning a Bronze Cannes Lion at the 57th annual Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival last month in the media category for best use of media.

Last year, in addition to broadcasting the five rivalry games, Cellular South sponsored a 12-episode television reality series that followed two rival Mississippi high school football coaching staffs and their teams through the 2009 season and playoffs. The series was picked up earlier this year in April by FOX Sports Network and is being rebroadcast nationwide reaching more than 83 million households.