BREAKING NEWS: Seven Industry Companies Unite to Urge and Facilitate USASF Independence
CheerProfessional has learned that seven industry companies (Cheer Zone, GK Elite, GTM Sportswear, Motionwear, Nfinity, Rebel Athletic and Team Cheer) have united in an effort to facilitate the USASF’s independence from Varsity Brands. Their plan includes assuming the USASF’s loan from Varsity, revising the Board of Directors and moving the USASF office and employees to a neutral location. Read their full proposal and react in the comments section:
Proposal to the United States All Star Federation
GrowCheer.ORG is a group of unrelated industry companies with a singular purpose – to grow the sport of cheerleading.
As such, we believe that the first (and most important) step in fostering future growth in our sport is a FREE and INDEPENDENT United States All Star Federation (“USASF”).
How are we going to accomplish this?
Central to our plan is to replace the current loan(s) that the USASF has with Varsity Spirit Corporation and/or affiliated companies (“Varsity”).
It is understood that the reason Varsity controls a majority of the seats on the USASF board and why Varsity owns the trademark of the USASF is to secure repayment of these loans. We firmly believe that in order to have a unified industry, no single organization should be unduly influenced by and/or controlled by another.
We propose to assume the loan with essentially the same financial terms that Varsity has given to the USASF. We are prepared to do this immediately after the 2013 USASF Worlds competition.
Other key provisions relating to our plan are as follows:
1) Require an immediate external audit of the USASF financials by an independent accounting firm that we mutually agree on. We will bear the cost of this audit.
- This firm would determine the amount that remains outstanding to Varsity.
- The firm would examine the relationship between the USASF and the IASF and confirm that all monies paid to the USASF by American gyms would be used for the support of American programming, not international programming.
- The firm would examine the relationship between the USASF and the host site to make sure only the USASF received benefit from the relationship.
2) All USASF property held in lien as security for outstanding loans with Varsity, including but not exclusively intellectual property (i.e., trademarks), would be released to the USASF.
3) Immediate rewriting of the Articles of Incorporation, By Laws, and Operating Agreement to abolish all permanent Board of Directors seats and create a provision for an organized election to be conducted as soon as practical. The new Board of Directors would be composed of equal representation among all segments of our industry – gym owners/coaches, event producers and industry vendors.
4) Future production of USASF World competitions would be granted to a qualified event producer after an open bidding process administered by the Board of Directors.
5) The office and employees of the USASF would be moved to a neutral location in Memphis. If necessary, we would subsidize payment for the office space until it could be supported by the cash flow of the USASF.
6) After the first year, or as soon as practical, the Board of Directors would interview and select a professional management company to assume the day-to-day operations of the USASF.
7) The USASF would be reorganized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is recognized by the IRS as such.
We believe very much in this industry and recognize Varsity for its past foresight and support, but we have come to a point where we can no longer afford to see our governing body indebted to and controlled by a profit motivated company with a clear conflict of interest. In a time when so many are calling for the industry to break apart into separate factions, we feel that the best solution is to step in and provide a practical way for there to be just one, FREE and INDEPENDENT governing body. And we believe that we have proposed a workable solution to this matter.
Your acceptance of the above terms is expected by March 1, 2013 to GrowCheer@gmail.com so that we can make provisions for a seamless transition.
Cheer Zone ™
GK Elite Sportswear, L.P.
GTM Sportswear, Inc.
Nfinity Athletic LLC
Rebel Athletic ™
United States All-Star Federation, USASF, ISAF, USASF Worlds, Varsity are all Registered trademarks of the Varsity Spirit Corporation, Memphis, TN.
Megan Marlow & Casey Marlow
February 14, 2013 @ 4:33 pm
Awesome concept. Awesome news!!!! Been in this industry for 15 years. So happy to see something truly moving and changing happening! Thanks a ton!
Pacific coast magic
Corona location Directors & head coach
February 14, 2013 @ 4:45 pm
This is the best news that has been introduced to this industry since its inception. The stronghold has held back a SPORT that has grown tremendously. While Varsity can be thanked for its contributions for the inception, it is clear that this step is crucial as it grows. Excited excited excited!
February 14, 2013 @ 5:10 pm
This is very interesting proposal that could potentially lead to some needed reforms for our sport. I like the group’s willingness to at least try to work with the USASF/Varsity to iron out some of the issues, rather than starting by creating a competing organization.
The USASF has given us many positive changes for our industry, and it simply would not exist without the leadership of Varsity and its employees, money, guidance, and support. They should be applauded for their tremendous work over the last decade. However, it is time to take another look at the USASF structure to ensure that the entire industry is fairly represented. It seems obvious that no single individual, gym, program, company, or conglomerate should have significant & permanent influence over our governing body.
There are obvious details that would need to be filled in and some questions to be answered, but on it’s surface – this looks like a potentially great way to help transition the USASF into an even better & more transparent governing body.
February 14, 2013 @ 6:19 pm
I totally agree!!! There should be NO company that controls the USASF – no more than the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is! There can’t be a company profiting from the use of a governing body for a sport to grow and thrive. MLB and the NFL are not owned by NIKE – so Varsity should not have control over the governing body of USASF.
Scott "Crasher" Braasch
February 15, 2013 @ 4:24 pm
I am a staunch supporter and critic of the USASF. I believe our industry has been served well by those in leadership and applaud all their efforts. Our governing body for the sport/industry of All Star Cheer is not just important to our continued growth, safety, and structure, it is a must. For this reason, I have always supported the USASF and its mission. I have also been a critic of the USASF, and its origins from the cheerleading industries largest vendor. As a huge supporter of Varsity brands, I respect and appreciate their financial and intellectual contributions to the origins of the USASF, however, I believe we have come to a point where USASF should truly stand and govern our all star industry independently. This letter shows a divide in our industry that has been developing for years. A governing body that is so closely intertwined with the largest vendor in our industry does not insure that all decisions made on behalf of the governing body are in its best interest, but rather implies that they are in the best interest of the vendor. What other format in our world today has a for profit entity that governs or is perceived to govern a nonprofit entity that’s decisions reflect and or could reflect the profitability of the for profit entity? This proposal sounds fair and seems to alleviate reasons why so many question the relationship of Varsity Brands to the USASF. I look forward to the outcome of this proposal, and sense yet another defining moment in our sport/industry ahead.
February 19, 2013 @ 2:10 pm
the cheerleading industry continues to evolve! yayyyy!!!!!
the cheerleading industry continues to surprise and thrive. it has been a fun ride being apart of this industry for the past 13 years. it was a shocking day when Varsity bought out NCA from Herkie and their apparel line way back when. there have been shocking announcements and surprises in this industry every 2-3 years. a decade ago when varsity thought they had the uniform business locked up along came spirit innovations and rocked the boat stealing the lion’s share of the all star market. then when SI went stale on their designs along comes GK in 2009 to invigorate the market once again.. so varsity buys up SI, takes over american cheerleader magazine and tries to grab control of USASF and filling its board with varsity people and putting the USASF office in the varsity building..
it was only a matter of time before members of the cheer community revolted against the varsity domination of the market. the writing has been on the wall for the past year and a half… the arrogance varsity displays in manipulating the rules of the game to benefit their corporate bottom line is too much for regular folks in the industry to put up with. the real power in the cheer industry lays with the gym owners. they have a tendency to vote with their feet and varsity will eventually lose the majority of the market share they have now because they spend more time trying to dominate than they do trying to innovate. expect varsity to go into a long term decline… they have matured as a business and now it is time for a long slow decline until someone else buys out varsity… it might be 10 years off, but it is inevitable… varsity is toast…
i have always thought that one day, some young, enterprising member of the cheer community with a background in media and connections with the publishing world would write a book about the history of the development of the cheerleading industry. this book would cover all of the dirty deals, backstabbing and money grubbing that has lead the development of an industry based on developing character in america’s youth. hopefully such a book will not be far off as we now have something of a happy ending and reason to be optimistic for the future of cheerleading…